Iowa upsets No. 2 Michigan 14-13 on last-second field goalBy Darlene Powers Nov 15, 2016
It's not that the losses didn't hurt, but unlike in the BCS or bowl eras, these November defeats won't prove fatal. That's not the type of play-calling MI and Speight needed. But the Big Ten's top rusher stepped up in the final period, first finding a hole for a 4-yard TD run that made it 28-24.
It's still not a season-ender for the Wolverines, but it is that prime-time-on-the-road wakeup call that is so common in the Big Ten. MI may have been too cocky going into the game on Saturday and now they will likely have to fight a little harder to secure their playoff spot.
On the face of it, the Buckeyes might've been a big loser because of Michigan's loss. If Ohio State beats MI in the regular-season finale and Penn State wins out, the Nittany Lions, who hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Buckeyes, would represent the East in Indianapolis.
When Wolverines defensive back Channing Stribling intercepted Beathard with 1:54 left in the game, it should have allowed MI to escape.
Be it a cliché reflex, a coping mechanism or really the only way to view an unalterable result, MI insisted it had forgotten its fall from perfection as soon as it happened. The Big Ten East Division remains up for grabs, but Penn State - which survived IN earlier IN the day thanks to 24 points IN the fourth quarter - now has a real good shot of making a trip to Indy. Which brings us to the.
For Michigan specifically, one of the storylines from a historical standpoint coming into Saturday night's game. Or Ohio State. Or anyone in the country except Alabama and Western Michigan (row the boat!).
The Hawkeyes won because they made fewer mistakes. After a 1-3 start, USC's season and Clay Helton's coaching career appeared headed south, but fast forward two months and the Trojans have rattled off six consecutive wins, including an upset of No. 4 Washington. Due to their lackluster non-conference schedule, the Huskies were already a borderline choice for the playoff even if they had gone undefeated. MI (9-1, 6-1) suffered its first dent in a playoff resumé that looked quite solid until a chilly night against a team that seemed destined for another demise.
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Iowa's numbing loss to North Dakota State in September, the losses to Northwestern and Wisconsin in October that led to so many questions, were afterthoughts on this night. He provided the winning margin against MI with a 33-yard field goal as time expired. MI still ranks first in the FBS in total defense and scoring defense.
Score one there for the little guys.
Thorson, who also ran for a touchdown, completed 23 of 36 passes, including five for 92 yards and two touchdowns to wide receiver Austin Carr, who tied the school single-season record with 12 TD receptions. It had to be in Kinnick, against MI, thanks to a field goal as time expired.
On Sunday, Alabama was a unanimous No. 1 for the first time this season, receiving all 61 votes.
Baylor is out of the rankings for the first time this season. Louisville, 9-1 4. Michigan, 9-1 5.
Washington (9-1), which was fourth last week, dipped to No. 7 after it lost to Southern Cal at home. Add in No. 8 Texas A&M and No. 9 Auburn and you have half of the CFP top 10 losing on Saturday. Utah, 8-2 12. Colorado, 8-2 13. West Virginia, 8-1 11. Only Western Michigan and Alabama remain ideal. It ended with the pillars of this MI football team crumbling nearly simultaneously - the high-powered offense going three-and-out, the rarely penalized unit committing a key infraction, the elite defense getting gashed up the middle, the veteran coaching staff sending out 10 men for the final play.
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