It seems almost every year the Michigan Wolverines must scare their fans and either lose or almost lose to a team they should easily beat. True to form, Michigan barely beat the Akron Zips on Saturday, 28-24. This MAC team had only won one game in three straight seasons and lost every single road game in that span. Michigan was favored by five touchdowns. Michigan literally won the game at the last second.
“This is embarrassing for the University of Michigan football team,” offensive tackle Taylor Lewan said.
Michigan appeared awful through the entire game. They were sloppy on both sides of the ball, only a week after a great game against Notre Dame. It was almost as if they had a hangover from that win. Quarterback Devin Gardner had one of his worst games. He was only 16/30 with 248 yards, three touchdowns (one rushing), and three interceptions. Ironically his QBR was 66.6 for the day.
“We almost lost to Akron, no disrespect to Akron,” Gardner said. “I made a lot of bad decisions, probably my worst game ever.
Here is how the last four minutes went down. Michigan was ahead 21-17. Michigan punted and Akron started on their own 38. They drove down the ball 67 yards for a touchdown that put them ahead 24-21 with only 4:10 left in the game. Michigan quickly answered back when Gardner rushed for 35 yards to put them at the Akron 35. On the next play, Gardner completed a 20-yard pass to Jeremy Gallon to the Akron 20 for a first down. Then, Akron’s defense committed pass interference, which put Michigan at the two-yard line for an easy rush touchdown by Fitzgerald Toussaint.
Michigan was up 28-24 with 2:49 left in the game. That is a lot of time in a close football game.
Akron started at their own 25 and Michigan’s defense was nowhere to be found. Quarterback Kyle Pohl completed a 24-yard pass to Jerrod Dillard to put them at the Akron 49. Viewers could feel the tension building in the Big House and horrible memories of Appalachian State were rushing back. The next play was incomplete, but Michigan was offsides, giving Akron five free yards. The play after that was also incomplete, but then Conor Hundley ran 19-yards to the Michigan 27. The Big House went silent and almost everyone had their hands to their mouths. What should have been a great play was called back when Akron was called for holding.
Akron gained five yards and called a timeout with only 45 seconds left. Michigan’s defense again allowed Pohl to complete a long pass for a first down. This time Akron landed at the Michigan 11. However, much to the relief of those at the Big House, Akron got called for a delay of game and was pushed back five yards. Pohl’s pass is not caught.
The Big House erupts!!
But, then Pohl completed a pass to L.T. Smith for 14 yards at the 2-yard line.
The Big House immediately went silent in shock. Could the Michigan defense, which struggled all game, hold Akron on the 2-yard line? Pohl handed it off to Jawon Chisholm and the defense pushed him back for a loss of two yards at the Michigan four. Akron called a timeout with only four seconds left. Pohl passed it to Zach D’Orazio….
The Big House broke out in cheers and screams, this time for good. The fans were incredibly happy, but the players and coach Brady Hoke were not. He said they are going to coach their butts off at practice.
This is how the Michigan football Twitter account reacted at the end of the game. It describes every Michigan fan’s reaction:
— Michigan Football (@umichfootball) September 14, 2013