Instant Analysis: Michigan 24, UConn 21
September, 22, 2013
By Chantel Jennings | ESPN.com
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Michigan wanted to take the field on Saturday and prove last weekend’s 28-24 win over Akron was something of an aberration in their season. However, what the Wolverines did was the exact opposite. If anything, they looked less composed than they did against Akron and spent a good portion of their game against UConn trailing, before a fourth-quarter rally pushed Michigan to a 24-21 win.
It was over when: The Huskies failed to convert on fourth-and-29 with 1:48 left in the game. It was far from the position Connecticut would want to be in, but after the night the Huskies had, it seemed all too possible that redshirt junior quarterback Chandler Whitmer would be able to create something out of nothing. Whitmer somehow managed to connect on a 26-yard pass to junior wide receiver Deshon Foxx, but it wasn’t enough, and Michigan took a knee with a 24-21 lead.
Gameball goes to: Whitmer. Coming into the matchup with the Wolverines, Whitmer had thrown only three touchdown passes all season. Against Michigan, the 6-foot-1 signal-caller threw for 159 yards and two touchdowns with just one interception while picking apart the Michigan defense.
Stat of the game: Devin Gardner went cold midway through the first quarter and didn’t find a spark until the third quarter. In that time span, Gardner was not only 0-of-7 passing, but he threw one interception, fumbled the ball, was sacked twice (for a total loss of 17 yards) and carried the ball seven times for 32 yards.
What Michigan learned: Maybe it wasn't all preparation. The Wolverines blamed their close Akron victory on a poor week of prep, but this past week they said they prepared better than ever. But the result was largely the same. Perhaps, they need to look more closely at the chemistry of both lines -- an offensive line that failed to get much push all game (though Fitzgerald Toussaint was able to spring out a few times and finish the game with 120 yards on 24 carries) and a defensive line that gave the Huskies huge holes to run through time and time again. And maybe they need to look at Gardner -- a QB who has been lauded as cool under pressure -- who, for most of the past eight quarters, has been anything but.
What it means: Michigan goes into its bye week with the taste of two really nasty games left in its mouth. Gardner had said it always feels like forever when he has to wait to get on the field after a bad performance. Now he has to wait two weeks, and at the end of the road is the beginning of the Big Ten schedule for a Michigan team that is still searching for its identity.
Michigan Investigated By Feds
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35