- Chantel Jennings, ESPN Staff Writer
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Michigan got out of Evanston, Ill. with a win. It just took three overtimes. Here are three guys/groups who made that win possible.
Kicker Brendan Gibbons and holder Drew Dileo. The Wolverines somehow managed to be coordinated enough to get their offense on the sideline, their kicking team in position and everything in place as the clock was expiring so Gibbons could hit the 44-yard field goal to send the game into overtime. The serendipitous part is that because Gibbons is left-footed and Dileo had been on the field for the offensive play the down before, Dileo didn't need to slide in front of Gibbons for the set up. If Gibbons had been right-footed or if Michigan's sideline had been the opposite one, Dileo would've needed to get to the other side of Gibbons' body and reset, which could've taken more time.
The run game. Hello, Derrick Green and De'Veon Smith. With Fitzgerald Toussaint sidelined with an injury according to Brady Hoke, Michigan went with youth in the run game and it paid off. The Wolverines accounted for 139 rushing yards and the offensive line actually helped create that for the two young guns. Green carried the ball 19 times for 84 yards, while Smith carried the ball eight times for 41 yards (no negative rushing yards).
Overtime Devin Gardner. It wasn't the most solid game of his career, but in overtime, when he needed to step up, he did. Gardner was 4-of-6 for 24 yards and one touchdown while rushing for 19 yards and another touchdown on three carries. The Wolverines have made it clear that they will stick with Gardner at QB, despite fans sometimes calling for freshman Shane Morris. The poise Gardner showed late in the game and in overtime was that of a redshirt junior.