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Northwestern vs. Michigan 2012: Gardner, Hail Mary lead Wolverines over Wildcats

On the play of quarterback Devin Gardner and a late, lucky Hail Mary pass, Michigan defeated Northwestern Saturday to keep its conference title hopes alive.

Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

With 18 seconds remaining in the game and the ball on their own 33-yard line, the Michigan Wolverines needed some luck Saturday against the Northwestern Wildcats.

They got it on a tipped Hail Mary.

Quarterback Devin Gardner heaved a 53-yard pass deep into Northwestern territory with time running down, and Roy Roundtree snatched the ball as it hung in the air, giving Michigan a chip shot field goal to tie the game. They rode the momentum of the Hail Mary into overtime, winning 38-31.

Instead of focusing solely on the play of the game, Zach Travis of SB Nation's Michigan Wolverines blog, Maize 'N Brew, examined Gardner's excellent play.

Today it was all about Devin Gardner. The defense was hit or miss for most of the afternoon, but Gardner continually found ways to come up with big plays at the right time. . .and he finished the game completing 16/29 for 286 yards 2 touchdowns and an interception, while running for 47 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

The win moves Michigan to 7-3 on the season, and keeps the Wolverines tied atop the Legends standings with Nebraska at 5-1 in the conference, however Nebraska owns the tiebreaker as they won the head-to-head matchup. Michigan's season continues Saturday against Iowa.