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Michigan Narrowly Survived Army’s Upset Bid In Double Overtime

For a moment, it looked like Michigan was going to get taken down in the Big House. The seventh-ranked Wolverines played host to the always dangerous Army Black Knights, and between a whole lot of fumbles, some questionable play calling, and a pesky opponent with their eyes on an upset, the situation was dire in Ann Arbor for the nation’s seventh-ranked team. However, Michigan was able to come out on top, winning a 24-21 double overtime thriller against their foes from West Point.

From the get go, it was obvious that the Black Knights were going to do everything they could to take it to the Wolverines. Army recovered a fumble on Michigan’s first possession, and following a 10-play march down the field, punched it into the end zone.

The Wolverines were able to respond, but needed a bit of good fortune to get there. Army went full punt block on the following possession, leading to a well-executed fake punt and, eventually, six points for Michigan.

Then, some awfully bad luck befell the home team. The Black Knights put the ball on the deck, leading to Wolverine safety Josh Metellus recovering and waltzing into the end zone. The play was ruled dead, however, with the officials saying Metellus’ knee was down when he picked the ball up. It was not, but the play is not reviewable, and on Michigan’s first play of the ensuing possession, they fumbled. You can probably guess who fell on it.

In all, the Wolverines fumbled the ball three times in the first half. Their final fumble was recovered by Army, who then ripped off an 11-play dive en route to the end zone. Once the dust settled and the halftime whistle blue, the Black Knights found themselves up, 14-7.

Michigan was able to get six points following halftime, but as we’ve seen over the years, you have to put Army away or else they will raise hell. That exact thing happened, and twice in the fourth quarter, the Wolverines got absolutely stuffed on fourth downs.

Army got the ball with the chance to win, and with two seconds left on the clock, freshman kicker Cole Talley lined up for the first field goal attempt of his collegiate career. It looked like it had just enough leg from 50 yards out, but Talley pushed it wide to send us to overtime.

Both teams found pay dirt in the first overtime, while Michigan settled for three when they got the ball in the second extra frame. Now, if you’ve seen Army play football, you know that bad things run the risk of happening when they find themselves in a second or third-and-long situation. The Black Knights lost three yards on a second-and-8 run, and on third down, they dropped back to pass. Michigan responded by making a play, forcing a fumble and ending the game.

It was one heck of an effort by Army, which ran the ball 61 times for 200 yards on the day. Michigan, meanwhile, gained 340 yards of total offense, and if not for a trio of fumbles, perhaps things would have been a bit more one-sided. College football fans were instead treated to a nail-biter in Ann Arbor, and while the Wolverines got pushed to the brink, they managed to survive an upset bid. Now, they’ll head into a bye week before a clash with 17th-ranked Wisconsin in Madison.

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