Michigan and Higdon nip Indiana 27-20 in overtime
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Michigan Wolverines rode three touchdown runs and 200 rushing yards by Karan Higdon to beat the Indiana Hoosiers 27-20 in overtime in a hard-fought battle of Big Ten Conference combatants during homecoming at Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
This marked Michigan’s 22nd consecutive victory over IU and 37th triumph in the last 38 contests between the two.
After opening with four straight wins, the 16th-ranked Wolverines were coming off their first loss of the season, a 14-10 setback to Michigan State last Saturday at the Big House in Ann Arbor.
This Saturday, Michigan scored first, jumping out to a 3-0 lead at the 6:35 juncture of the first quarter on a 40-yard field goal by Rockford’s Quinn Nordin. Indiana came right back, driving downfield before the Wolverines blocked a field goal attempt and returned it deep into Hoosier territory.
That culminated in Nordin booting a 38-yard field goal on the very first play of the second stanza for a 6-0 Michigan advantage.
The Wolverines went up 13-0 when Higdon scampered around the left side from 12 yards out with 10:19 to go in the second.
Indiana had its best field position so far after three penalties were called on Michigan on a single play with 2:30 remaining until intermission. The Hoosiers ultimately settled for a 32-yard field goal by Griffin Oakes to close to within 13-3 with 1:46 showing on the clock. That margin held up at halftime.
Indiana roared out of the locker room at the start of the second half and drove 64 yards on six plays, eventually scoring on an 8-yard run by Morgan Ellison to slice the deficit to 13-10 with 12:06 remaining in the third period. That score stood at the final break.
With 10:25 left in the game, Higdon broke loose for a 59-yard TD run to increase the bulge to 20-10 in Michigan’s favor.
As time wound down, the Hoosiers converted a long punt return into an 8-yard touchdown pass to Whop Philyor with 3:27 to go to close to within 20-17. Indiana then narrowly missed recovering an onside kick.
As time elapsed in regulation, Oakes converted a 46-yard field goal to deadlock the score at 20-all.
In overtime, the Wolverines had first possession and immediately scored on their very first play on a Higdon 25-yard run for a 27-20 edge. The defense then held the Hoosiers scoreless on fourth-and-goal to set the final score.
Michigan is now 5-1 on the season entering next Saturday night’s big showdown with No. 2-rated Penn State at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pa. The Nittany Lions are 6-0 and enjoyed a bye this week.
Indiana now stands 3-3 going into its own date with Michigan State next Saturday afternoon in East Lansing.