Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Sports

No. 4 Michigan holds off No. 8 Wisconsin 14-7

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Jourdan Lewis leaped, fully extended his right arm, squeezed the point of the football into his palm and pinned it against his hip.

No. 4 Michigan needed the spectacular play to seal its latest victory, the first one that wasn't a rout this season.

Wilton Speight threw a tiebreaking, 46-yard touchdown pass to Amara Darboh midway through the fourth quarter and Lewis made his spectacular play near midfield with 2:15 left, helping the Wolverines hold on to beat No. 8 Wisconsin 14-7 on Saturday. The interception was reminiscent of a one-handed reception famously made by a New York Giants receiver.

"I've seen Odell Beckham do that," Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh said. "The most impressive thing about it was he jumped a little early."

The Wolverines (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) beat a top-10 opponent for the first time since a Rich Rodriguez-coached team rallied to beat the ninth-ranked Badgers in 2008. And it was a defensive struggle throughout.

Wisconsin (4-1, 1-1) had the ball at its 8 with 2:59 and no timeouts left with a chance to beat a third team ranked in the top 10. The Badgers went for it on fourth and 10 from its 8, and Alex Hornibrook's deep pass was picked off by Lewis. Lewis leaped to snatch the ball out of the air reminded some of a one-handed interception Charles Woodson made in 1997 at Michigan State.

"It's a great feeling to be compared to someone so great," Lewis said. "It's humbling."

Hornibrook , in his second start, threw three interceptions. The freshman quarterback did throw a tying, 17-yard touchdown pass to Dare Ogunbowale midway through the third quarter. Hornibrook finished 9-of-25 for 88 yards, and the Badgers were held to just 71 yards rushing.

"We couldn't really get any drives going," Hornibrook said.

Wisconsin was 1-of-6 on third downs in the fourth quarter and earned a first down on just 3 of 15 third downs.

"We didn't convert," Badgers coach Paul Chryst said. "We didn't get anything consistently going in the run game."

Michigan had chances to have a bigger cushion, but Kenny Allen missed two field goals and his replacement, Ryan Tice missed a field goal.

"To win championships, you've got to make field goals," said Harbaugh, adding the two will compete during practice for the job.

The Badgers have impressive wins against then-No. 8 Michigan State and then-No. 5 LSU, but the road ahead doesn't get easier. Wisconsin's run of games against top-10 teams extends to three with a home game against No. 2 Ohio State.

"The season's only going to keep getting harder," said Corey Clement, who ran for 68 yards on 17 carries.

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