College football

Northwestern falls to Michigan in triple OT

2013-11-16T21:16:00Z 2013-11-16T23:09:28Z Northwestern falls to Michigan in triple OTAndrew Seligman AP Sports Writer nwitimes.com
November 16, 2013 9:16 pm  • 

EVANSTON, Ill. | Losses keep piling up for Northwestern, and they're getting more brutal by the week.

As if losing the previous game on a desperation pass wasn't enough, this happened.

Brendan Gibbons kicked a tying 44-yard field goal at the end of regulation and Devin Gardner scored on a 5-yard run to lift Michigan to a 27-19 triple-overtime win over the Wildcats on Saturday.

Gardner scored on an option and ran it in on the two-point conversion to make it an eight-point game.

Northwestern had one more chance, but Trevor Siemian got sacked for a 14-yard loss by Jibreel Black on second down. Then, his desperation pass on fourth down got intercepted by Thomas Gordan in the end zone, giving the Wolverines (7-3, 3-3 Big Ten) their second win in five games and sending the Wildcats (4-6, 0-6) to their sixth straight loss.

"It's pretty unbelievable," kicker Jeff Budzien said. "It's shocking. It's depressing. If you had told me we'd be 4-6 at this time of year, I would have laughed at you."

This loss comes after they fell by three at Nebraska two weeks earlier when Cornhuskers' Jordan Westerkamp snagged Ron Kellogg III's tipped desperation heave with no time left.

It also continues a spiral that began when they blew a 10-point third-quarter lead and lost by 10 to Ohio State at home on Oct. 5.

"It's been rough," Siemian said. "It's been rough for me. It's been rough for everybody else in the locker room, Coach Fitz (Pat Fitzgerald). It's not fun, but we just keep working."

They were in line to win when Gibbons converted in a chaotic finish at the end of regulation.

The field goal unit sprinted onto the field, and Gibbons nailed a 44-yarder as time expired to send the game to overtime tied at 9, a play that coach Brady Hoke might have been the best he's witnessed.

"The last play of regulation is a play that a lot of team may not follow through and be successful," he said. "That tells you about the discipline of these guys playing together. How they got on the field. How the guys that weren't on that team got off the field. It might be the best single play I've ever seen."

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