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Michigan Wins With 31-Point Quarter

October 11, 2003|From Associated Press

John Navarre directed the biggest comeback in Michigan history and put the Wolverines back into the Big Ten Conference race.

Garrett Rivas kicked a 33-yard field goal with 47 seconds left to cap Michigan's 31-point fourth quarter as the 20th-ranked Wolverines rallied for a 38-35 victory over No. 17 Minnesota on Friday night at Minneapolis.

"It just speaks to the human spirit," Michigan Coach Lloyd Carr said. "And those kids showed tremendous spirit."

The victory was the Wolverines' 15th in a row over the Golden Gophers in the 100th anniversary of the game that began the series for the Little Brown Jug.

Michigan trailed, 28-7, at the start of the fourth quarter, but the Wolverines (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten) pulled within 35-28 on Navarre's 52-yard scoring pass to Braylon Edwards with 10:18 remaining.

Trailing, 35-28, Michigan got the ball back at its 40 with just over eight minutes to play. On second down, Navarre connected with Chris Perry for an 18-yard gain to the Minnesota 13. Two plays later, Perry rumbled in for a touchdown from 10 yards to tie the score.

Perry, who entered as the nation's fifth-leading rusher at 129 yards a game, was held to 85. But he caught 11 passes for 122 yards and his 10-yard scoring reception in the fourth quarter started the rally from the 28-7 deficit.

"I think that was a turning point because we answered quickly," Carr said.

"From that point forward, we had a tremendous sense of confidence."

Just 1:24 after Perry's catch, Jacob Stewart intercepted a pass by Asad Abdul-Khaliq and ran it back for a 34-yard score to make it 28-21.

Abdul-Khaliq then scored on a 52-yard run for the Gophers' final points.

Minnesota (6-1, 2-1) looked to be on its way to its first victory over Michigan since 1986, but the touchdowns by Edwards and Perry tied the score and set up the winning drive.

Navarre guided the Wolverines to the Gopher 22 before Rivas made his kick.

Navarre completed 33 of 47 passes for 353 yards with an interception and two touchdown passes.

The comeback eclipsed Michigan's rally from a 17-0 deficit in a 1995 game against Virginia. The Wolverines won that game, 18-17.

"We made up our minds that we've got to win this game," Navarre said. "We kept on the roll and got some good breaks with our defense and special teams. We made up our minds and were not denied."

Minnesota had a 424-94 edge in rushing and scored its most points against Michigan since 1937.

"You can never just say you won the game because of how many yards you rushed for," Abdul-Khaliq said.

"You have to go out, and at the end of the game, you have to be up by a point."

Marion Barber III ran for 197 yards in 21 carries and set a school record in the first quarter with his 14th rushing touchdown of the season. Freshman Laurence Maroney ran for 81 yards and two scores, and Abdul-Khaliq finished with 106 yards in nine carries -- including the 52-yard touchdown that put Minnesota ahead, 35-21.

Minnesota has not defeated Michigan in Minneapolis since 1977.

No. 18 Texas Christian 13, South Florida 10 -- Cory Rodgers scored on a 43-yard reception in the first quarter and Nick Browne kicked two field goals at Tampa, Fla., as the Horned Frogs ended the nation's second-longest home winning streak at 21 games.

TCU (6-0, 3-0 Conference USA) held a 13-3 lead in the fourth quarter before South Florida (3-2, 2-1) rallied.

Brian Fisher broke a tackle at his 30 and returned a punt to the Horned Frog 32 to give the Bulls the spark they needed. Six plays later, he scrambled left, then back to his right before throwing to Elgin Hicks for a 19-yard touchdown with 9:27 remaining.

Fisher directed one more drive, but couldn't get his team past midfield. South Florida, which was held to 126 yards, punted with 3:23 remaining and didn't get the ball back.

TCU is one of 10 Division I-A teams that remain unbeaten. The Horned Frogs have won eight in a row for the nation's second-longest winning streak behind Ohio State's 20.

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