ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Braylon Edwards experienced a joy millions of NFL dollars couldn't buy.
Edwards caught two touchdown passes to help Michigan erase a 17-point, fourth-quarter deficit in only 5 minutes 44 seconds, and grabbed a third scoring pass in triple overtime Saturday to lift the Wolverines to a 45-37 win over Michigan State.
"This is why I came back," said Edwards, who chose to be a Michigan senior rather than an NFL rookie this year. "I've never felt like this after a game."
The Spartans have probably never left Michigan Stadium -- where they haven't won since 1990 -- more devastated.
"It was a game I feel we could have won and should have won," Michigan State Coach John L. Smith said. "I'm just sick."
With the thrilling comeback, No. 12 Michigan (8-1, 6-0 Big Ten) moved a half-game ahead of idle Wisconsin in the conference and kept its hopes alive for a bowl championship series bid.
"It was one of the greatest games I've ever been in," Michigan Coach Lloyd Carr said. "It's unfortunate somebody has to lose.
"We're still in the race. We still have a chance to do something."
The Spartans (4-4, 3-2) had a great chance to pull off an upset but could not hold onto a 27-10 lead with 8:43 left.
The Spartans were without their standout quarterback, Drew Stanton, after he separated his right shoulder late in the first half.
After accounting for 80 yards and a touchdown rushing and 95 yards passing, Stanton was relegated to watching the lead he helped build slip away.
"That was real hard," said Stanton, who is expected to miss at least a couple of games. "I can't even try to explain it."
Smith was asked why he left Jaren Hayes in one-on-one coverage on both of Edwards' touchdowns in regulation.
"Our kid was there to make a play. He just went up a foot higher," Smith said. "I'm not going to pound on my kid for that. The other guy is just a great athlete."
Edwards caught 11 passes for 189 yards, and broke Anthony Carter's school record for career yards receiving.
"Braylon Edwards made plays that I don't think anybody else can make," Carr said.
Michigan freshman Chad Henne was 24 for 35 for 273 yards with four touchdowns. Michael Hart had 33 carries for 224 yards -- his third straight 200-yard game -- and a touchdown, but limped off with a bruised thigh during the first overtime.