Gibbons' late FG lifts Michigan over Michigan State
Ann Arbor, MI (Sports Network) - Brendan Gibbons buried three field goals on Saturday, including a 38-yarder with less than 10 seconds remaining to send No. 23 Michigan to a 12-10 triumph over Michigan State.
Denard Robinson threw for 163 yards and an interception on 14-of-29 passing and added 96 yards on the ground for the Wolverines (5-2, 3-0 Big Ten), who became the first program in NCAA history to reach 900 victories with their 12th consecutive win at home.
Michigan regained control of the Paul Bunyan Trophy for the first time since 2007 and earned a home victory over the Spartans for the first time since Oct. 7, 2006.
Andrew Maxwell finished 21-of-34 passing for 192 yards, one touchdown and one interception, while Le'Veon Bell rushed 26 times for 68 yards in the setback, as Michigan State (4-4, 1-3) saw its four-game winning streak against the Wolverines come to an end.
"I asked our players to man up and play with pride. I asked them to play with confidence and toughness and we did that," Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said. "So in the end you have to take what comes down the road and stomach it. But we'll be alright...we'll rise up."
Dan Conroy's 19-yard field goal gave Michigan State a one-point lead midway through the fourth, but Robinson broke off a 44-yard run on the second play of the Wolverines' ensuing possession to move his squad into MSU territory.
Michigan would come up empty however, as a back-to-back penalties on third down pushed the Wolverines out of field goal range and forced a punt with 3:07 remaining in the contest.
After a quick three-and-out from the Spartans, Michigan took over at their own 38-yard line with two minutes left.
Vincent Smith's 12-yard rush moved the Wolverines to midfield before Robinson picked up a first down with a 2-yard surge.
With 18 seconds left and no timeouts, Robinson bought some time in the pocket and delivered a strike to Drew Dileo across the middle for 20 yards to the Michigan State 21-yard line.
Dileo, who finished with four catches for 92 yards, was then able to corral the snap and get the hold down for Gibbons' game-winning field goal.
"You teach those situations, you talk about those situations," said Michigan coach Brady Hoke of the final drive. "I really thought that Denard (Robinson) handled it well. He ran the offense, the other guys hurried back to the line of scrimmage."
After a scoreless first quarter, Michigan got on the board early in the second when Gibbons capped an 11-play, 77-yard march with a 24-yard field goal.
The Spartans answered with a drive into Michigan territory, but Conroy was unable to connect on a 38-yard field goal try.
The teams then exchanged three-and-outs before the Wolverines added a 48- yarder from Matt Wile to take a 6-0 lead into the locker room.
Michigan State forced a punt on Michigan's opening possession of the second half and used a 10-play, 80-yard trek to account for the game's lone touchdown.
Maxwell completed all five of his passes on the march, including a 2-yard scoring strike to Paul Lang to give the Spartans a 7-6 lead with 7:19 left in the third.
Maxwell was intercepted in Michigan territory late in the third, and Robinson led the Wolverines on a 10-play, 54-yard march that culminated in Gibbons' 21- yarder early in the fourth to make it a 9-7 contest.
The Wolverines forced Michigan State into a 4th-and-9 on the ensuing possession, but the Spartans faked a punt deep in their own territory, as punter Mike Sadler took the snap and rushed 26 yards around the right end for a fresh set of downs.
The successful fake punt seemed to energize the Spartan offense, as Maxwell and Bell moved the visitors deep into Michigan territory, but the Spartans settled for a 19-yard field goal from Conroy to grab a 10-9 lead with 5:48 left.
The Spartans have now lost back-to-back Big Ten games for the first time in the same season since October 2009 after losing to Iowa in double-overtime last week ... Michigan leads the all-time series, 68-32-5 ... Michigan outrushed Michigan State, 163-112. The team that has won the rushing battle has won 40 of the past 43 meetings in the series ... The last time Michigan won a game without scoring a touchdown was a 5-0 decision against Purdue on Nov. 11, 1995.
10/20 20:09:20 ET