No. 7 Michigan holds on to beat Army in 2OT

NCAA Football
Army Michigan NCAA football

Michigan wide receiver Ronnie Bell (8) rushes after a reception for a first down in the second overtime period of an NCAA football game against Army in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. Michigan won 24-21 in double-overtime. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Jake Moody made a 43-yard field goal and No. 7 Michigan forced and recovered a fumble to hold on for a 24-21 double-overtime win over Army on Saturday.

The Wolverines (2-0) didn’t lead until the second extra period and would have lost at the end of regulation to the Black Knights (1-1) if Cole Talley made a 50-yard kick that sailed just short and to the right.

“Sometimes you got to fight like that,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said.

It marked the second straight year the U.S. Military Academy nearly beat a top 10 team for the first time in more than a half-century. The Black Knights pushed No. 5 Oklahoma into overtime on the road last year before losing 28-21.

Army coach Jeff Monken said he was incredibly disappointed to come up short again.

“Our guys had a determination this week and a belief that we were going to win this game long before we showed up,” Monken said.

Army had won 10 straight since, a run that college football’s winningest program barely stopped.

In overtime at the quiet Big House, Black Knights quarterback Kelvin Hopkins ran for a go-ahead, 6-yard touchdown and Michigan extended the game with Zach Charbonnet’s third TD. Hopkins was sacked and lost a fumble to end the game in the second overtime.

Aidan Hutchinson hit Hopkins to jar the ball loose and Josh Uche recovered the fumble to seal the win.

“At that moment, I knew it was game,” Hutchinson said, still holding the final football used in the game about 30 minutes after it ended.

Michigan turned the ball over on downs twice in the fourth, including early in the quarter when Harbaugh could have chosen to kick a go-ahead, 36-yard field goal.

The Black Knights appeared to have the stronger and smarter team for much of the afternoon, running its triple option offense effectively and making fewer mistakes.

Army’s Sandon McCoy scored on a 1-yard TD in the opening quarter after Patterson lost a fumble on his first drive. The Wolverines answered with Charbonnet’s 2-yard touchdown on the ensuing possession to pull into a 7-all tie, a drive they kept alive with a fake punt. On the trick play on a fourth-and-10 from the Michigan 42, a short snap went to Michael Barrett and he threw a 25-yard pass to Dax Hill to pick up a desperately needed first down.

Harbaugh said he would’ve elected to punt if Delvin Gil was not called for a false start, which allowed him to see Army’s punt coverage.

Michigan running back Ben VanSumeren lost a fumble and the Black Knights took advantage, going ahead on Hopkins’ 1-yard TD run late in the second.

Hopkins threw an ill-advised pass on third-and-5 from the Michigan 5 and Lavert Hill intercepted it early in the third quarter. Michigan made the most of the opportunity with the ball, capping a 12-play drive with Charbonnet’s 1-yard TD run and pulled into a 14-all tie.

THE TAKEAWAY

Army: The Black Knights have become a team to watch in major college football. They gave the Sooners a scare last year and went on to win a program-record 11 games, including a third straight bowl victory. Army hasn’t beaten a top 10 team since knocking off No. 9 Penn State in 1963.

Michigan: If the Wolverines can’t figure out how to cut down on fumbling, they will have a hard time approaching their lofty goals of winning the Big Ten title and contending for a national championship. The new-look offense is still a work in progress, clearly, after two games under first-year coordinator Josh Gattis.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Michigan will likely fall out of the top 10 after surviving a scare against an unranked team.

UP NEXT

Army: Plays on Saturday against Texas-San Antonio in the Alamodome.

Michigan: The Wolverines have a lot of time to work on their problems before playing Sept. 21 at No. 17 Wisconsin.

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