Live blog: UM rides defense to 14-7 win over Wisconsin

James Hawkins
The Detroit News
Michigan cornerback Channing Stribling reacts after nearly intercepting a pass intended for Wisconsin wide receiver George Rushing in the first quarter.

Michigan rode its defense all game long and it came up with a pair of huge interceptions in the final 3 minutes 30 seconds of the game to help the No. 4 Wolverines remain unbeaten with a 14-7 win over No. 8 Wisconsin.

Cornerback Channing Stribling hauled in his second interception on an overthrown pass to give the Wolverines the ball at the Badgers’ 45-yard line with 3:24 left.

Michigan was unable to pick up a first down and milk the clock on its ensuing drive, but forced Wisconsin to burn its three timeouts before pinning the Badgers at their 9-yard line with 2:59 left.

Then on a fourth-and-10 from the Wisconsin 8, Jourdan Lewis made a ridiculous one-handed interception on a deep pass over the middle with 2:15 left to seal it.

Darboh's 46-yard score puts UM up, 14-7

After eight consecutive scoreless drives, the Michigan offense was finally able to put some more points on the board.

This time, it came in the big-play variety as Wilton Speight hit Amara Darboh in stride for a 46-yard score to put the Wolverines up 14-7 over Wisconsin with 7:56 left in the fourth quarter.

Darboh’s touchdown catch came one play after his 15-yard reception on a third-and-7 that helped extend the drive. It was also a semblance of redemption for Darboh, who had a crucial drop on a third-and-2 on Michigan’s previous drive.

Meanwhile, the Michigan defense continues to do its job, forcing a pair of three-and-outs on two of the Badgers' next three drives following their touchdown.

UM, Wisconsin trading punts

After Wisconsin and Michigan traded three-and-outs, the Wolverines punt unit continued to struggle and was flagged for holding on a 54-yard punt by Kenny Allen. The penalty tagged on 10 yards to Jazz Peavy’s 12-yard return, giving the Badgers the ball at the 49.

But the Michigan defense continues to bail out the offense. Wisconsin’s Corey Clement broke loose for a 16-yard run to get into Michigan territory, but the Badgers were unable to advance any further and were forced to punt.

Deadlocked at 7 with 12:54 left in the fourth quarter, Michigan has the ball with a first-and-10 at its 7-yard line.

UM's field-goal woes continue vs. Wisconsin

It doesn’t seem to matter who is kicking field goals for Michigan because nothing is working.

After Kenny Allen missed a pair of first-half attempts, Ryan Tice came on to attempt a 40-yarder and give Michigan the lead after Wisconsin tied it at 7 on its previous drive.

But the field-goal woes continued as Tice missed wide right and the Wolverines are now 0-for-3 in the game.

It was a dismal end to an efficient drive that saw Michigan march 64 yards down the field on 11 plays following Wisconsin’s score.

Michigan and Wisconsin remain tied at 7 with 2:25 left in the third quarter.

Badgers cash in after Speight INT, tie it at 7

Just when it looked like the Wolverines caught a break after a roughing the snapper play extended their first drive of the second half, the Wisconsin secondary came up with a field-flipping play.

Wilton Speight’s pass over the middle was tipped by a Wisconsin defender right to Derrick Tindal, who came up with the interception and ran it back 46 yards to give the Badgers’ offense the ball at the Michigan 31.

And Wisconsin wasted little time taking advantage of the short field, needing just five plays to find the end zone on Dare Ogunbowale’s 17-yard touchdown reception from Alex Hornibrook on a wheel route to tie it at 7 with 8:03 left in the third quarter.

Despite missed chances, UM takes 7-0 halftime lead

Cornerback Channing Stribling came up with a huge interception to give the Wolverines the ball at the Wisconsin 44 and another chance to add to its lead with 1:04 left before halftime.

Instead, Michigan came up empty-handed as Wilton Speight was sacked for a 2-yard loss on second down and Jehu Chesson was called for offensive pass interference on a deep ball near the goal line on third down, which Wisconsin declined.

The Wolverines punted the ball away and ran out the rest of the clock to take a 7-0 advantage into halftime that should’ve been more if not for two missed field goals by kicker Kenny Allen.

It was a bleak end to the first half that featured back-to-back false start penalties on Michigan's previous drive when it was punting on fourth down.

At the half, the Wolverines hold a 172-98 edge in total offense. Michigan will receive the ball to start the second half.

Allen misses another FG, UM defense stifling

Once again, the Wolverines weren’t able to cash in on good field position. After taking over at the Wisconsin 39, Michigan picked up a quick first down on a 7-yard pass from Wilton Speight to Amara Darboh and a 5-yard run by Chris Evans drive down to the Badgers’ 27-yard line.

Michigan was only able to muster two more yards on a short completion from Speight to Darboh to give Kenny Allen a shot at redeeming himself for missing a field goal earlier in the game.

Instead, Allen missed his second field goal attempt of the game, this one from 43 yards, as the Wolverines were unable to build on their 7-0 lead with 5:49 left in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, the Michigan defense continues to stifle the Badgers’ offense. Jourdan Lewis broke up a pass on first down before Wisconsin’s Corey Clement was tackled for no gain and Alex Hornibrook was sacked by Ryan Glasgow and Taco Charlton for an 8-yard loss to force a second straight three-and-out.

Allen misses 31-yard FG, UM still up 7-0

After the Michigan defense held Wisconsin to a quick three-and-out and its third straight punt to open the game, the Wolverines offense got good field position and started their drive at their 44-yard line.

Wilton Speight hit Grant Perry for a 20-yard gain to quickly move the ball into Wisconsin territory and De’Veon Smith followed with a 7-yard gain around the left edge. Offensive lineman Grant Newsome was injured on the play and after lying on the field for several minutes, walked off to the locker room.

When play resumed, the Wolverines continued to pound the ball on the ground with Khalid Hill converting a third-and-1 with a 1-yard run to extend the drive at the Wisconsin 15.

The offense failed to come away with any points as Speight avoided a sack and threw a pass that was nearly intercepted in the end zone. Kicker Kenny Allen then came on and missed a 31-yard field goal wide right, keeping Michigan’s lead at 7-0 with 9:47 left in the second quarter.

Wolverines strike first, take 7-0 lead

The Wolverines struck first in the Big Ten heavyweight bout after Khalid Hill capped an 11-play, 77-yard drive by scoring on a 1-yard plunge to give Michigan a 7-0 lead over Wisconsin with 14:56 left in the second quarter.

Michigan’s offense was clicking on its second drive as Wilton Speight started it with a 6-yard pass over middle to an open Jehu Chesson and Chris Evans broke off a 22-yard run to get things rolling.

Speight eventually completed back-to-back passes to Amara Darboh and Evans for 12 and nine yards, respectively, but threw a risky pass to Chesson in double coverage.

Chesson came back with an acrobatic 11-yard catch on the right sideline and an 8-yard run to set up a second-and-2 at the Wisconsin 6.

After the entire offense lined up in an I-formation, De’Veon Smith moved the pile for 5-yard run to give the Wolverines a first-and-goal situation at the Wisconsin 1 and set up Hill’s score on the first play of the second quarter.

On Wisconsin’s previous drive, Corey Clement gave the Badgers some much-needed breathing room after being pinned at their 9-yard line with 19-yard run.

But like the first drive, the Michigan defense stiffened after the big play and didn’t let Wisconsin get into a rhythm. Clement and Dare Ogunbowale were held to 1-yard runs before Michigan’s Delano Hill tackled Anthony Lotti a yard short of the first down on a 7-yard pass from Alex Hornibrook. Wisconsin was forced to punt on second consecutive drive to open the game and kicked it away to the Michigan 23.

Michigan's offense sputters on opening drive

Michigan’s first drive got off to a fast start with Wilton Speight picking up 2-yards on a scramble before connecting with tight end Jake Butt for a 23-yard gain. Speight hit Jehu Chesson for a 6-yard gain and De’Veon Smith was stuffed for a 1-yard gain to set up a third-and-3 at the Michigan 43.

Speight elected to take a shot downfield for Amara Darboh along the left sideline but it was broken up at the last second by Wisconsin’s D’Cota Dixon.

Kenny Allen boomed a 55-yard punt to pin Wisconsin at their 9-yard line to start their second drive. With 7:06 left in first quarter, the heavyweight matchup remains scoreless.

UM defense holds, nearly forces pair of turnovers

Michigan won the coin toss – one that honored Mike Sadler and Sam Foltz – and elected to kickoff to Wisconsin. Michigan’s defense looked poised to force a quick three-and-out after limiting Wisconsin running back Corey Clement to minimal gains on first and second down. Then on third-and-7, Alex Hornibrook completed 24-yard pass over the middle to Robert Wheelwright to move the ball past midfield.

Three plays later on a third-and-1, Wisconsin’s Alec Ingold gained two yards and appeared to turn the ball over after Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers forced the fumble and recovered it. The play was overturned after review and ruled that Ingold's knee was down before losing possession.

Wisconsin wasn’t able to take advantage of the break and almost turned the ball over again as cornerback Channing Stribling nearly came up with an interception along the right sideline. The Michigan defense held and forced Wisconsin to punt it away to the Michigan 11-yard line, where the Wolverines will start their first drive. The game is scoreless with 9:43 left in first quarter.

Pregame info

No. 4 Michigan takes aim at a 5-0 start Saturday in a huge Big Ten showdown against No. 8 Wisconsin. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. Follow the action here with live updates throughout the game by James Hawkins of The Detroit News.