No. 7 Michigan holds on to beat Army 24-21 in 2 overtimes

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Sooner or later, head coach Jeff Monken believes, Army will beat a top 10 team, something it hasn’t done for more than half a century.

On Saturday, a year after pushing No. 5 Oklahoma to overtime, the Black Knights had Michigan on the ropes at the Big House. But freshman kicker Cole Talley’s 50-yard kick that would have won the game in regulation was just short and to the right, and Jake Moody made a 43-yard field goal in the second overtime to help the seventh-ranked Wolverines escape 24-21.

“Those guys aren’t in there, ‘Oh, shucks’ and, ‘Isn’t that great, we gave them a good game?’” Monken said. “They’re heartbroken because they believed they were going to win that game.”

The Wolverines (2-0) didn’t lead until the second extra period. Army had won 10 straight, including a third straight bowl game, a run that college football’s winningest program barely stopped.

“The entire football game we made mistakes offensively — penalties, and turnovers, and turnovers on downs,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said. “The defense was not in the best positions, but they played great.”

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 Kwity Paye 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 a triple option offense effectively and making fewer miscues.

“We just came here and took them to overtime with a bunch of guys that, frankly, nobody at this level recruited,” said Monken, whose program last defeated a top 10 team in 1963, when Army beat No. 9 Penn State.

Army’s Sandon McCoy scored on a 1-yard TD in the opening quarter after Wolverines quarterback Shea Patterson lost a fumble on his first drive. The Wolverines responded 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 4th-and-10 from the Michigan 42, a short snap went to Michael Barrett and he threw a 25-yard pass to Dax Hill for the first down.

Harbaugh said he would’ve punted had not Delvin Gil been called for a false start, a penalty that allowed him to see Army’s punt coverage that included a cornerback rushing for a block.

“They jumped offside and they saw it,” Monken said. “They must’ve checked to it, thrown it out there.”

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 3rd-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.

Larry Lage is an Associated Press writer.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/collegesports/article/No-7-Michigan-holds-on-to-beat-Army-24-21-in-2-14422453.php.

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