Karan Higdon rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with 4:06 remaining, and No. 14 Michigan rallied from a 17-point deficit to defeat pesky Northwestern 20-17 on Saturday.
Higdon carried 30 times for Michigan (4-1, 2-0 Big Ten), which won its fourth straight. Quarterback Shea Patterson passed for 196 yards while completing 15 of 24 attempts. He also rushed for 31 yards on seven carries.
Clayton Thorson was 16 of 27 for 174 yards for Northwestern (1-3, 1-1), which has lost three straight. The Wildcats were held to 28 rushing yards on 34 carries.
The Wolverines moved ahead on Higdon’s 5-yard run, capping off an 11-play, 67-yard drive that took nearly six minutes. Higdon’s score was set up by Patterson’s 22-yard pass to tight end Zach Gentry.
Michigan then forced a punt and Patterson picked up a clock-burning first down with an 8-yard run on 3rd-and-6. Northwestern got the ball back in the final minute but Thorson was sacked for the sixth time on the final play.
The Wildcats scored on their first three possessions and led 17-7 at halftime.
Thorson scored on a 1-yard run to finish off Northwestern’s first possession. His 36-yard hookup with JJ Jefferson set up the score.
Charlie Kuhbander’s career-long 45-yard field goal midway through the quarter gave the Wildcats a 10-0 lead.
Northwestern made a couple of third-down conversions on its next scoring drive, which culminated with John Moten IV’s 3-yard touchdown run.
Michigan’s offense finally awoke with a 79-yard drive to get on the board. A 25-yard end around by Donovan Peoples-Jones set up Higdon’s 4-yard scoring run.
The Wolverines had an 11-play drive in the third quarter but settled for Quinn Nordin’s 23-yard field goal, cutting the Wildcats’ lead to 17-10.
Michigan once again drove deep inside Northwestern territory later in the third but settled for a 24-yard Nordin field goal on the quarter’s last play.
—Field Level Media