With the game on the goal line, Michigan's defense is making a habit of coming up big.
Facing fourth and goal in double overtime, the Wolverines broke up a pass from Indiana's Nate Sudfeld, hanging on to beat the Hoosiers, 48-41, on Saturday night in Bloomington.
The goal-line stand of a win comes two weeks after Michigan had to do almost the same thing to hold on for victory against Minnesota.
Jordan Howard was sensational for Indiana, rushing 35 times for 238 yards and three touchdowns. Jake Rudock had a terrific day against Indiana's always-exploitable pass defense, throwing for 440 yards and six touchdowns.
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Howard opened the first overtime with a 16-yard pickup down inside the 10. Not long after, Howard leaped in for a touchdown to give the Hoosiers a 41-34 lead.
On Michigan's second play of overtime, Rudock hit Jake Butt for a 21-yard touchdown to force a second overtime.
The first play of double overtime was a 25-yard deep ball from Rudock to a wide-open Amara Darboh, who corralled it for the go-ahead touchdown.
Howard took the ball inside the 10 again on the Hoosiers' first play of double overtime. Sudfeld kept the ball on the option and reached the two-yard line, bringing up fourth and goal, but the next pass was broken up on the goal line, giving Michigan the win.
Michigan led, 21-9, having allowed just a trio of field goals up until the final minute of the first half. But with less than a minute till the break, Howard scored Indiana's first touchdown of the game. The Wolverines responded with a field goal to make it 24-16 at the half.
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Indiana came roaring back in the third quarter, keeping Michigan off the board and getting a 51-yard punt-return touchdown from Mitchell Paige plus a field goal to take a 26-24 lead.
Michigan was stonewalled and forced to kick a go-ahead field goal halfway through the fourth quarter. But Howard's 24-yard touchdown run and successful two-point conversion made it a one-touchdown lead inside of three minutes to play. The Wolverines took the ball down to the goal line, and with six seconds left, Rudock hit Jehu Chesson, who made a great jumping catch for a game-tying touchdown to force overtime.
As typically is the case in a game featuring Indiana, the offensive numbers were gigantic. Michigan gained 581 total yards, and Indiana gained 527 total yards.
The Wolverines improved to 8-2 with the win, and they still have a chance to win the Big Ten East and advance to the Big Ten title game.
The Hoosiers dropped to 4-6 with the loss and are still without a Big Ten win after starting the season 4-0.