Michigan Wins Overtime Thriller; Tops Virginia Tech in 78th Allstate Sugar Bowl
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Gibbons game-winner came just after Virginia Tech kicker Justin Myer missed a 37-yarder on the Hokies' overtime possession.
The game was the first Sugar Bowl to reach overtime. Michigan's win caps an 11-2 season, while Virginia Tech ends with an 11-3 record. Michigan's win also gives the Big Ten back-to-back Sugar Bowl victories as Ohio State topped Arkansas in the 2011 contest.
"It was a great college football game," said Michigan coach Brady Hoke. "You had two teams who played extremely hard. We talked about playing 60 minutes of Michigan football and I think we played about 63 and a half minutes. So I'm just real proud."
Michigan wide receiver Junior Hemingway took home Most Valuable Player honors after a pair of highlight reel touchdown catches. The first, a 45-yard scoring strike from quarterback Denard Robinson, gave the Wolverines a 7-6 lead just before halftime. The second, a catch in traffic at the back of the endzone, put Michigan up 17-6 early in the third quarter.
Virginia Tech pulled to within 17-9 on a 36-yard Myer field goal in the third quarter to set up a wild final frame that twice saw the Hokies tie the game.
Hokie quarterback Logan Thomas capped off a 61-yard drive with a one-yard rushing touchdown before hitting Marcus Davis on the two-point conversion to knot the score at 17-17 with 10:22 left in the game.
Michigan once more took the lead when Gibbons nailed a 39-yard field goal with 4:00 left in the game. But Thomas led the Hokies on an 83-yard drive, culminating in Myer's 25-yard field goal that tied the score at 20-20 and force overtime.
Virginia Tech nearly scored a touchdown on their overtime possession but Thomas' pass to Danny Coale in the endzone was ruled incomplete after video review. That led to Myer's 37-yard field goal attempt that sailed wide right and set up Gibbons' winner for the Wolverines.
"I'm really proud of our football team," said Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer. "I thought we battled back and showed great heart. They hung in there and battled when things didn't look great. I'm proud of that."
Myer hit on field goals of 37, 43, 36 and 25 yards in regulation, tying the record for most field goals made in a BCS game. Michigan linebacker Jake Ryan tied the Sugar Bowl record with four tackles for loss.
Thomas led Virginia Tech with 214 yards and an interception on 19-of-28 passing. He also added 53 yards rushing with one touchdown on 16 carries. Coale had eight receptions for 117 yards. Running back David Wilson had 82 yards on 24 carries
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson had 117 yards passing, completing nine of his 21 attempts with the two touchdown passes to Hemingway.