1:00 PM ET, October 8, 2005
Michigan Stadium, ANN ARBOR, MI
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- The Minnesota Golden Gophers planted their flag in the middle of the field and stormed Michigan's sideline looking for the Little Brown Jug.
They definitely earned it.
Jason Giannini kicked a 30-yard field goal with a second left, lifting Minnesota to a 23-20 win over the 21st-ranked Wolverines on Saturday for the Gophers' first win in the series since 1986.
On third-and-10 from the Minnesota 26, Gary Russell ran 61 yards to set up the game-winning kick for the Gophers (5-1, 2-1 Big Ten).
After Michigan was unable to return the final kickoff for a score, the Gophers captured the bulky water jug -- which dates to 1903 and is the oldest trophy in Division I-A football -- lifted it over their heads and celebrated in front of a stunned crowd of 111,117.
"They probably didn't think we'd get it," linebacker Kyle McKenzie said.
The two-time defending conference champion Wolverines (3-3, 1-2) are off to their worst start since also having a 3-3 record in 1990.
"This was not just for the Jug, it was for the Big Ten championship," linebacker LaMarr Woodley said. "They came across and took all that away."
Garrett Rivas had two chances to break a 20-all tie for the Wolverines, but he missed a 42-yard field-goal attempt late in the third quarter and a 34-yard kick with 8:27 left.
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr insisted he still had confidence in Rivas and was curious to see how his team would respond.
"Obviously, we're in a position we're not accustomed to being, but there are no promises out there," Carr said. "We'll see how we handle this particular position."
After Rivas' second miss, the Wolverines drove to Minnesota's 43 on their next possession but had to punt.
With backup quarterback Tony Mortensen playing for Bryan Cupito, who was shaken up by a hit, Minnesota coach Glen Mason said the Gophers were hoping to just hand the ball off and play for overtime.
"We definitely didn't want to give the ball back to Michigan," Mason said.
But Russell -- who split time with star running back Laurence Maroney -- ran around the right end and sprinted down the sideline to give Minnesota the ball at Michigan's 13.
"I thought we were going to run the clock out so I had to keep two hands on the ball," Russell said.
Maroney ran for 129 yards on 36 carries and Russell had 128 on 18 attempts. Cupito was 11-of-23 for 139 yards and a touchdown before being knocked out of the game by Woodley's hit just after throwing an incomplete pass midway through the fourth quarter. Cupito left the game with a concussion, but Mason said he was OK.
Michigan's Mike Hart had 109 yards rushing and a TD, and Chad Henne was 14-of-29 for 155 yards.
"I thought he missed some open receivers," Carr said. "I thought he had five balls dropped."
The Wolverines led 13-10 at halftime.
Jakari Wallace opened the second half with a 60-yard return, and the Gophers drove to Michigan's 5 before stalling and settling for Giannini's 26-yard field goal to tie the game.
Steve Breaston returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards to give the Wolverines a 20-13 lead. It was Michigan's first kickoff return for a TD since 1994.
Minnesota responded with a 13-play drive -- with four third-down conversions -- and tied the game on Maroney's 1-yard run midway through the third quarter.
Before both teams combined for 17 points in a 4:52 span late in the first half, neither team did much offensively.
The Wolverines drove to Minnesota's 6 on the first possession of the game but only had Rivas' 23-yard field goal to show for it. Giannini tied the game early in the second quarter with a 29-yard kick.
Rivas' 47-yard field goal and Hart's 1-yard run on a fourth down gave Michigan a 13-3 lead. Cupito perfectly lofted a 20-yard pass to Ernie Wheelwright in the end zone to make it 13-10.
Minnesota then outplayed the Wolverines in the second half, gaining a measure of revenge after blowing fourth-quarter leads in the previous two meetings.
"I watched the heartbreak the last two years and everyone said we couldn't beat Michigan," offensive tackle Tony Brinkhaus said. "When there was 1 second left, I kept looking around and wondering, 'Where's the Jug?'"
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Jason Giannini nailed a 30-yard field goal on the final play to lift the Golden Gophers over the Wolverines.
Gameball goes to... Gary Russell, who gained 128 yards on 18 carries for the Gophers. Russell's 61-yard run set up Giannini's game-winning kick.
Stat of the game... 16: Minnesota's losing streak to Michigan, prior to Saturday's win. The Gophers' last win against the Wolverines came in 1986.
The Fan Pick
28.9% of College Pick'em players picked Minnesota to win the game.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||9-17||3-14|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||1-1|
|FG||10:26||GARRETT RIVAS 23 YD FG|
Drive info: 12 plays, 67 yards.
|FG||12:40||JASON GIANNINI 29 YD FG|
Drive info: 14 plays, 70 yards.
|FG||5:50||GARRETT RIVAS 47 YD FG|
Drive info: 6 plays, 44 yards.
|TD||3:10||MIKE HART 1 YD RUN (GARRETT RIVAS KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 23 yards.
|TD||0:58||ERNEST WHEELWRIGHT 20 YD PASS FROM BRYAN CUPITO (JASON GIANNINI KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 75 yards.
|FG||12:40||JASON GIANNINI 26 YD FG|
Drive info: 7 plays, 31 yards.
|TD||12:25||STEVE BREASTON 95 YD KICK RETURN (GARRETT RIVAS KICK)||13||20|
|TD||6:12||LAURENCE MARONEY 1 YD RUN (JASON GIANNINI KICK)|
Drive info: 13 plays, 61 yards.
|FG||0:01||JASON GIANNINI 30 YD FG|
Drive info: 8 plays, 75 yards.