[ WAC & UH OPPONENTS ]
Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards outran Michigan State cornerback Aston Watson for the winning touchdown yesterday in the third overtime.
Michigan steals win
ANN ARBOR, Mich. » Braylon Edwards experienced a joy millions of NFL dollars couldn't buy.
Edwards caught two touchdown passes to help Michigan erase a 17-point, fourth-quarter deficit in just 5:44, and grabbed a third TD in triple overtime to lift the Wolverines to a 45-37 win over Michigan State yesterday.
"This is why I came back," said Edwards, who chose to be a Michigan senior rather than an NFL rookie this year. "To be honest, I've never felt like this after a game."
The Spartans have probably never left Michigan Stadium -- where they haven't won since 1990 -- more devastated.
"It was a game I feel we could have won and should have won," Michigan State coach John L. Smith said. "I'm just sick."
With the thrilling comeback, No. 12 Michigan (8-1, 6-0 Big Ten) moved a half-game ahead of idle Wisconsin in the conference and kept its hopes alive for a Bowl Championship Series bid.
"It was one of the greatest games I've ever been in," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "It's unfortunate somebody has to lose.
"We're still in the race. We still have a chance to do something."
The Spartans (4-4, 3-2) had a great chance to pull off an upset, but could not hold onto a 27-10 lead with 8:43 left.
The Spartans were without their standout quarterback, Drew Stanton, after he separated his right shoulder late in the first half.
After accounting for 80 yards rushing and a TD and 95 yards passing, Stanton was relegated to watching the lead he helped build slip away.
"That was real hard," said Stanton, who is expected to miss at least a couple of games. "I can't even try to explain it."
Smith was asked to explain why he left Jaren Hayes in one-on-one coverage on both of Edwards' TDs in regulation.
"Our kid was there to make a play. He just went up a foot higher," Smith said. "I'm not going to pound on my kid for that. The other guy is just a great athlete."
Edwards caught 11 passes for 189 yards -- breaking Anthony Carter's school record for career yards receiving.
Fresno St. 42, SMU 0: At Fresno, Calif., Paul Pinegar threw three touchdown passes and Bryson Sumlin added two scoring runs to help the Buldogs (4-3, 1-3 WAC) beat the Mustangs (1-7, 1-4).
The Bulldogs stopped a three-game losing streak, scoring touchdowns on all five of their first-half possessions and their first six overall.
Pinegar completed 14 of 20 passes for 191 yards and no interceptions before backup Jordan Christensen took over late in the third quarter.
UTEP 38, San Jose St. 20: At San Jose, Calif., Jordan Palmer threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score to help the Miners (6-2, 4-1 WAC) secure their second winning season in 16 years by beating the Spartans (2-5, 1-3).
Palmer, with 10 touchdown passes in his last three games, completed his first eight passes in leading the Miners to a pair of first-quarter touchdowns.
The Miners, 24th in the BCS rankings, matched their win total from the past three years combined in winning their third straight conference road game. UTEP won just two games in each of its last three seasons.
Tulsa 39, Rice 22: At Tulsa, Okla., junior college transfer Ashlan Davis scored twice to lead the Golden Hurricane (2-6, 1-3 WAC) to a win over the Owls (3-5, 2-3).
Davis' 83-yard kickoff return and 52-yard touchdown reception from James Killian helped Tulsa to its first win over a Division I-A opponent this season.
Davis' fourth-quarter kickoff return was the junior's third consecutive game returning a kickoff for a touchdown, tying an NCAA record set by Stan Brown of Purdue in 1970.
Florida Atlantic 38, Florida A&M 8: At Tallahassee, Fla., Anthony Crissinger-Hill caught two touchdown passes and the Owls (6-1) piled up a school-record 591 yards of total offense in a victory over the Rattlers (3-6).
Florida Atlantic passed for 315 yards and rushed for another 276, easily breaking the previous school mark of 509 yards set last year against Siena.
Troy 47, Idaho 7: At Troy, Ala., DeWhitt Betterson rushed for 184 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries, leading the Trojans (4-4, 2-2 Sun Belt) to a win over the Vandals (2-7, 1-4).
Betterson passed Ted Horstead to become the all-time leading rusher for Troy, which has won 24 of its last 25 games at Movie Gallery Stadium. He sat out the fourth quarter.
Northwestern 13, No. 17 Purdue 10: At Evanston, Ill., Noah Herron ran 3 yards for a touchdown with 38 seconds left to lift the Wildcats (4-4, 3-2 Big Ten) to their second victory over a top 25 team this year.
The Boilermakers (5-3, 2-3) had a final chance, but Taylor Stubblefield couldn't hold on to a 40-yard-long pass into the end zone as time expired. The pass came from backup quarterback Brandon Kirsch, who replaced one-time Heisman Trophy favorite Kyle Orton at the end of the third quarter.