ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Jake Moody hit his fourth field goal of the game and the biggest of his career as he guided Michigan to a 19-17 victory over Illinois. Moody’s 35-yard field goal came with nine seconds left in the game keeping Michigan’s perfect season alive at 11-0 and setting another great scenario for “The Game.”
“Never in my entire career, actually, in high school, middle school, nothing as that was my first walk-off, game winner,” said Moody. “I knew it was in before I kicked it but obviously you don’t know for sure until you actually hit and right when I hit it I knew it was right down the middle and that’s such a great feeling.”
Moody scored 12 of the 19 points in the game hitting four field goals as three came in the fourth quarter. Illinois was ahead, 17-10, headed into the fourth quarter after taking the lead on a 37-yard Chase Brown run with 1:36 on the clock. With 12:31 left, Moody nailed a 41-yard field goal to cut Illinois lead to four, 17-13. Nine minutes later, Michigan drove 54 yards to the Illinois 15-yard line where they were stopped on a third-and-11. Moody came out and hit a 33-yard field goal making it a one-point game, 17-16.
Michigan’s defense came through holding Illinois to a three-and-out. The Illini’s short punt of 30-yards gave the Wolverines the ball at their own 48-yard line. J.J. McCarthy came on to give his team a chance to win. In the first set of downs, it was fourth-and-three as McCarthy completed a tough eight-yard pass to Isaiah Gash for the first down. A pass interference on the next play set up a first-down on the 22-yard line. Two incomplete passes and a five-yard run set up a fourth-and-five with nine seconds left. Moody ran in, had a perfect snap, and sent the ball through the uprights for the victory.
McCarthy says, “It’s the game you dream about when you go to sleep as a kid where it’s a last second field goal and you have to drive down the field and you have to make some crazy, situational fourth down plays – it’s everything you dream about and it was so awesome to see it come to fruition.”
He went 18-of-34 for 208 yards and no touchdowns as Colston Loveland had 50 yards on three catches. Blake Corum continued his streak of 100+ yard games with 109 yards on 18 carries and one touchdown. He did, though, leave the game with an injury and didn’t return.
“It was a lot of fun and very competitive. This is something you prepare for, definitely all week. You prepare for a dog fight, you prepare for a very tough, fought game. It feels good to come out on the winning side. Being part of such a competitive game is fun,” says Ronnie Bell.
Corum put Michigan up in the first quarter, 7-0, on a two-yard run. Illinois scored with 4:03 left in the second quarter to pull within four, 7-3, at the half.
Moody hit his first of four field goals in the second half with 7:43 left in the third quarter for a 10-3 lead. Illinois then tied the game at 10 on an eight-yard Chase Brown run with 7:43 on the clock. Brown then game the Illini the lead, 17-10, with 1:36 left in the quarter on a 37-yard run. That set up the miracle fourth quarter for Moody hitting three field goals for the win.
Michigan’s 11-0 start is the first since 2006 and now has a 15-game home winning streak and 13-game Big Ten winning streak.
“THE GAME” will be played next Saturday at 12:00 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio, with a 12:00 p.m. start.