Brabbs' last-second field goal deflates Huskies

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Philip Brabbs went from unknown to goat

to man of the hour for Michigan.

The walk-on kicked a 44-yard field goal -- the first of his

career -- as time expired to give Michigan (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today, No. 13 AP) a riveting

31-29 victory over Washington (No. 9 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP) on Saturday.

After missing two previous field goals, Philip Brabbs, right, nailed the winner as Michigan beat Washington.
After missing two previous field goals, Philip Brabbs, right, nailed the winner as Michigan beat Washington.

"I've hung low for a while in college,'' said Brabbs, a junior

who had never attempted a field goal for the Wolverines before

Saturday. "This changes things.''

A blunder by the Huskies made the sensational finish possible.

After the Wolverines failed to complete a pass on third-and-10

with 6 seconds left, Washington was penalized 15 yards for having

12 men on the field. Without the flag, Michigan would have

attempted a 59-yard field goal.

"We switched substitution groups, which we're going to kick

ourselves about for a thousand years,'' Washington coach Rick

Neuheisel said.

Wolverines quarterback John Navarre spiked the ball to stop the

clock at 5 seconds, allowing the field-goal team to get on the

field. To the delight of the crowd of 111,491 at Michigan Stadium,

Brabbs' kick went right down the middle for his first field goal

since he was a senior at Midland (Mich.) Dow High School in 1998.

"I didn't know how to react,'' Brabbs said. "I started doing

circles around the field, then I got tackled by one of my

teammates. Then I had 10 guys on top of me, then everybody piled on

and I got scrunched.''

Brabbs atoned for two misses in the first half from 36 and 42

yards, and he was replaced by Troy Nienberg, who missed a 27-yarder

with 1:24 left.

That gave Washington the ball at its 20-yard line.

Michigan's Chris Perry ran for 120 yards and three touchdowns.

Navarre was 22-of-38 for 268 yards with a TD and an interception.

The Wolverines used all three of their timeouts, forcing Washington

to punt with 1:08 left. Michigan started at its 42.

Before Brabbs' game-winning kick, the Wolverines got another big

break on fourth-and-2 with 32 seconds left.

Officials ruled that the pass that went in and out of Braylon

Edwards' hands and was recovered by teammate Tyrece Butler was a

fumble, not an incomplete pass. Replays appeared to show that

Edwards never had possession. Even Edwards didn't think he'd caught

it, either, because he stood motionless while the ball was on the

ground before Butler pounced on it.

Michigan coach Lloyd Carr made no apologies for getting a

favorable call.

"That game was won five or six times and lost five or six

times,'' Carr said. "And there's no question, when we look back on

this game, the hustle play that Tyrece Butler made to come up with

that ball won the game for us. It gave us a chance. Braylon on the

other hand, he thought he dropped it. Thank God, Tyrece was


Washington's Cody Pickett was 28-of-45 for 318 yards with two

TDs and an interception. Rich Alexis ran for 98 yards and two TDs,

including a 1-yard run with 8:24 to go that put the Huskies ahead


Early in the game, Michigan looked like they were going to win

in a rout, not a thriller.

On its second play of the game, Perry broke through a huge hole

and ran 67 yards almost untouched for a TD. Navarre lofted a

perfect pass to Edwards for a 45-yard TD on the second play of the

second quarter to give Michigan a 14-0 lead.

"You can score too fast,'' Carr said.

Midway through the second quarter, Pickett threw a 3-yard TD

pass to Kevin after converting third- and fourth-down plays inside

Michigan's 17. Alexis' 6-yard run cut Washington's deficit to 14-13

midway through the second quarter.

The Huskies went ahead 20-14 on their first possession of the

second half. On third-and-20, Charles Frederick was double-covered

by brothers Julius and Markus Curry, but Frederick outleaped them

and turned the play into a 51-yard TD.

Michigan responded with a nine-play, 74-yard drive, capped by

Perry's 2-yard TD to take a 21-20 lead with 5:30 left in the third


Washington's Kai Ellis deflected and intercepted a pass at

Michigan's 20 late in the third. John Anderson's 30-yard field goal

put the Huskies up 23-21.

The Wolverines took the lead for a third time on Perry's third

TD, a 3-yard run, which ended an 80-yard drive early in the fourth