Senior nose tackle Terrance Taylor wasn’t going out like that.
With the Michigan football team trailing 19-0 at halftime to No. 9 Wisconsin, Taylor was running through the tunnel when his frustration boiled over. He started yelling, trying to motivate his teammates — especially the offense, which had just 21 total yards and one first down to that point. He kept talking once the Wolverines reached the locker room until the coaches arrived.
Taylor’s impromptu pep talk worked. Michigan (1-0 Big Ten, 2-2 overall) rallied to beat the Badgers, 27-25. The win was the Wolverines’ largest comeback at Michigan Stadium.
Michigan entered the matchup with Wisconsin (0-1 Big Ten, 3-1 overall) unranked for the first time since 1967. The Badgers were ranked for the game for the first time in eight years.
Wisconsin hasn’t won in Ann Arbor since 1994. Michigan has now won 26 of its last 27 Big Ten openers.
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez won his first game against the Badgers after losing in two meetings when he coached West Virginia.
In the first half, the Wolverines played like they didn’t learn a thing in the last four weeks.
A game after turning the ball over six times in a loss at Notre Dame, Michigan had five in the first half against the Badgers.
And after an attempt to drive downfield in closing moments of the first half against Utah ended in an interception that led to a touchdown, Rodriguez called for a pass with fewer than 10 seconds remaining and his team at its own 39-yard line. It was intercepted, but the Wolverines knocked the returner out at eight-yard line.
The Wolverines exploded for 247 yards in the second half.
Michigan finally got on the board when Steven Threet hit freshman tight end Keving Koger for a 26-yard touchdown pass to cap a 14-play, 80 yard drive in the third quarter.
Michigan cut the lead to 19-14 when junior running back Brandon Minor got past a blitzing Wisconsin defense and scampered 34 yards to the end zone.
Jason Gingell’s kickoff went into the endzone, firing up the defense as it went onto the field. Fifth-year senior strongside linebacker John Thompson interecepted a pass on the next play after sophomore Donovan Warren stepped in front of a slant and tipped the ball. With Taylor and a host of defensive linemen blocking in front of him, Thompson scored the go-ahead touchdown.
The Wolverines missed their two-point conversion and led 20-19.
After the defense forced a three and out on the ensuing Wisconsin possession, Threet had a 58-yard run on Michigan’s first offensive play to the Wisconsin 19. Five plays later, freshman running back Sam McGuffie had a three-yard touchdown run with 5:11 left in the game.
Wisconsin scored on a 22-yard touchdown pass with 13 seconds left to cut the Wolverines’ lead to two. But a converted two-point try was called back because an ineligible receiver went down field. Wisconsin couldn’t complete a second chance from the seven-yard line, and Michigan recovered the onside kick.