HARTFORD, Conn. -- Desmond Morgan made a play when the Michigan defense needed it the most.
Heck, it’s probably the only reason the No. 15 Wolverines (4-0) are still undefeated right now.
Trailing Connecticut 21-14 with just over 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter, Morgan read UConn quarterback Chandler Whitmer’s eyes on a drop back coverage and would leap for a spectacular one-handed interception. He would then proceed return it 29-yards to the Huskies’ 12-yard line. One play later, U-M running back Fitzgerald Toussaint would score to tie the game at 21-21.
“It took me back a little bit,” Morgan said. “It was just a simple zone coverage. I just kind of dropped back and tried to do what I was coached to do, which is kind of read off his eyes. And low and behold he threw it that way -- so I just tried to jump up and make a play on it.”
And it’s a good thing he did, as the Wolverines would eventually take the lead and hold on to a narrow 24-21 win over UConn.
“It gave us some momentum,” said Michigan coach Brady Hoke, whose Wolverines are headed into a Bye next week before they start Big Ten play.
The interception return was a much needed turnover for Michigan, who were just stopped on offense after quarterback Devin Gardner fumbled on fourth and two giving UConn the ball back with the lead. Gardner was especially grateful for the momentum shifting play, considering he had three turnovers of his own in the win.
“That was an amazing play,” Gardner said. “I want to give a lot credit to Desmond. That was pretty spectacular. That’s going to replayed a pretty long time in Michigan history probably. It was a great one handed interception. I just want to thank him for that. It gave us another opportunity and we took advantage of it.”
During the 29-yard return, Morgan made numerous cuts and moves and nearly took it in for the score.
“It kind of took me back to the high school days a little bit,” Morgan said. “I just tried to follow the blockers and all those guys on the defense did a great job of hustling and trying to get on somebody. So I just followed them.”
Michigan next game is at home versus Minnesota on Oct. 5.