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Turning Point: Michigan-Army

A pick by Lavert Hill took points off the board and kept it a one-score game

The Michigan Wolverines squeezed out a 24-21 overtime win over the Army Black Knights on Saturday, and the final outcome was very much in question from start to finish.

Our turning point this week could have selected a few different instances. It could be argued Shea Patterson’s fumble on the first possession was the turning point in which led to a momentum boost for Army that in turn resulted in a nail-biter of a game. Another option for the turning point could have been the last play of the game where Aidan Hutchinson forced a fumble and Kwity Paye recovered it to seal Michigan’s win. Until that moment, Army still could have won the game in overtime with a touchdown.

The turning point I’m selecting for Week 2 came in the 3rd quarter with Michigan down 14-7 in the 3rd quarter.

It was 3rd & Goal for Army and they appeared poised to at least net 3 points on the drive and go up two-scores, but the Black Knights dialed up a pass play, something they didn’t do often on Saturday.

With Army quarterback Kelvin Hopkins being pressured, he made a poor decision that cost his team points, and drastically impacted their shot at a victory in regulation. Cornerback Lavert Hill made Hopkins pay for his errant pass, hauling in an interception.

Hill’s interception proved to be highly valuable. Michigan’s next drive on offense resulted in a 1-yard TD run by Zach Charbonnet. Instead of Army going up two scores and the game being a 17-7 Army lead, Hill’s interception created a 14-14 tie, and the score remained that way until overtime.

If Hill doesn’t get an interception on that play, it’s likely Michigan would have lost the game, and their hopes of a College Football Playoff berth would’ve been greatly diminished in the process. Fortunately for the Wolverines, Hill’s clutch pick was the turning point the team so desperately needed in Week 2.