College football fans with a hangover from Oregon's stunning, high-scoring win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl 2012 are in luck with the Sugar Bowl 2012 -- defense has ruled.
The thrills haven't been absent, however, particularly in the closing minutes of the first half.
#11 Virginia Tech and #13 Michigan entered with two of the top defensive teams in the country. Virginia Tech's defense was ranked 13th in the nation in the regular season, allowing just 313.9 yards per game, while Michigan was ranked 18th in defense nationally, giving up 317.6 yards per game.
But in the Sugar Bowl, defense has ruled so far, though the offenses did perk up just a bit before the half -- Wolverine style. Michigan scored its first points on a touchdown pass with just 49 seconds remaining in the half, and added another another field goal as time expired for the half after a crazy string of plays to take a 10-6 lead into the locker room. Denard Robinson threw the touchdown pass, while balancing on one foot, to Junior Hemingway for 45 yards and a score.
On the ensuing kickoff Virginia Tech fumbled and Michigan recovered at the Hokie 26. Three plays later Michigan was forced to try a 46-yard field goal. They faked it, and the batted pass on what appeared to be a broken play was caught by a Michigan lineman after a Virginia Tech player tipped it at the Hokie eight-yard line.
Michigan has just 145 yards of total offense in the game in taking the lead with 10 points in the final minute of the first half, while Virginia Tech has 185 yards of offense.