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This past Saturday had all the makings of a disaster for the Michigan Wolverines. Coming into their showdown with the Penn State Nittany Lions at a very loud 2-4, the odds were apparently stacked against the Wolverines.
Devin Gardner didn't care.
Limping in considerable pain on the Michigan sideline after being injured on a failed third-and-one run, Gardner sucked it up and stuck it out - pushing back against a stout Penn State defense to get UM into range for kicker Matt Wile's game-winning 37-yard field goal.
"Devin's leadership has been outstanding," said Michigan coach Brady Hoke, via Steve Kornacki of MGoBlue.com. "And he played a game a year ago with a broken toe for half the game (against Ohio State). So you know he's got a toughness to him. He is turning in -- through his maturation process and everything -- into a tremendous leader. He was cheering the defense on when they were out there, and he wants to compete and play. And the trainers said, 'Yeah, he can go.' "
And go Gardner went, hobbling all the way into the victory formation at the end of the game, missing only two series after his initial injury.
"Yes (there was pain)," Gardner said, "but it's a team out there that needs me, and they said that they needed me, and it's much bigger than just me."
"If I can be out there, I'm going to be out there."