The Wolverines had gotten a 43-yard field goal from Jake Moody for the final margin.
Last season, Army forced overtime against Oklahoma, an eventual CFP participant, before losing, 28-21 in Norman.
“It is something that attracts our players in coming to school here,” Army Coach Jeff Monken told reporters this week. “They see these games as their opportunity to play with the best.”
Since Monken took over in 2014, the Black Knights have played multiple opponents from the Power Five conferences, including Ohio State, Penn State and Stanford. They also have played Notre Dame.
Michigan entered Saturday’s game with more insight than most programs have of Army’s triple option thanks to assistant coach Shaun Nua. The Wolverines’ first-year defensive line coach spent 2012 through ’17 in the same capacity at Navy, helping the Midshipmen beat their rival in four of six meetings.
“I never liked Army,” Nua said.
The Wolverines limited Army to 200 rushing yards. Last season, the Black Knights averaged 312.5 rushing yards, ranking second in major college football, on the way to finishing 11-2 for the most victories in program history.
The Black Knights, a three-touchdown underdog had a chance to win in regulation, but freshman place-kicker Cole Talley missed a 50-yard attempt wide right as time expired. It was his first kick in a college game.
Still, Army has a favorable schedule the rest of the season in its bid to reach 12 victories.
It doesn’t face another Power Five opponent, although the Black Knights do have plenty of traveling in front of them. On Nov. 2, they play Air Force in Colorado Springs, Col., in the first leg of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy.
Then on Nov. 30 in its final game before playing the Midshipmen in Philadelphia, Army goes to Hawaii for a kickoff at 12:30 a.m. East Coast time.
“It’s important to play in games like this,” Monken said of facing Michigan. “I don’t know that we need to play games like that every single week, but to play a game like that each year is really important to this program. It certainly is to the guys that play here.”