Written By: Case Conley
Following one of the biggest wins in Michigan history, over Ohio State, the Wolverines return to Indianapolis to try to win their second Big Ten championship in a row. Purdue is making their Big Ten championship debut after winning the West division. Game time is 8 pm on Fox on Saturday night.
After rolling Ohio State last week, Michigan has nearly sealed a College Football Playoff Appearance, and they did this without star running back Blake Corum. Corum’s status for Saturday night is uncertain but Donovan Edwards will be ready after rushing for 216 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Buckeyes. They will try to continue the deep passing game where they hit on three touchdowns of more than 45 yards. Defensively they gave up yards to the Buckeyes but they were massive in the red zone where they forced 2 field goals and an interception. They only had 1 sack last week which is the lowest of any game this season, but they will look to bring more pressure against a good Purdue passing attack.
The Boilermakers will play their first Big Ten championship, however they know how to knock off top teams. Jeff Brohm is 3-0 against top 3 teams since coming to Purdue. The Boilers are 8-4 after a shaky start and some injury issues but are healthy now. Quarterback Aiden O’Connell leads a passing attack that was second best in the Big Ten averaging more than 28- yards per game. They will look to air it out against the Wolverines who just gave up 349 yards to the Buckeyes last week. Devin Mockobee has given Purdue some balance, he has ran for more than 99 yards five times this season and is a threat in the pass game out of the backfield. The defense has their work cut out against the Michigan rushing attack that has been unstoppable. The Boilermakers have a solid rush defense but have been exposed by Iowa and Wisconsin who are similar to the Wolverines attack.
Michigan defensive backs vs Aiden O’Connell and the Purdue wide receivers
Michigan’s corners continue against dangerous passing attacks as Purdue will air it out. Purdue will look to throw it 40 times or more and O’Connell’s favorite target is Iowa transfer Charlie Jones who has nearly 1,200 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. Another key player in the pass attack is tight end Payne Durham who has scored 4 times in the last 3 games.
Purdue will keep it close early and I expect their passing attack to give Michigan some issues early however the Wolverines is an elite second half team and they will wear down this Purdue defense.
Michigan 38, Purdue 17
Written By: Case Conley – Michigan Sports Network Intern
Photo Courtesy of: The Big Ten Network