J.J. McCarthy threw three touchdown passes and Donovan Edwards ran for 185 yards and a score in No. 2 Michigan’s 43-22 win over Purdue Saturday night, resulting in the Wolverines’ second consecutive Big Ten title and a likely No. 2 playoff seed.
College football’s winningest program, Michigan secured the first 13-win season in school history. Two more victories would give the Wolverines (13-0, No. 2 CFP) their first national championship since 1997.
And with injured star Blake Corum sidelined by a season-ending left knee injury, Edwards stole the show for the second straight week.
After shredding rival Ohio State for 216 yards and two scores last week, Edwards broke open this game with a 60-yard run on the first play of the second half to set up one score. He added a 27-yard TD sprint on Michigan’s next series to make it 28-13.
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Purdue (8-5) never recovered from Michigan’s quick, seven-play onslaught after it trailed 14-13 at halftime, but quarterback Aidan O’Connell and receiver Charlie Jones helped the Boilermakers make it interesting for a while.
O’Connell was 32 of 47 with 366 yards and two interceptions after missing some practice time early this week to mourn the death of his oldest brother. Jones, who lost to Michigan in last year’s game while playing for Iowa, had 13 receptions for 162 yards.
It just wasn’t enough.
Michigan showed no signs of a hangover after last week’s rout over the Buckeyes, taking a 7-0 lead on its opening possession with a 25-yard TD pass from McCarthy to Colston Loveland.
Purdue answered with a 1-yard rush to tie the score then took the lead on Mitchell Fineran’s 33-yard field goal.
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Michigan answered by taking advantage of an offside call on fourth-and-6 by going for the first down, picking it up and eventually converting the drive into a 7-yard TD pass from McCarthy to Luke Schoonmaker. They never trailed again.
An Edwards big run set up Kalel Mullings’ 1-yard TD plunge before Edwards celebrated his own scoring run.
All Purdue could muster was three more field goals.
McCarthy was 11 of 17 with 161 yards and one interception.
Corum posted a message on Twitter on Saturday morning to say his knee surgery went well.
Purdue: The Boilermakers’ magical season ended with a solid showing in the championship game where they played better than most expected. Still, they won the Big Ten’s wild, wild West, both trophy games and should be bound for a warm-weather bowl game.
Michigan: Yes, the Wolverines may have already locked up a top-two seed thanks to losses by Southern Cal and TCU. Michigan now has back-to-back conference crowns for the first time since 2003-04 though the hard part remains — ending its national title drought.
DIALING UP TRICKERY
Brohm played one season in the now defunct XFL and has acknowledged that experience helped him understand how to inject personality and creativity into play calling. It was on full display Saturday.
A surprise end around set up Purdue’s first score, a fake punt helped keep its second scoring drive alive and then Mockobee sprinted 25 yards on a fake flea-flicker in the third quarter.
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Purdue: Will find out its bowl game, destination and opponent Sunday.
Michigan: Waiting to see where its headed and who it will face in the national semifinals.