Following a first quarter in which Michigan and Purdue traded touchdowns for a 7-7 tie, it looked like we might have an old fashioned Big Ten slugfest Saturday afternoon in Ann Arbor.
But while the Wolverines kept slugging, the Boilermakers eventually fell to the mat.
The Michigan offense rolled up 545 yards of total offense, demolishing the Purdue defense in a decisive 36-14 victory. Quarterback Denard Robinson compiled 233 yards of total offense, rushing for a touchdown and looking relatively sharp in the passing game.
But the real story for the Wolverines might be the breakout of the running game without Robinson having to carry the load. Robinson did run for 63 yards, Michigan’s second-highest total of the day. But it was the running backs who pummeled Purdue.
Tailback Fitzgerald Toussaint rushed for 170 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries, highlighted by a 59-yard scoring run just before the end of the third quarter. Michael Shaw added another 56 yards on the ground, powered largely by a 37-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
With the dominance of the running game, Michigan didn’t have to do much through the air against Purdue. Robinson threw for 170 yards, completing 9 of 14 passes. Jeremy Gallon led the Wolverines with 79 yards on three catches. Roy Roundtree added another 61 yards on two receptions.
After scoring a touchdown on their first possession of the game, Purdue couldn’t maintain any sort of production on offense. Caleb TerBush completed 9 of 13 passes for 156 yards and one touchdown. But a big chunk of that came on a 48-yard scoring pass to Gary Bush.
TerBush was later knocked out of the game when he was sacked for a safety by Mike Martin. Robert Marve took over for most of the second quarter, but was ineffective, passing for only 66 yards, though he did throw for a touchdown late in the game. TerBush returned in the second half, but eventually yielded to Marve again. Regardless of who was under center, they couldn’t do much against a Michigan defense that established itself.
With the win, Michigan is locked in what could be a four-way tie atop the Big Ten Legends Division with a 3-1 conference record. The Wolverines travel to Iowa next week for a game that could break up that logjam.