Michigan had already checked off two of its four goals heading into the season: beat Michigan State and Ohio State. Now it gets to check out another one of those goals: win the Big Ten championship.
Michigan may not have dominated time of possession, but it took advantage of its scoring opportunities. Purdue couldn’t, settling for five field goals. That was the difference in the game. If Purdue scores even just two more touchdowns, this is a different game entirely.
Michigan has now won 13 games in a season for the first time in program history. Their minds will quickly shift to who they will take on in the College Football Playoff.
Final: Michigan 43, Purdue 22
Mullings adds an exclamation point
-Q4 1:22: Mullings gets in the end zone to make it 43-22.
-Q4 5:07: Another Purdue field goal makes it 36-22.
McCarthy with the dagger
-Q4 9:06: McCarthy to Ronnie Bell in the back of the end zone for the touchdown. Two-point conversion is good. It’s a three-score game now, 36-19.
Will Johnson calls game
-Q4 9:57: Will Johnson with his second pick of the game deep in Purdue territory. That’s game, especially if Michigan scores here.
-Q4 10:07: Purdue forces a three-and-out after a controversial facemask flag is picked up on third down. It looked like a face mask to me. But alas, Michigan punts it away.
Purdue turns a two-score game into a two-score game
-Q4 12:37: Purdue kicks another field goal. That’s the difference in the game right now. Michigan has four TDs, Purdue has kicked four FGs. It’s 28-19.
End of third quarter: Michigan leads Purdue 28-16
McCarthy throws a pick
Q3 1:35: McCarthy with an arm punt for just his third INT of the season.
Purdue settles for three again
-Q3 3:37: Michigan picks up a sack on third down in the red zone and Purdue adds an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to the end of that. Purdue tacks on another field goal and it’s 28-16.
-Q3 7:38: Michigan can’t take advantage of the turnover. They go three-and-out.
Michigan picks up a turnover
-Q3 9:29: Aidan O’Connell is picked off in the end zone by Will Johnson. Huge played there as Purdue was driving.
Donovan Edwards does it again
-Q3 10:32: Edwards scores again. This time from 27 yards out. That drive? 2 plays, 67 yards. 40-yard pass to Schoonmaker on the play before. It’s 28-13.
-Q3 11:20: Purdue goes three-and-out. Second-half Michigan is already in full effect. Michigan gets to the punter, and the officials call running into the kicker.
Michigan extends its lead
-Q3 12:25: Not long after that, Michigan finds the end zone. Kalel Mullings punches it in from a yard out. They’re up 21-13 now.
-Q3 14:49: First play of the half goes for 60 yards on a run by Donovan Edwards.
Second half underway
Michigan gets the ball to start the second half.
First half stats
McCarthy: 7-11, 90 yards, 2 TDs
Edwards: 11 rushes, 37 yards
Bell: 2 catches, 36 yards
Schoonmaker: 2 catches, 16 yards, TD
Loveland: 1 catch, 25 yards, TD
Halftime: Michigan leads Purdue 14-13
-Q2 0:51: Michigan goes three-and-out, so Purdue will get another shot to take the lead before the half with all three timeouts.
Purdue kicks another field goal
-Q2 1:23: Purdue has to settle for three again. Not a good decision from O’Connell on third down, throwing into double coverage. The field goal is good and it’s 14-13.
Michigan retakes the lead
-Q2 7:05: McCarthy to Luke Schoonmaker for the 7-yard TD. Michigan retakes the lead, 14-10.
-Q2 9:50: Michigan had to settle for three, but Purdue lined up offsides on 4th and 6 to make it 4th and 1, and Michigan brought the offense back on the field and picked up the first down.
Purdue takes the lead
-Q2 13:39: Purdue has to settle for three after a poor exchange caused a fumble on 2nd down. The 33-yarder is good and Purdue takes a 10-7 lead.
End of first quarter: Purdue and Michigan tied at 7
-Q1 1:55: Purdue responds with a three-and-out of its own. And they run a fake punt, which is successful. Payne Durham runs for the first down.
-Q1 3:11: Michigan goes three-and-out. McCarthy had Ronnie Bell down the seam and Bell just couldn’t haul it in. Right off his fingertips.
Purdue ties it up
-Q1 4:54: Purdue answers with an impressive 92-yard drive. Devin Mockobee punches it in from a yard out. We’re tied at 7.
Michigan strikes first
-Q1 9:11: Michigan scores first. McCarthy to Colston Loveland for a 25-yard TD pass. 7-0.
-Q1 10:44: The call is overturned. That took a long time, but I guess they got the call on the field correct. Still tough to tell on replay. 2nd down for Michigan.
-Q1 10:44: Purdue is challenging a catch by Roman Wilson. Ruled a catch in the field. Tough to tell on replay.
-Q1 12:59: Aidan O’Connell is sacked on third down by Jaylen Harrell and Purdue goes three-and-out.
Michigan wins the toss and defers until the second half. Purdue gets the ball first. Here we go.
DE Mike Morris will not play tonight as he nurses a lower leg injury. RB Donovan Edwards will play, but still has that cast on his right hand.
Michigan is probably in the College Football Playoff regardless of what happens Saturday night against Purdue in the Big Ten Championship game, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Running back Blake Corum is out for tonight, but last week Michigan proved it can win without him. Michigan will have to rely on the big play once again against a Purdue defense that ranks 33rd nationally in yards per game.
Of course, this will be a virtual home game for Purdue given West Lafayette is just over an hour’s drive down Interstate 65 from Indianapolis. If it has any advantage in this game, that’s it.
Follow along here for live updates from Detroit News contributor Matthew Scheidel.
Big Ten championship
No. 2 Michigan vs. Purdue
▶ Kickoff: 8 pm Saturday, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
▶ TV/radio: FOX/97.1 FM
▶ Records: Michigan 12-0; Purdue 8-4
▶ Line: Michigan by 16