INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Donovan Edwards ran for 185 yards and a score, JJ McCarthy threw three touchdown passes and No. 2 Michigan beat Purdue 43-22 on Saturday night for its second straight Big Ten title and likely No. 2 seed in the playoffs.
College football’s winningest program is coming off its first 13-win season in school history. Two more wins would give the Wolverines (13-0, No. 2 CFP) their first national championship since 1997.
And with injured star Blake Corum sidelined with a season-ending left knee injury, Edwards stole the show for the second week in a row.
After gashing rival Ohio State for 216 yards and two scores last week, Edwards opened this game with a 60-yard run on the first play of the second half for a score. He added a 27-yard TD run on Michigan’s next drive to make it 28-13.
Purdue (8-5) never recovered from Michigan’s seven-game rushing attack after trailing 14-13 at halftime.
But quarterback Aidan O’Connell and receiver Charlie Jones helped keep the Boilermakers interesting for a while.
O’Connell was 32 of 47 for 366 yards and two interceptions after missing some practice earlier this week to mourn the death of his oldest brother. Jones, who lost to Michigan in last year’s game while playing at Iowa, had 13 receptions for 162 yards.
It just wasn’t enough.
Michigan showed no signs of a hangover from last week’s loss to the Buckeyes, taking a 7-0 lead on its first possession on a 25-yard TD pass from JJ McCarthy to Colston Loveland.
Purdue answered with Devin Mockobee’s 1-yard run to tie the score, then took the lead on Mitchell Fineran’s 33-yard field goal.
Michigan responded by taking advantage of an offsides call on fourth-and-6 by going for a first down, picking it up and eventually turning the drive into a 7-yard TD pass from McCarthy to Luke Schoonmaker. They never followed up again.
A big run by Edwards led to a 1-yard TD run by Kalel Mullings before Edwards celebrated with a score of his own.
All Purdue could muster were three more field goals.
McCarthy was 11 of 17 for 161 yards and one touchdown.
Corum posted a message on Twitter Saturday morning saying his knee surgery went well.
Purdue: The Boilermakers’ magical season ended with a solid showing in the championship game where they played better than expected. Still, they won the Wild Wild West Big Ten, both trophy games, and should be bound for a warm-weather bowl game.
Michigan: Yes, the Wolverines may have already clinched the top two seed thanks to losses to Southern Cal and TCU. Michigan now has back-to-back conference crowns for the first time since 2003-04, though the tough part remains — ending its national title drought.
TRICKER DIALING UP
Brohm played one season in the now-defunct XFL and admitted the experience helped him understand how to bring personality and creativity to the game. On Saturday, he was on full display.
A surprising end around that set up Purdue’s first score, a fake punt helped keep its second score alive, and then Mockobee sprinted 25 yards on a fake fumble in the third quarter.
Purdue: Will find out his bowl game, destination and opponent on Sunday.
Michigan: It remains to be seen where they will go and who they will face in the national semifinals.
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