After dominating the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second half of The Game and winning 45-23 in Columbus, the Michigan Wolverines officially punched their ticket to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game for the second straight season.
It was an all-around dominant second-half performance for the Wolverines. There were certainly some struggles in the first half — especially in the run game without start running back Blake Corum — but J.J. McCarthy made big plays with his arm and Donovan Edwards came in clutch with two long touchdown runs to break the Buckeyes’ back.
But as McCarthy said in his postgame press conference, the job’s not done just yet. Up next for the Wolverines is a trip to Indy next Saturday. It wasn’t immediately known who they would be playing, as the Big Ten West has been a roller coaster ride all season long. The Iowa Hawkeyes had a chance to advance, but lost to Nebraska at home on Black Friday.
Enter: the Purdue Boilermakers. After defeating Indiana on the road Saturday, 30-16, they have officially advanced to the Big Ten Championship Game for the first time ever.
At a quick glance, Michigan should be heavily favored in next Saturday’s game, as it was last season when it took down Iowa 42-3 to win its first ever Big Ten Championship Game. Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm’s team went 8-4 overall this season, with losses to Penn State, at Syracuse, at Wisconsin, and Iowa.
Coming into the weekend, Purdue was fourth overall in total offense in the Big Ten, eighth in total defense, eighth in rushing offense and defense, second in passing offense and 10th in passing defense.
Overall, an average team with a strong passing game. And Michigan just took down the No. 1 pass attack in the Big Ten — and arguably in the nation. Advantage heading into next weekend’s championship game: Wolverines.