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Turning Point of the Game: Big Ten Championship vs. Purdue

Who came up big to secure the trophy?

Big Ten Championship - Purdue v Michigan Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

For the second year in a row, the Michigan Wolverines are Big Ten champions. In their 43-22 defeat of the Purdue Boilermakers, Michigan solidified its spot in the College Football Playoff. In a rousing effort in the second half, the Wolverines put the Boilermakers away to move to 13-0 for the first time in program history. They’ll wait for the official announcement by the CFP to see where they head next.

Michigan proved to be too overwhelming for the Boilermakers. The Wolverines opened the second half with the ball and Donovan Edwards immediately rattled off a 60-yard run to get in the red zone. Kalel Mullings collected his first career touchdown to put Michigan up eight. After forcing Purdue three and out, Michigan took the field once more.

In two plays Michigan was back in the end zone, this time with Edwards rushing 27 yards for the score. The Boilermakers were down two scores with plenty of time left. They started from their own 25 before O’Connell connected with Charlie Jones for 32 yards. Devin Mockobee then rushed for 25 yards to get to Michigan’s 18.

That’s when this week’s turning point of the game occurred. Purdue was ready to strike within the red zone, but Will Johnson came away with his first interception of the game — he later collected another. Johnson came up huge in the second half, taking away two major scoring opportunities for the Boilermakers.

Like last week, the adjustments out of halftime were likely the true momentum changer that led to Michigan’s win, but the players had to go out there and make it happen. The performance that stood out the most was the defense, especially seeing it actively work to contain Purdue.

So once more, I credit the defense, especially in the second half, for locking down another win for Michigan. The Wolverines outscored Purdue 29-9 in the second half, holding the Boilermakers to field goals the rest of the game. The Wolverines had four sacks on the night and Johnson came away with two interceptions in the second half.

The Wolverines have played exceptionally well in all their big games this year. They put away Penn State, Michigan State, Ohio State, and now Purdue in the title game, by 20+ points. With the way they are playing right now, they can beat anyone. Including everyone in the CFP.