Big Ten Championship Preview: Purdue Boilermakers vs. No. 2 Michigan Wolverines

Photo Credit: Branden Waters/SkyBoat

The No. 2 Michigan Wolverines, 12-0, 9-0 Big Ten, enters the Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis for the second straight year after beating Ohio State for the second straight year in “The Game” 45-23. If they beat Purdue 8-4, 6-3 Big Ten, they’ll be in the College Playoffs for the second straight year also.

A month ago, it looked like the Fighting Illini were going to represent the Big Ten West in the championship game. The Boilermakers had other plans. They won three straight, starting with a 31-24 victory over the Illini, and secured the spot last week with a 30-16 win over Indiana and got some help from Nebraska when they defeated Iowa.

Purdue has a high-powered offense led by two-time all-conference Quarterback Aidan O’Connell. He has fellow all-conference WR Charlie Jones to throw to. O’Connell has thrown for 22 touchdowns and 3,124 yards. Jones has 1,199 yards with 97 receptions and 12 touchdowns. Purdue has averaged 28.6 points a game. They’re up against a Wolverine defense that’s only allowing 12.7 points a game and 262.2 yards a game. The Wolverines have 32 sacks on the season and have forced 13 turnovers.

Michigan will be without Heisman hopeful RB Blake Corum, who will have surgery on his knee that got hurt two weeks ago against Illinois. He tried to play last week but couldn’t go. Backup Donovan Edwards will get the start for Michigan. He ran for 215 yards last week against the Buckeyes and 2 scores. Edwards has 92 carries for 687 yards and 6 touchdowns.

QB JJ McCarthy has struggled with the deep ball all year, but it finally clicked last week, and he’ll look to build on that. McCarthy has thrown for 17 touchdowns with only two interceptions and 2,215 yards.

Written by Garin Turner

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