Michigan went on the road to begin Big Ten play and topped Purdue 28-10 on Saturday. As has been the case all season, they started slow and finished strong. Michigan remains perfect, improving to 4-0 on the season.
Here are the top three takeaways from the Michigan win over the Boilermakers.
1. SPEIGHT OUT, O’KORN IN
Many Michigan fans have been calling for Wilton Speight to be replaced by John O’Korn, although I hope not like this. Speight was knocked out of the game in the first quarter, and had to be +taken to a local hospital. O’Korn played the rest of the way.
On his first drive, the transfer from Houston led the Wolverines on a TD drive. That means he already had as many red zone touchdowns as Speight did in three games. O’Korn was rocky at times, leading to a 10-7 deficit at the half, but the team took over in all phases and ran away with it in the second half. The question will be if O’Korn’s performance is enough to earn him the start in two weeks against Michigan State, regardless of Speight’s health.
If you do not know who Wally Pipp is, Google him.
2. BROKEN RECORD ON D
Stop me if you’ve heard this before this season: the Wolverines defense was everywhere it had to be, at the exact time they had to be there. They dominated the Boilermakers, who tried misdirection and trick plays just to counter Michigan’s speed. With only a couple exceptions, it didn’t work.
And nothing worked for them on third down. Devin Bush, Chase Winovich, and Co. held Purdue to 0-for-12 on third down. I had to look at that number three times to believe it. Michigan only gave up 160 total yards, 29 of which on the ground.
3. OVERHEATED BOILERS
I am not talking about Michigan’s defensive pressure, although, that was intense. The Boilermakers were hyped up for this game. Maybe too hyped up.
They made a number of stupid mistakes, many of them for being too aggressive. Two of their best defensive players – safety Jacob Thieneman and linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley – both got kicked out on targeting penalties. Defensive end Galen Robinson added a late hit out of bounds which put the Wolverines in position for Chris Evans’s game-sealing touchdown run.
The Boilermakers needed to be perfect to beat Michigan. They weren’t even close.