No. 2 Michigan beats Purdue 43-22 for Big Ten crown

Dec 3, 2022, 7:10 AM | Updated: 10:16 pm
Michigan linebacker Kechaun Bennett kisses the trophy as he celebrates with teammates after defeati...

Michigan linebacker Kechaun Bennett kisses the trophy as he celebrates with teammates after defeating Purdue in the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, early Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Indianapolis. Michigan won, 43-22. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

(AP Photo/AJ Mast)

              Michigan linebacker Kechaun Bennett kisses the trophy as he celebrates with teammates after defeating Purdue in the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, early Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Indianapolis. Michigan won, 43-22. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
            
              Michigan linebacker Michael Barrett kisses the trophy as he celebrates with teammates after defeating Purdue in the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, early Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Indianapolis. Michigan won, 43-22. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
            
              Michigan wide receiver Ronnie Bell holds the trophy after defeating Purdue in the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, early Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Indianapolis. Michigan won, 43-22. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
            
              Michigan running back Donovan Edwards holds the most valuable player trophy after defeating Purdue in the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, early Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Indianapolis. Michigan won, 43-22. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
            
              Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh holds the trophy after defeating Purdue in the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, early Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Indianapolis. Michigan won, 43-22. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
            
              Purdue quarterback Aidan O'Connell is sacked by Michigan linebacker Eyabi Okie (18) during the second half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
            
              Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) throws for a 2-point conversion over Purdue defensive end Jack Sullivan (99) during the second half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
            
              Michigan's Kalel Mullings (20) scores on a 1-yard run during the second half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game against Purdue, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
            
              Purdue wide receiver Charlie Jones (15) catches a pass for a 32-yard gain as Michigan defensive back DJ Turner (5) defends during the second half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
            
              Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) scrambles as Purdue linebacker Kieren Douglas defends during the first half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
            
              Purdue wide receiver Charlie Jones is stopped by Michigan defensive back Makari Paige (7) during the first half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
            
              Purdue quarterback Aidan O'Connell is stopped by Michigan defensive back R.J. Moten (6) during the first half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
            
              Purdue wide receiver Tyrone Tracy (3) runs with the ball as Michigan defensive back DJ Turner (5) and linebacker Junior Colson (25) defend during the first half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
            
              Michigan wide receiver Roman Wilson attempts to catch a pass during the first half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game against Purdue, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
            
              Purdue quarterback Aidan O'Connell, left, is sacked by Michigan linebacker Jaylen Harrell (32) during the first half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
            
              Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy is congratulated by teammates Kechaun Bennett (52), Ryan Hayes, left, and Zak Zinter (65) after throwing a touchdown pass during the second half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game against Purdue, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
            
              Michigan running back Donovan Edwards runs for a 60-yard gain during the second half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game against Purdue, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Donovan Edwards’ quick-hitting sprints changed everything for No. 2 Michigan. Again.

Now they’re hoping it propels them toward another championship.

Edwards ran for 185 yards and a touchdown, J.J. McCarthy threw for three scores and Michigan beat Purdue 43-22 on Saturday night in the Big Ten championship game for its second straight conference title and a likely No. 2 playoff seed.

College football’s winningest program has the first 13-win season in school history. Two more victories would give the Wolverines (13-0, No. 2 CFP) their first national championship since 1997 — even without Heisman Trophy candidate Blake Corum because of a season-ending left knee injury.

“He’s the best running back in college football and he deserves the Heisman. If he hadn’t gotten hurt, he would have easily won the Heisman so this is for Blake Corum,” Edwards said after being named the game MVP. “I think it’s kind of self-explanatory what our goals are. I believe we’ve talked about them all year I don’t think much more needs to be said.”

Those goals appeared to be in jeopardy just last week when Corum managed to play just one series against rival Ohio State.

But Edwards stole the show, shredding the Buckeyes for 216 yards and two scores and was every bit as good in his encore — just hours after Corum posted on Twitter he had undergone knee surgery.

Edwards broke open this game with a 60-yard on the first play of the second half to set up one score. He added a 27-yard TD sprint on Michigan’s next series to make it 28-13 and Purdue (8-5) never recovered from the seven-play onslaught after trailing 14-13 at halftime.

“They didn’t panic when the game was close in the third quarter,” Boilermakers coach Jeff Brohm said. “They came out, ran the ball and imposed their will.”

While Edwards was the ringleader, he had plenty of help.

McCarthy was 11 of 17 with 161 yards. Kalel Mullings scored twice on short runs and Ronnie Bell caught five passes for 67 yards and one TD.

But even they knew the difference Saturday was Edwards.

“You put anyone back there, they’re going to get yards,” McCarthy said. “But Donovan is a special back, a special guy and I’m glad he’s on our side.”

Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell and receiver Charlie Jones helped the Boilermakers make it interesting for a while.

O’Connell was 32 of 47 with 366 yards and two interceptions after missing some practice time early this week to mourn the death of his oldest brother. Jones, who lost to Michigan in last year’s game while playing for Iowa, had 13 receptions for 162 yards.

It just wasn’t enough.

“We were going to have to play a near-perfect game to win,” O’Connell said. “We turned the ball over and didn’t score (enough) touchdowns.”

Michigan showed no signs of a hangover after last week’s rout over the Buckeyes, taking a 7-0 lead on its opening possession with a 25-yard TD pass from J.J. McCarthy to Colston Loveland.

Purdue answered with Devin Mockobee’s 1-yard scoring run to tie the score then took the lead on Mitchell Fineran’s 33-yard field goal.

Michigan retook the lead on McCarthy’s 7-yard TD pass to Luke Schoonmaker and Edwards helped them put it away while holding the Boilermakers to just three second-half field goals.

THE TAKEAWAY

Purdue: The Boilermakers’ magical season ended with a solid showing in the championship game where they played better than most expected. Still, they won the Big Ten’s wild, wild West, both trophy games and should be bound for a warm-weather bowl game.

Michigan: Yes, the Wolverines may have already locked up a top-two seed thanks to losses by Southern Cal and TCU. Michigan now has back-to-back conference crowns for the first time since 2003-04 though the hard part remains — ending its national title drought.

DIALING UP TRICKERY

Brohm played one season in the now defunct XFL and has acknowledged that experience helped him understand how to inject personality and creativity into play-calling. It was on full display Saturday.

A surprise end around set up Purdue’s first score, a fake punt helped keep its second scoring drive alive and then Mockobee sprinted 25 yards on a fake flea-flicker in the third quarter.

EMOTIONAL TIME

O’Connell said this week and last were difficult for himself and his family and though he played almost flawlessly in the Boilermakers victory over rival Indiana last week, he acknowledged football was hardly his primary thought.

“It’s been very difficult, as you would imagine. You know, when you first hear of news like that, it’s shock and denial and just a lot of emotions,” O’Connell said. “I felt a lot better this week than last week, but it’s been a little crazy. It’s going to be good to get some time to relax and spend some more time with my family, hopefully.”

The sixth-year quarterback, a former walk-on turned two-time all-conference selection, said he’s hoping to get some rest and spend time with his family before the bowl game.

UP NEXT

Purdue: Will find out its bowl game, destination and opponent Sunday.

Michigan: Waiting to see where its headed and who it will face in the national semifinals.

___

AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/ap_top25. Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://tinyurl.com/mrxhe6f2.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) drives as Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley (11) defends during the f...
Associated Press

Young scores 27 to lead Hawks past Jazz, 115-108

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Trae Young had 27 points and six assists to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 115-108 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday night. De’Andre Hunter scored 26 points for the Hawks. Onyeka Okongwu had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Dejounte Murray added 13 points and eight assists. Atlanta […]
22 hours ago
Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) shoots a three point basket as Houston Rockets forward Jae...
Associated Press

VanVleet has 32 as Raptors get 117-111 win over Rockets

HOUSTON (AP) — Fred VanVleet scored 32 points, Gary Trent Jr. added 29 and the Toronto Raptors snapped a two-game skid with a 117-111 win over the Houston Rockets on Friday night. The Raptors took a commanding lead in the third quarter and were up by double-digits for most of the fourth. But five straight […]
22 hours ago
Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons (1) shoots against Washington Wizards guard Monte Morr...
Associated Press

Blazers rally from 20 down to end Wizards’ win streak

WASHINGTON (AP) — Anfernee Simons scored 20 of his 33 points in the third quarter and the Portland Trail Blazers erased a 20-point deficit, snapping Washington’s six-game winning streak Friday night with a 124-116 victory over the Wizards. Simons made six of Portland’s nine 3-pointers in the third, and the Trail Blazers finally caught and […]
22 hours ago
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) is fouled as he drives to the basket against San Antonio...
Associated Press

Embiid’s double-double keys 76ers as Spurs drop 8th straight

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Joel Embiid had 33 points and 10 rebounds and the Philadelphia 76ers beat San Antonio 137-125 on Friday night, sending the scuffling Spurs to their eighth straight loss. Tyrese Maxey had 25 points and James Harden added 16 for Philadelphia, which has the third-best record in the Eastern Conference. “Tonight was […]
22 hours ago
A scrum breaks out between Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic players during the second half ...
Associated Press

Fight between Magic, Timberwolves leads to 5 players ejected

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A fight broke out and punches were thrown during the game between the Orlando Magic and Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night. Five players were ejected following the brawl, which started in front of the Orlando bench late in the third quarter. Minnesota guard Austin Rivers and Magic center Mo Bamba were the […]
22 hours ago
Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin (8) stands on the ice during the NHL All Star Skills Showcase, F...
Associated Press

NHL takes skills showcase outside, McDavid shines inside

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Sidney Crosby got dunked into a tank of water, Nick Suzuki holed a golf ball with a hockey stick and the NHL made hockey an outdoor sport for its skills showcase in South Florida. Two new events outside in the sun highlighted the league’s annual skills competition at All-Star Weekend, with […]
22 hours ago
No. 2 Michigan beats Purdue 43-22 for Big Ten crown