Michigan vs. Purdue score, takeaways: Wolverines clinch top-two CFP spot, win second

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No. 2 Michigan clinched its second consecutive Big Ten championship and a top-two spot in the College Football Playoff with a 43-22 victory over Purdue in the Big Ten Championship Game. The Boilermakers and their dynamic offense ran nearly twice as ma ny plays as the Wolverines, but Michigan made critical stops to come away with their second conference title under coach Jim Harbaugh. 

Quarterback J.J. McCarthy couldn’t quite match his productivity from the team’s regular-season finale over Ohio State, but he threw three touchdowns in just 17 pass attempts as the Wolverines outscored Purdue 29-9 in the second half to continue their impressive run of closing efforts. Running back Donovan Edwards added 185 yards and a touchdown in the win. 

Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell played a strong game, but two backbreaking interceptions cost the Boilermakers during a key second-half run. The first came in the third quarter when O’Connell killed a drive in the red zone with an interception to Michigan’s Will Johnson. Three drives later, with Purdue down just nine points, O’Connell threw another pick within his own 20-yard line to set up an easy touchdown toss from McCarthy to receiver Ronnie Bell to push Michigan’s lead out to three scores. 

Michigan is one of the last two undefeated programs standing along with Georgia. The Bulldogs and Wolverines should easily slot in at No. 1 and 2, respectively, after becoming the only top-five teams to win conference championships. Now, all eyes switch to the Gaylord Texan Hotel in Grapevine as the College Football playoff committee decides Michigan’s eventual destination. 





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