- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
Turning point: Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner had just thrown an interception -- a poorly-thrown ball between two receivers -- giving Purdue the ball on its own 5-yard line. Michigan defensive tackle Mike Martin broke through the line and crushed Purdue quarterback Caleb TerBush for a safety, Michigan’s first since 2003. It gave Michigan a 9-7 lead, which the Wolverines eventually turned into a 19-7 lead.
Best player in the half: Martin. The senior defensive tackle was lauded before the season as one of the nation’s best interior defenders. Throughout the year, though, he’s struggled compared to expectations, often seeing double teams and hasn’t been able to get pressure. On Saturday, that changed. He recorded two sacks, including the safety, in the first half and dominated the middle of the line of scrimmage, keeping Purdue from many big gains there.
Best call: Michigan has the lead, but Purdue has the call of the half. The Boilermakers ran a bubble screen from TerBush to Gary Bush on the first drive of the game. The blocking was perfect and Purdue went 48 yards for its only touchdown. The bubble screen the best call? Bush was not touched the entire way, outrunning two Michigan defenders.
What Michigan needs to do, What Purdue needs to do: Michigan -- Keep running the ball with Fitzgerald Toussaint. The redshirt sophomore running back had 75 yards on nine carries, including a touchdown. It has been the best he has looked this season. Michigan coach Brady Hoke said this week his team will ride the “hot hand.” That’d be Toussaint. Purdue -- Put together a sustained drive. The Boilermakers have struggled on offense since the game’s first drive and the TerBush-to-Bush touchdown. The drive accounted for 67 of Purdue’s 119 total yards. So the Boilermakers have to get something going there to have a chance.