Instant Analysis: Michigan 36, Purdue 14 F

October, 29, 2011
10/29/11
3:02
PM ET
Turning point: Mike Martin picked up a safety in the first minute of the second quarter, giving Michigan a 9-7 lead. The rout was on from there. Martin had a great first half, with two sacks, but it was the safety that ignited the Michigan defense and helped bail out the Michigan offense from a Devin Gardner interception.

Stat of the game: 192. That was Purdue’s yardage through three quarters. Of those yards, 67 of them came on the Boilermakers’ first drive of the game. After that, Purdue’s offense was essentially non-existent. They didn’t score points. They didn’t move the the ball. And the Michigan defense turned what had concern as a questionable defensive performance into a dominant one.

Player of the game: Running back Fitzgerald Toussaint. The redshirt sophomore ran for 170 yards Saturday on 20 carries -- along with two touchdowns. He became the running back spark Michigan had been searching for over the past month. Toussaint has always shown potential. This was, by far, the best game of his career.

Best call: Just a beautifully designed play by Al Borges in the third quarter. With Devin Gardner at quarterback and starter Denard Robinson in the game at the skill positions, both Gardner and Robinson rolled right. Running back Fitzgerald Toussaint ran left. Gardner pitched him the ball and a couple of nice cuts by Toussaint later, he ended up in the end zone with a 59-yard touchdown. While the play was made by Toussaint, the decision to send Gardner and Robinson one way and misdirect with the halfback on a toss the other moved almost every defender away from the ball.

What Michigan learned, What Purdue learned: Michigan -- The Wolverines learned they are not the same team that wiped away potential good seasons in 2009 and 2010 with loss after loss after loss following the first loss of the year to Michigan State. Instead, this Michigan team blew out an opponent and stayed in the Big Ten Legends division race entering November. Plus, it might have found a lead running back in Toussaint. Purdue -- The Boilermakers learned they have a long way to go to be competitive with the upper echelon of the Big Ten. Michigan is not Wisconsin or Michigan State, but save for the game’s first drive, the Boilermakers were outplayed in every facet Saturday. They missed tackles on defense and allowed 536 yards. Purdue gained 311 yards of offense, but most came after the game was essentially over.

Michael Rothstein | email

ESPN Detroit Lions reporter

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BIG TEN SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12