Oct. 6, 2012
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Site: West Lafayette, Ind. (Ross-Ade Stadium)
Score: Michigan 44, Purdue 13
Records: U-M (3-2, 1-0 Big Ten), Purdue (3-2, 0-1 Big Ten)
Next U-M Game: Saturday, Oct. 13 -- vs. Illinois (Michigan Stadium), 3:30 p.m.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Behind a 340-yard (235 rush, 105 pass) performance from senior quarterback Denard Robinson (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach), the University of Michigan football team defeated the Purdue Boilermakers, 44-13, on Saturday (Oct. 6) at Ross-Ade Stadium. The Wolverines jumped out to a three-touchdown first-half lead on the way to winning their Big Ten opener.
The Michigan defense allowed just 210 total yards, as well as only 13 points for the third consecutive game. Three Wolverines -- fifth-year senior linebacker Kenny Demens (Oak Park, Mich./Detroit Country Day), junior/sophomore linebacker Jake Ryan (Westlake, Ohio/St. Ignatius) and sophomore linebacker Desmond Morgan (Holland, Mich./West Ottawa) -- tallied six tackles to lead the squad in the victory. Ryan and Morgan also garnered two tackles-for-loss apiece.
Robinson led the offensive attack with 235 yards on the ground to complement his 105 yards and one score through the air. With his effort on the ground, he set the Big Ten career quarterback rushing record with 3,905 yards, eclipsing the previous mark set by Indiana's Antwaan Randle El (3,895 yards, 1998-01).
Jeremy Gallon (Apopka, Fla./Apopka) compiled three receptions for 37 yards, while senior/junior running back Fitzgerald Toussaint (Youngstown, Ohio/Liberty) found the end zone twice.
After winning the coin toss and deferring to the second half, Michigan forced Purdue to a three-and-out to begin the contest. The Maize and Blue then moved down the field, including converting on a fourth-and-four, and Toussaint dove into the end zone from one yard out to give the Wolverines an early 7-0 lead. The drive totaled 78 yards on 17 plays, elapsing almost nine minutes.
The Boilermakers, after a sack by Ryan on first down, were forced to punt for their second consecutive three-and-out.
Michigan wasted no time on its second possession as Robinson scrambled 38 yards on first down to the Purdue 25-yard line. Seven plays later, Toussaint took the ball in from one yard out again for his second score of the afternoon, extending the Wolverines lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter.
On Purdue's next drive, Michigan sophomore corner Raymon Taylor (Detroit, Mich./Highland Park) intercepted a fourth-down pass and ran the ball back 63 yards for his first career touchdown, giving the Maize and Blue a 21-0 advantage. The pick was the second in as many games for Taylor.
The Boilermakers' return man lost control of the ball on the ensuing kick return and sophomore Delonte Hollowell (Detroit, Mich./Cass Technical) scooped it up to take back possession for Michigan. However, the drive ended with a failed field goal attempt from 44 yards away.
Purdue moved the ball back down the field on its next possession, ultimately converting on a 40-yard field goal to cut the Michigan lead to 21-3 midway through the second quarter.
Late in the first half, the Wolverines marched 72 yards down the field on just seven plays, ending with a Robinson touchdown pass to junior receiver Devin Gardner (Detroit, Mich./Inkster) from 23 yards. The score, Gardner's fourth of the season, gave Michigan a 28-3 lead.
With 10 seconds left in the second quarter, Purdue answered with a touchdown on a short slant, cutting the Michigan lead to 18 heading into the locker room.
The Wolverines received the ball to start the second half but had to punt for the first time of the contest. Only minutes later, Michigan received the ball from a Purdue punt and marched back down the field. Fueled by a 46-yard Robinson run into Boilermakers territory, the Maize and Blue added three points on a 29-yard field goal by senior/junior kicker Brendan Gibbons (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman) to extend the lead to 31-10.
Early in the fourth quarter, Purdue capitalized on a 14-play, 58-yard drive by splitting the uprights from 37 yards out, making the score 31-13.
On his longest run of the game, Robinson took the ball and dashed 59 yards to the Purdue 16-yard line, giving him his fifth 200-yard rushing performance of his career. The Boilermakers stopped the Maize and Blue on the following three plays and Gibbons came on to add a 42-yard field goal with 10:14 to go to once again give Michigan a 21-point advantage.
Purdue's second play on the subsequent drive was a deflected pass, leading to an interception by senior/junior corner Thomas Gordon (Detroit, Mich./Cass Tech) deep in Boilermakers territory. Six plays later, Gibbons connected on his third field goal of the game from 27 yards away to make the Michigan lead 37-13.
After a turnover on downs late in the fourth quarter, sophomore running back Thomas Rawls (Flint, Mich./Flint Northern) took the ball around the left side and scored from seven yards out to extend the Michigan lead to 31 points with two minutes left in the contest for the final score of the day.
The Maize and Blue heads back to Michigan Stadium next Saturday (Oct. 13) to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini at 3:30 p.m. on ABC.
Contact: Justin Dickens (734) 763-4423