Michigan Football Is Big Ten Champs And Still Perfect
For the first time in more than 30 years, Michigan is the outright king of the Big Ten in back to back seasons. U-M has not been the Big Ten champion in back-to-back seasons since Desmond Howard was playing in Ann Arbor. But Jim Harbaugh and Co. ended that streak tonight defeating Purdue, 43-22.
JJ McMahon was solid again, even though he only attempted a few times. He finished the night 11-for-17 for 161 yards and three touchdowns. He did make an ill-advised interception late in the third quarter, which led to a Purdue field kick. But that was his only “uh oh”. He wasn’t much of a factor running the ball, but did get out of trouble a handful of times and had 14 yards on the ground.
Donovan Edwards once again proved that he is a No. He was able to run it without any problems. He carried it 25 times for 185 yards and a touchdown, still with only one good hand. Although he has been limited as a pass catcher due to the injury to his right arm, he has been a great ball carrier in Blake Corum’s absence. Kalel Mullings, a new running back, was able to score two touchdowns in a situation of shortage yardage. It was a great night for him.
Defense: The Wolverines were a lot more porous than normal, especially through the air. Over the course of the 12-game season, Michigan gave up just 177 passing yards per game. Aidan O’Connell finished the night with 366 yards and found wide receiver Charlie Jones a whopping 13 times for 162 yards. Jones was active early and often, and finished the night with more yardage than any other Michigan receiver all year. O’Connell was however picked off twice by Will Johnson, a freshman who is proving why he was a five-star recruit prior to arriving in Ann Arbor.
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With the win over Purdue, Michigan has all but locked up the No. 2 in the College Football Playoff rankings, while Georgia is at No. 1 after dismantling LSU. No. There will be a debate at No. 3 and 4. It will likely be TCU at No. 3, despite losing to Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship, with Ohio State backing its way into the No. 4 spot thanks to USC’s collapse against Utah in the Pac 12 title game.
So here we are. Michigan is currently at the top of the Big Ten conference and heading for the College Football Playoff for the second consecutive year. The Wolverines are even better than last year, making this all so much more fun. Your Michigan Wolverines have a chance at winning a national championship.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.