Saturday, October 29, 2011
Halftime: Michigan 22, Purdue 7
By Adam Rittenberg
It has been an odd game at the Big House so far, although Michigan has to like the result at halftime after some bumps along the way.
Despite allowing an easy touchdown drive to open the game and committing two turnovers, the Wolverines have a comfortable lead. Fueled by opportunistic defense and big plays on offense, Michigan scored 22 unanswered points to end the half.
Wolverines senior defensive tackle Mike Martin had a huge first 30 minutes. He recorded a safety to bail out teammate Devin Gardner, who threw an ugly interception, and had another sack to force a Purdue punt late in the half. The NFL prospect has been dominant. The Wolverines also were helped by a Courtney Avery interception in the red zone to stop a Purdue drive.
It was a bizarre half for the Michigan offense, which piled up 294 yards and 16 first downs but didn't always look smooth. Running back Fitz Toussaint (9 catches, 75 yards, TD) and receivers Jeremy Gallon (2 catches, 65 receiving yards) and Roy Roundtree (2 catches, 61 yards) have been impressive, but ...
Denard Robinson continues to make head-scratching decisions in the passing game. He threw an interception in Purdue territory, his 11th of the season, matching his total from all of last season. Coordinator Al Borges continues to show creativity with his play calls, but he pushed his luck with the deep pass by Gardner, which Purdue easily intercepted.
Purdue's offense looked great on the opening series but picked up 67 of its 119 first-half yards on the possession. Caleb TerBush completed 4 of 5 passes for 64 yards and a touchdown, but Purdue also has used Robert Marve under center. The Boilers' run game has been practically invisible, and coordinator Gary Nord must find a way to get Ralph Bolden and the other backs going in the second half.