Halftime adjustments and a Wilton Speight injury may have saved the day for Michigan, defeating Purdue, 28-10, in West Lafayette on Saturday.
John O'Korn entered the game in the first quarter, after Speight was slow to get up after a sack, and was good to great, racking up 270 yards on 18-for-26 passing with one touchdown.
O'Korn often used his legs, scrambling for a memorable first down in the fourth quarter to help milk the clock after Michigan had secured a lead.
Speight didn't look good in his limited time, missing open receivers.
The defense was its regular, dominant self. After giving up one touchdown drive in the first half, they tightened things up considerably, and Purdue finished with only 189 total yards, gaining only 10 in the second half.
Purdue switched back and forth between quarterbacks Elijah Sindelar and David Blough. Neither had much success.
Chris Evans had 97 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns, including the game-sealing 49-yard score in the fourth quarter.
The tight ends led the way for Michigan receivers, with Sean McKeon gaining 82 yards and Zach Gentry picking up 48 with a touchdown.
Maize and blue faithful were nervous after the first half ended with Purdue up 10-7.
Neither team moved the ball well in the first half, Michigan finishing the half with 131 total yards and Purdue 179.
The difference in the first half was a John O'Korn interception which set Purdue up for their field goal.
Michigan and the Boilermakers didn't end the half with the quarterback they started it with. Wilton Speight was injured, and David Blough was replaced by sophomore Elijah Sindelar, who was much more effective.
Michigan now has a bye week followed by Michigan State at home.
28-10 Michigan wins
After running out the clock, the Wolverines were victorious.
Winovich forces fumble
Winovich forced a fumble, recovered by Noah Furbush, and Michigan has the ball again in Purdue territory.
Purdue gets ball, 2:39 left
With under five minutes left, Evans started Michigan off with two short runs. On third and five, Isaac couldn't get the first down, forcing a punt. 28-10 Michigan.
Winovich sacks Blough twice
After a touchback, Purdue got the ball with 6:46 left. On first down, Blough was sacked by Winovich. Then the Wolverines were called for pass interference, giving the Boilermakers a first down. Blough scrambled and threw the ball away, then junior wide receiver Corey Holmes dropped a pass, setting up third down. Winovich sacked Blough again, forcing a punt.
Evans with long touchdown run, 28-10 Michigan
On first down, the Wolverines were called for having an ineligible receiver downfield. On the next play, Evans ran for four yards up the middle, setting up second and 11. O'Korn then broke several tackles on a bootleg to get the first down. Crawford was injured on the play. On first down, Purdue was called for a late hit out of bounds, handing the Wolverines 15 extra yards.
With 8:00 left, if the Boilermakers could get a stop, they could try to mount a comeback, but they're having a hard time getting the ball back.
After a short run, Evans found a small hole and burst through the line for a 49-yard touchdown. 28-10 Michigan.
Michigan defense dominant in second half
Purdue tried to bring the kickoff out from deep in the end zone, but only got to the 20. Blough came back in at quarterback and tried to hit a big gain down the sideline, but David Long batted it away. Wright gained five yards on a receiver screen, setting up third and five. A Blough pass went through Wright's hands, and the Boilermakers were forced to punt. Wright, Purdue's best receiver on the day, was hurt on the play. 21-10 Michigan.
Okorn finding rhythm, 21-10 Michigan
On second and seven from Purdue's 39, Evans dragged down for one-yard loss. O'Korn hit Peoples-Jones for a just-barely first down. Isaac run up the middle for a short gain on first down. On second and seven, the Wolverines committed an illegal substitution penalty, and then Ben Bredeson was flagged for a false start, setting up second and 17. O'Korn then threaded the needle over the middle to McKeon for a first down. After an illegal block penalty on Peoples-Jones, O'Korn threw another impressive ball over the middle to Gentry, setting up first and goal. Purdue's senior linebacker Ja'Whaun Bentley was ejected for targeting on the play. O'Korn is now 18-for-26 for 270 yards, one touchdown and one interception. On first and goal, Isaac plunged to the one-yard line, then scored. 21-10 Michigan.
14-10 Michigan, start of fourth quarter
O'Korn scrambled to his right and found Perry for a first down, then Evans ran for a short gain. O'Korn is 14-for-22 with 191 yards, one touchdown and one interception at the end of the third quarter.
Purdue punts again
After a touchback, Sindelar hit a receiver for a four-yard gain. On second down, Sindelar fumbled the hand-off on a jet sweep. He recovered it but for a big loss, setting up third and 18. Sindelar had to check down, but Bush hit the receiver hard, forcing an incompletion. On the punt, Michigan was flagged for running into the kicker, only a five-yard penalty, so Purdue still punted.
Evans finds pay dirt, 14-10 Michigan
On third and one, Evans weaved his way through the line of scrimmage for a first down. On a toss play, Evans sprinted into the end zone untouched. 14-10, Michigan.
Michigan moving ball, in red zone
Michigan started with the ball on its 14-yard line. O'Korn scrambled to the right and found an open Donovan Peoples-Jones, but the play was wiped out by a Nolan Ulizio holding penalty. O'Korn found Gentry on a crossing route for a nine-yard gain, setting up second and six. Gentry then dropped a pass that would have gotten the Wolverines a first down. On third and six, O'Korn barely escaped pressure, pushing off the ground with his off-hand, and hit Perry over the middle for the first down. On first down he again escaped pressure and threw the ball away. After a short run, on third and seven, O'Korn found McKeon for a 29-yard gain into Purdue territory. On first down, O'Korn threw way behind his intended receiver, Nick Eubanks, but junior safety Jacob Thieneman was called for targeting. Thieneman was ejected, and the Wolverines had a first down on the Boilermaker's 22-yard line. O'Korn checked down to Evans for three yards, setting up second and seven. Evans then ran for six yards up the middle.
Purdue goes three and out after gathering fumble
Chase Winovich sacked Sindelar for a big loss, setting up third and 21. A draw play got the Boilermakers to their 40, but they will punt.
To avoid pressure on the quarterback, Michigan called a running back screen. Higdon had a first down but was stripped of the ball, with Purdue recovering.
Michigan, Purdue trade punts to start second half
After little offense, both teams traded punts to start the second half. Michigan has the ball with 10:34 left in the third quarter.
Halftime, 10-7 Purdue
Purdue got the ball with 1:50 left in the first half, and Sindelar quickly hit a receiver for a gain putting the Boilermakers close to midfield. After an incompletion, sophomore Richie Worship ran for four yards, then Sindelar scrambled for no gain, forcing a punt. Michigan ran three plays, including a long incompletion, taking the game into halftime with Purdue up 10-7.
O'Korn sacked, Michigan punting again
After a Kekoa Crawford wide receiver screen, Michigan was in Boilermaker territory. On third and five, O'Korn was sacked, forcing a Michigan punt.
Penalty hurts Purdue field position
Purdue called for a chop block, setting them back to its 19-yard line. Sindelar then overthrew Wright for an incompletion on first and 25. Then Sindelar missed his wide receiver on a screen, setting up third and 25. On another receiver screen, Devin Bush made a tackle for loss. Purdue would punt.
Wolverines go three and out again
Michigan started with the ball on their 25-yard line after the kickoff sailed through the end zone for a touchback. Karan Higdon ran up the middle for three yards, then to the left for four more, setting up third and four. O'Korn then overthrew Grant Perry and Michigan would punt.
Purdue settles for field goal, takes lead
Sindelar hit his tight end for a first down inside the 15-yard line, then overthrew a receiver in the end zone, setting up second down. A pitch then went for no gain. On third and eight, a draw play gained no yards. Sophomore kicker J.D. Dellinger converted the 29-yard field goal. 10-7 Purdue.
After a touchback, Michigan started on their 25-yard line. O'Korn scrambled for no gain on first down. Higdon then lost a yard on a toss, setting up third and 11. O'Korn was then intercepted when his throw went off Grant Perry's hands, and Purdue will have it at Michigan's 26-yard line.
Purdue touchdown, enter Sindelar
After a touchback, the Boilermakers started on their 25-yard line. Elijah Sindelar came in at quarterback and hit a 15-yard throw on first down, then scrambled for another first down. Terry Wright then caught a ball on a wide receiver screen, putting Purdue into the red zone. Sindelar then found his tight end Brycen Hopkins for the touchdown. 7-7.
O'Korn touchdown, Speight taken for x-rays
O'Korn hit his tight end Sean McKeon for a first down, putting Michigan on Purdue's 30-yard line. Chris Evans then ran for five yards. Higdon was stopped for a loss on second down. O'Korn then found McKeon again for ten yards and a first down. Isaac ran up the middle for six yards, then ran again for two yards, setting up a third and four. On play action, O'Korn found tight end Zach Gentry who ran for the score. O'Korn goes 5-for-5 for 61 yards and a touchdown. 7-0 Michigan.
Wilton Speight was taken "a few blocks away" because Purdue's stadium does not have x-ray capabilities.
Speight's status unkown, not a concussion
Per the radio broadcast, Speight did not suffer a concussion.
John O'Korn came into the game at quarterback for Michigan. A Karan Higdon run gained only one yard. O'Korn hit Nate Schoenle, a walk on, for a first down. Higdon then found some room for a six-yard gain, then ran for the first down. O'Korn then found his fullback Henry Poggi for a first down into Purdue territory. After the end of the first quarter, the score is still 0-0.
Blough sacked by Bush again
On the Michigan punt, the Wolverines were penalized for kick-catch interference, setting Purdue up in Michigan territory. The Boilermakers attempted a flea flicker, but Blough was sacked by Devin Bush. On second and 14, Blough scrambled for seven yards. On third and seven, Blough missed his receiver and Purdue was forced to punt.
Speight sacked, heads to locker room
The Wolverines started on their own 23-yard line. After a short run, Ty Isaac picked up a three-yard run, setting up third and five. Speight was then sacked, and didn't get up, five members of the medical team surrounding him. He would walk off under his own power, but headed straight for the Michigan locker room.
Purdue goes three and out
After a good punt, Purdue started on their own 15-yard line. Blough found Terry Wright for a short gain, setting up third and short. Purdue spread the field with five receivers and Blough found his tight end, but his knee hit the ground just before the line to gain, setting up a punt. The score is still knotted at zero.
Michigan goes three and out
Michigan started their second possession on their own 34-yard line. After a short run and pass, Speight had to throw it away on third down.
Bush sacks Blough
Devin Bush picked up his first sack of the day on Purdue's second possession. After a Boilermaker penalty, it punted.
Speight nearly throws interception
Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight started deep in Wolverine territory and was sacked on second down. He almost threw an interception on third down, but the referee ruled it incomplete.
Boilermakers start with trick play but drive stalls
Purdue started the game with the ball on their own 25. Quarterback David Blough threw a screen pass to a wide receiver, who threw it back to Blough for a 24-yard gain. Blough then scrambled for a first down. The drive stalled on Michigan's 39-yard line.
The game is starting on Fox now.
Purdue's top running back, Tario Fuller, is reportedly out.
Temperatures are soaring above 90 degrees in West Lafayette. Purdue is wearing solid black and Michigan's locker room isn't air conditioned.
Michigan goes for its fourth straight victory as it opens Big Ten play Saturday against Purdue. Follow all the action here with live updates throughout the game from Eric Coughlin of The Detroit News.
MICHIGAN vs. PURDUE
When: Saturday, 4 p.m.
Where: Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, Ind.
TV/radio: FOX/950 WWJ
Records: Michigan 3-0, Purdue 2-1
Line: Michigan by 8
Series: Michigan leads 44-14