No. 8 Michigan ready to open Big Ten play at Purdue
The Associated Press
Sep. 21, 2017
No. 8 Michigan (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) at Purdue (2-1, 0-0), Saturday, 4 p.m. ET (Fox)
Line: Michigan by 10.
Series record: Michigan leads 44-14.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Michigan begins conference play with Big Ten title hopes and national championship aspirations. A loss to Purdue could hamper both goals. The Boilermakers are already off to a surprisingly good start under first-year coach Jeff Brohm. A signature win over one of the nation's traditional powerhouses would inject even more excitement into the Boilermakers' resurgent program.
Michigan defense vs. Purdue quarterbacks. Brohm seems content to continue using the two-quarterback rotation of Elijah Sindelar and David Blough. It's worked well so far. But Sindelar has never faced a college defense quite like this. Blough hasn't thrown an interception since Week 1 and has a passer efficiency rating of 174.5. If the Wolverines' defense is as good as advertised and forces a few turnovers, it could be a long day for Purdue.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Michigan: MLB Devin Bush. On one of the best defenses, the sophomore is emerging as a star. He leads the team with 25 tackles, 3½ sacks and 4½ tackles for loss in his first three college starts. He also seems to be getting better with time, recording a career best 11 tackles last week against Air Force.
Purdue: Jackson Anthrop. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound redshirt freshman may not look like a Big Ten player. All he does is catch passes. With a team-best 17 receptions and league-high four TD receptions, he's become the favorite target of both Boilermakers quarterbacks.
FACTS & FIGURES
Michigan is 46-3 in Big Ten openers since 1968. ... Purdue is 0-9 against top 10 foes since beating No. 7 Ohio State in 2009. ... The Wolverines have rushed for 190 or more yards in each of their first three games. ... Blough is the first Purdue quarterback since Drew Brees to throw a TD pass in 15 consecutive games. Brees did it in 18 straight games from 1998-99. ... Michigan has three defensive scores this season, tied for second in the Football Bowl Subdivision. ... Purdue is tied with Texas A&M and Bowling Green for most fumble recoveries (six) in the FBS.