Denard Robinson and Michigan got a bye week to think things over after getting embarrassed by Notre Dame.
That may prove critical against Purdue, which dropped 51 points on Marshall last week and lost by only three points to Notre Dame in Week 2.
Purdue, like Notre Dame, has a good run defense this season, which should make things interesting against Robinson and Co. in West Lafayette.
Here's a breakdown of Saturday's Big Ten clash.
Where: Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, IN
When: Saturday, Oct. 6 at 4 p.m. ET
Watch: Big Ten Network
Live Stream: BTN2Go
Betting Line: Michigan -3, Over/Under 57.5, via ScoresAndOdds.com
What's At Stake?
Michigan is trying to eke its way back to the top of the Legends division in the Big Ten after losses to Alabama and Notre Dame.
The Wolverines are 2-2 after a 13-6 loss to Notre Dame in which quarterback Denard Robinson imploded, tossing four interceptions while averaging 5.7 yards per attempt and 3.5 yards per carry.
Purdue (3-1, 0-0 Big Ten) finds itself behind No. 12 Ohio State and Penn State in the Leaders division.
The Boilermakers haven't won the Big Ten since 2000 when Drew Brees was a Heisman finalist. Their only loss this season was a 20-17 squeaker to Notre Dame.
Injury Report (via USA Today)
DT Richard Ash - Undisclosed - Questionable
DE Brennan Boyer - Knee - Questionable
RB Stephen Hopkins - Hamstring - Questionable
TE Brandon Moore - Knee - Questionable
DB Blake Countess - Knee - OUT for season
LB Kaleb Ringer - Knee - OUT for season
DE Chris Wormley - Knee - OUT for season
OL Chris Bryant - Shin - OUT for season
LB Antonio Poole - Pectoral - OUT indefinitely
WR Ishmael Aristide - Knee - Questionable
RB Ralph Bolden - Knee - OUT indefinitely
QB Robert Marve - Knee - OUT indefinitely
What They're Saying
Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke defended Denard Robinson after his deplorable day against Notre Dame, telling the Detroit News that he's a "damn good quarterback."
Left tackle Taylor Lewan also came to Robinson's aid, noting that there were 23 missed assignments in 66 plays against the Fighting Irish, per the Detroit News report.
The Wolverines did manage to rack up 100 rushing yards in the second half, including 56 yards from junior running back Fitzgerald Toussaint.
As for Purdue, GoldAndBlack.com says the word on the street is that senior quarterback Robert Marve will play against Michigan, despite being listed as "out indefinitely."
Marve has missed the Boilermakers' last two games because of a knee injury. He started the season against Eastern Kentucky going 30-of-38 for 295 yards and three touchdowns to one interception.
Senior Caleb TerBush—who went 27-of-37 for 294 yards and four touchdowns to one interception against Marshall last week—will start, but Marve is expected to see some playing time.
Michigan Player to Watch: Denard Robinson, QB
I've stressed that Michigan needs to use Toussaint more in the backfield, but when it comes down to it, the Wolverines' success ultimately lies in Robinson's hands.
Looking at Michigan's 36-14 blowout of Purdue last season, it's easy to say Robinson will have a big game.
On the other hand, Purdue's run defense (allowing 3.3 yards per carry) appears to be in much better shape this time around. As I've noted before, Robinson tends to struggle when teams (like Notre Dame) lock him up on the ground.
Purdue limited Notre Dame running back Theo Riddick to 53 yards on 15 carries in Week 2.
Purdue Player to Watch: Caleb TerBush/Robert Marve, QB
Both TerBush and Marve have had big games this season, albeit against lesser defenses than Michigan's.
The Boilermakers allowed 41 points against Marshall last week (with most of the damage coming through the air), but were able to survive because of TerBush's play.
On the other hand, Michigan's pass defense has been solid this season, allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete just 52.8 percent of their passes for 6.9 yards per attempt (two total passing touchdowns).
Alabama's A.J. McCarron (11-of-21, 199 yards, two touchdowns) and Notre Dame's Tommy Rees (8-of-11, 115 yards) had some success against the Wolverines.
Key Matchup: Purdue Passing Attack vs. Michigan Run Defense
I don't expect Michigan to explode against Purdue like it did last season.
I think this game will come down to whether the Wolverines can limit the Boilermakers through the air.
By adding Marve to the mix, Purdue forces Michigan to set aside some practice time to prepare for two quarterbacks instead of one. That can have an impact on a game.
Some may think giving Michigan just a three-point advantage in the betting line is giving Purdue too much credit; I don't think that.
Purdue has the passing game to keep things close.
Remember, Marve was ranked No. 8 at his position in the 2007 recruiting class by Rivals.com. He has some skill, as well as TerBush.
Prediction: Michigan 27, Purdue 24
While Purdue hasn't been bad against the pass overall, the Boilermakers did give up a lot of points against Marshall and saw Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson go 21-of-31 for 289 yards and a touchdown against them in Week 2.
I think Michigan bounces back from a tough loss and Robinson plays better.