Michigan vs. Purdue: Wolverines Show They're Still Force in Big Ten with Rout

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistOctober 6, 2012

Despite a 2-2 record outside of the conference, the Michigan Wolverines are still an extremely legitimate threat to win the Big Ten title in 2012.

Early season losses to Alabama and Notre Dame brought down the hype surrounding this Michigan team, but today's impressive effort against the Purdue Boilermakers in a 44-13 win should have fans talking about the Big Ten title.

The Wolverines reminded fans and media why this Michigan team began the season as one of the most hyped teams in the country to begin with: The offense can be explosive.

Denard Robinson was a one-man show in the running game, contributing 235 of the Wolverines 304 rushing yards. Robinson's electrifying running ability gave the Wolverines the stability that this offense has lacked for most of the season and it showed up on the scoreboard.

Looking ahead, this is a great sign of things to come for Brady Hoke's squad.

Purdue is by no means a top 25 team, but they aren't exactly a cupcake either. The Boilermakers came into this game with a 3-1 record and their only loss coming to the unbeaten Notre Dame Irish in a 20-17 nail biter in the second week of the season.

The Boilermakers are capable of putting up points as they had scored over 50 points in back-to-back weeks before the Michigan defense was able to hold Caleb TerBush and Co. to a mere 13 points. After giving up 41 points to Alabama and 25 points to Air Force early in the season, the defense looked much better against a decent offense.

The Wolverines definitely have their holes. Robinson's passing was once again an issue as he barely mustered 100 yards on 8-of-16 passing. However, the Wolverines showed that they are dangerous when they can limit turnovers and force other teams into making mistakes.

Considering the topsy-turvy Big Ten, one weakness will not kill this team's chances. Michigan's performance against Purdue was its best of the season. If they can continue to limit turnovers and put together dominant performances on the ground, however, they have as good a chance as anyone to come out of the Big Ten to play in the Rose Bowl.

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