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Michigan handles Purdue despite 4 Denard Robinson turnovers

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Denard Robinson overcame four turnovers, and Michigan defeated Purdue 27-16 on Saturday.

Robinson passed for 176 yards, but the nation's leader in yards rushing was held to 68 yards on 22 carries. He also fumbled twice and threw two interceptions.

Michigan (7-3, 3-3 Big Ten) outgained the Boilermakers 395 yards to 256, but its five turnovers kept the game close on a rainy, windy day.

Michigan overcame a dominant effort by Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan. The defensive end had four sacks, forced two fumbles and recovered one, had five tackles for loss and 10 total tackles for the Boilermakers (4-6, 2-4). He set Big Ten and school records for career fumbles forced, with 14.

Rob Henry, who switched between running back and quarterback, rushed for 75 yards on 12 carries.

Michigan led 20-16 late in the fourth quarter before taking over at the Purdue 49-yard line with 5:59 to play. Robinson completed a 25-yard pass to Kevin Koger on a third-and-7, then later ran for 11 yards on a third-and-9 from the Purdue 20 to set up a first-and-goal. Stephen Hopkins finished the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run that gave the Wolverines a 27-16 lead and put the game out of reach with 1:58 remaining.

Henry, who had missed the previous game at quarterback, started at running back. Justin Siller, who had missed the previous five games at receiver, started at quarterback, but came up limping on the first play and did not return.

Purdue's Josh Johnson stripped Robinson on his first carry, and Purdue's Will Lucas recovered at the Purdue 36. The Boilermakers drove into Michigan territory, but Henry and fullback Dan Dierking fumbled an exchange, and Cameron Gordon recovered and ran 58 yards for a touchdown to give Michigan a 7-0 lead five minutes into the game.

Michigan scored again after a poor punt by Purdue. Robinson completed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Roy Roundtree to give the Wolverines a 14-0 lead. Roundtree had committed to Purdue before changing his mind and heading to Michigan.

Henry had back-to-back runs of 20 and 27 yards to put the Boilermakers inside the Michigan 10-yard line, but the drive fizzled, and Carson Wiggs made a 20-yard field goal to cut Michigan's lead to 14-3 in the final minute of the first quarter.

Michigan looked ready to take charge with the ball inside the Boilermakers' 20-yard line, but Robinson threw right to Purdue's Ricardo Allen. Allen took off down the right sideline, and eventually had just Robinson to beat. Robinson went low, but Allen kept his balance at the Michigan 45-yard line, then completed a 94-yard return for a touchdown to trim Michigan's lead to 14-10.

Michigan went for it on a fourth-and-1 from its 46, but Hopkins fumbled, and Kerrigan recovered at the Michigan 45-yard line. Wiggs made a 46-yard field goal to cut Michigan's lead to 14-13 with 4:44 left in the first half. Robinson was held to 22 yards on nine carries in the first half.

Purdue kicked off and stopped Michigan on three plays to open the second half. Michigan punted, but Purdue's Waynelle Gravesande muffed it and Michigan recovered at the Purdue 32. Two plays later, Vincent Smith ran for a 19-yard touchdown. Michigan's Seth Broekhuizen missed the extra point, and the Wolverines' lead remained 20-13.

Robinson threw his second interception of the game, this one to Johnson, and Purdue took over in Michigan territory. Wiggs made a 40-yard field goal, and Purdue cut Michigan's lead to 20-16 with 9:38 left in the third quarter.

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