ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — No. 2 Michigan is seemingly unfazed by an NCAA investigation into allegations that they broke rules with a sign-stealing scheme that could potentially penalize the program and coaching staff.
Blake Corum matched his season high with three touchdowns and Semaj Morgan ran for a 44-yard score, leading the third-ranked Wolverines to a 41-13 victory over Purdue on Saturday night.
“All that outside noise is just noise,” said Michigan’s Heisman Trophy-candidate quarterback J.J. McCarthy, who was 24 of 37 for a season-high 335 yards.
The Wolverines (9-0, 6-0 Big Ten) routed another overmatched opponent as they have each game this season.
“We were already super close as a unit, but with more stuff coming in — the noise — we just think of it as us against the world,” McCarthy said.
Purdue coach Ryan Walters said two days before the game that he knew “for a fact” that Michigan was at number of his team’s games, forcing his players to learn a new language.
“I was just calling a spade a spade, really in terms of advantages, disadvantages,” Walter said in his postgame news conference. “I was just stating what happened.”
And, he doesn’t regret it.
“I am not shy about speaking the truth,” Walters said. “If I had to do it over again, I would say the same thing.”
The Boilermakers (2-7, 1-5) used a staffer and backup quarterbacks to signal plays from the sideline as they have appeared to do all season.
After the game, the coaches shook hands while walking past each other without stopping.
“It was a typical postgame handshake,” Harbaugh insisted.
Likewise, Walters didn’t make much of the exchange.
“I shook his hand and came to the locker room,” he said.
Roman Wilson had career highs with nine receptions and 143 yards receiving for the Wolverines, who have won a school-record 21 straight Big Ten games and 24 in a row during the regular season.
Purdue quarterback Hudson Card was 12 of 28 for 144 yards with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Deion Burks with 18 seconds left.
The Boilermakers have lost four straight, falling out of potential contention for a bowl bid as the defending West Division champion their first-year coach.
“I am not going to forfeit an opportunity to win a game for gaining experience,” Walters said.
IT WAS WRITTEN
University of Michigan President Santa Ono sent an email to Big Ten Commissioner Tony Petitti, imploring the conference to wait for results of the NCAA’s investigation before potentially taking action against the Jim Harbaugh -led football program.
“It’s deeply appreciated,” he said when asked about Ono’s support.
Purdue Pete, the school’s mascot, was seen on the sideline wearing an Ohio State robe with a contraption that looked like a camera.
Connor Stalions, the low-level Michigan football staffer at the center of the probe into impermissible scouting and sign stealing, resigned Friday.
Purdue: The offensively challenged team had another rough day. After the Boilermakers were shut out in the first half of its last two games, they made two field goals in the second quarter and didn’t score again until the final minute when the game was out of reach.
Michigan: The Wolverines are the only FBS unbeaten team to win their first nine games by 20-plus points, but they will finally play a ranked team for the first time next week at No. 9 Penn State.
“Super excited for the opportunity,” McCarthy said. “They’re a super talented team and they’re well coached. It’s going to be a good one for us to see where we’re all at. It’s going to be a fun one next Saturday.”
Purdue: Hosts Minnesota on Saturday.
Michigan: Play the Nittany Lions on the road Saturday.