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5 Greatest Michigan vs. Purdue College Football Games of All Time

Michigan leads the all-time series with Purdue 45-14.
Jared Crank, Purdue Boilermakers Football

Michigan has dominated the all-time series with Purdue but there have been some memorable matchups throughout the years.

Michigan and Purdue face off for the Big Ten title on Saturday with the Wolverines being a 16.5-point favorite. That is par for the course with this series as Michigan holds a healthy 45-14 edge and has won the last four games.

That being said, there have been some great games in this contest, especially when the Boilermakers surprised the Wolverines. Here are the five best.

5. Purdue 38, Michigan 36

Nov. 7, 2009  Ann Arbor, Mich.

Purdue had not won at The Big House since 1986, and the Wolverines led 24-10 at halftime. But the Boilermakers roared back in the third quarter, scoring three touchdowns in less than nine minutes to take a 31-30 lead. Purdue extended its advantage to 38-30 on an eight-yard touchdown run by quarterback Joey Elliott. Michigan had an opportunity to tie the game when Brandon Minor rushed for a touchdown with 2:10 left. However, it came up short when Ryan Kerrigan sacked quarterback Tate Forcier on the two-point play.

4. Michigan 9, Purdue 6

Nov. 18, 1972  Ann Arbor, Mich.

The Boilermakers dropped their first three games to Bowling Green, Washington, and Notre Dame and entered the game at 5-4, while Michigan had not lost a regular season game since 1970. Nevertheless, both teams still had a shot at the Big Ten title if they won this game. Purdue held the Wolverines' vaunted rushing attack to 100 yards but could only muster two field goals. Michigan's scored on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Dennis Franklin to Paul Seal, but Mike Lantry missed the extra point kick. Tied 6-6 late in the game, Wolverine safety Randy Logan intercepted Gary Danielson, and Michigan drove into field goal range. On fourth down with 1:04 left, Lantry redeemed himself with a 30-yard field goal for the win.

3. Purdue 48, Michigan 42

Nov. 1, 2008  West Lafayette, Ind.

Both Purdue and Michigan limped into this game with losing records but were respectively led by spread offense gurus Joe Tiller and Rich Rodriguez. This culminated in a shootout where Wolverine running Brandon Minor tied the game at 42-42 on a one-yard touchdown run with 1:20 remaining. Then Justin Siller responded by hitting Desmond Tardy with a 28-yard touchdown pass for the winning score.

2. Purdue 16, Michigan 14

Nov. 6, 1976  West Lafayette, Ind.

Top-ranked Michigan entered the game at 8-0 and had won seven straights against Purdue. But in this contest, the Wolverines could not stop running back Scott Dierking, who rushed for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Michigan still led 14-13 in the fourth quarter and was driving deep in Boilermaker territory when Rob Lytle fumbled, and Purdue recovered on its own 29-yard line. The Boilermakers drove to the Wolverines' six-yard line where Rob Supan kicked the go-ahead field goal with four minutes left. Michigan still had an opportunity to retake the lead, but Bob Wood's 37-yard field goal attempt went wide left in the final seconds.

1. Purdue 32, Michigan 31

Oct. 7, 2000 — West Lafayette, Ind.

Sixth-ranked Michigan led Purdue 28-10 at halftime. In the second half, the Boilermakers' defense held the Wolverines to 79 yards, and Drew Brees and Co. closed the lead to 31-29. Purdue kicker Travis Dorsch missed a 32-yard field goal with 2:11 left, but the Boilermakers forced Michigan to punt and Dorsch got another opportunity. This time, he nailed a 33-yard field goal with four seconds left for the win. Purdue went on to win its first conference title since 1967.

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports' Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.