Purdue pushed Michigan onto its heels, marching down the field on the opening drive that was capped by Caleb TerBush's short pass that Gary Bush turned into a long touchdown that quieted the Big House.
Then, the Boilermakers didn't do much other than continue their pattern of alternating winning and losing.
Fitzgerald Toussaint ran for a career-high 170 yards and two TDs to lead the 17th-ranked Wolverines to a 36-14 win over Purdue on Saturday.
''I loved the way we started with that first drive and we never got that going again,'' Boilermakers receiver Justin Siller said. ''I don't understand it.''
Purdue (4-4, 2-2 Big Ten) hasn't won or lost consecutive games this year, but is still two victories from being bowl eligible for the first time since 2007.
Michigan (7-1, 3-1 Big Ten) scored 36 straight points after falling behind early and bounced back from their first loss of the season two weeks ago at Michigan State.
Toussaint had 155 yards rushing through three quarters, helping Michigan find a rusher to take some of the load from quarterback Denard Robinson. Backup Michael Shaw ran for a 37-yard TD on his first carry early in the fourth for a 36-7 lead.
Purdue was effectively shut down after TerBush connected with Bush on a 48-yard TD just 1:24 into the game.
''We thought we were going to be able to keep that going and I don't think they did much to stop us,'' TerBush said. ''We just didn't do the things we needed to keep moving the ball. That's on us.''
The Boilermakers wasted their first good chance to end the drought early in the fourth when TerBush was stopped inside the Michigan 1 on a fourth-down run.
Purdue finally again scored with 15 seconds left on Robert Marve's 19-yard pass to O.J. Ross.
Michigan has tried to re-establish a traditional power running game this season and gotten mixed results - until pounding Purdue with a heavy dose of Toussaint left, right and up the middle.
''I wish it looked like that every week,'' Wolverines coach Brady Hoke said.
Robinson completed five of his first six passes, before locking in on a target and throwing an interception in Purdue territory. He finished 9 of 14 for 170 yards. Robinson ran 15 times, his third-lowest total this year, for 63 yards and a score on Michigan's first drive that made it 7-all midway through the first quarter.
Devin Gardner threw an interception on his first attempt, an ill-advised throw into coverage that sailed high and fell short of the receiver near the end zone.
Mike Martin brought down TerBush in the end zone to put Michigan ahead for the first time, early in the second quarter.
''I took one step back and the guy was right in my face,'' TerBush said. ''I tried to get the ball to Siller, but I never had a chance.''
Purdue played both of its quarterbacks as planned.
TerBush was 9 of 13 for 156 yards and Marve was 8 of 14 for 66 yards.
The Boilermakers didn't have a player with more than 58 yards rushing or receiving.
''We wanted to attack the perimeter because other teams have done that against them and it is something we do normally,'' Boilermakers coach Danny Hope said. ''But they did a great job of forcing our running attack inside. We just weren't physical enough.''