Purdue running back D.J. Knox remains questionable with a thumb injury that he received surgery on. Tight end Brycen Hopkins (23 catches, 324 yards, 3 TDs) missed the last game with a back injury and is questionable. Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate remains probable with his shoulder issue; expect the team’s best offensive weapon to start.
Purdue and Arizona will lock together at the Foster Farms Bowl in Levi’s Stadium on Wednesday, December 27th. The Wildcats are limping to the finish line with consecutive losses to end the season. The Boilermakers took three of their last four to just find a way into the bowl season.
Jones explodes for over 200 yards in regular season finale
Purdue figured things out at the right time, taking down weaker Big Ten opponents down the stretch and posting three victories in the month of November. The biggest victory came in a stunner at Iowa, where Ohio State was blown out just weeks prior. The regular season finale was against Indiana at home, and they took them down in a thrilling 31-24 victory. They had a 31-10 lead in the fourth quarter and survived a late scare from the Hoosiers.
Indiana had back-to-back touchdown passes in the final six minutes, but they simply ran out of time in order to tie the game. Running back Markell Jones had 480 rushing yards on the season, but nearly half of that came in the season finale. He had a whopping 217 yards on 31 carries. He only reached the endzone once this season — back on October 7th against Minnesota — but he hopes to carry this momentum to the finish line with a great bowl game. His companion, D.J. Knox (460 yards on 79 attempts this season) is questionable after undergoing thumb surgery.
Khalil looks to bail out the Wildcats defense one last time
Arizona has been a fairly wild team this season. On offense, they average 495 yards and 41.8 points per game. On defense, they allow 467 yards as an average. They’ve had to score a ton in order to get these victories, and that’s started to turn on them in the last month. In the opposite spectrum of their bowl opponent, they lost three of their last four games and gave up 42 points or more in all of those defeats. The lone win was over a very bad team in Oregon State.
While the team may not be that great, they’re unquestionably fun to watch, especially quarterback Khalil Tate. He’s listed as probable despite nursing a shoulder injury, and he’s the obvious make-or-break player for the team. In the air, he’s posted an adequate 1,289 passing yards and a ratio of nine touchdowns to eight picks. On the ground, he adds another 1,353 yards and 12 more scores. He averages more yards on the ground per play than in the air.
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 bowl games
- 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games after a SU win
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games after an ATS loss
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after a SU loss
The Boilermakers have been playing better down the stretch, but it will be a tough task to contain Tate. Expect the Wildcats to pull off the win and lay the points.
As expected, the total is a massive number with two teams that have struggled to stop opponents this season. Especially with Arizona giving up over 40 points in three of their last four games, expect a very high scoring affair in this one.
- Over is 4-0 in Arizona’s last 4 bowl games
- Over is 13-6 in Purdue’s last 19 games on grass