Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#417 Florida Atlantic (FAU) vs.
#418 Purdue
Saturday, September 24, 2022 at 7:30pm EDT
Written by Chris King

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It’s a non-conference clash on the gridiron as a member of Conference USA makes the trip to the Hoosier State to battle a member of the Big Ten. The Florida Atlantic Owls are on the road as they travel westward to take on the Purdue Boilermakers Saturday night. Florida Atlantic was drubbed 40-14 at home by UCF in a battle of programs from the Sunshine State in their most recent contest last Saturday night. Purdue fell 32-29 in a wild game on the road against Syracuse that saw the majority of its points scored in the fourth quarter. This marks the first time that the two programs have met on the gridiron as FBS opponents.

Florida Atlantic Owls Look to Avoid Falling Below .500

Florida Atlantic was clobbered at home by UCF in their most recent contest and hopes to regroup here. The Owls dropped to 2-2 overall on the season and sit 1-0 in conference play, so they look to avoid falling below the .500 mark here. Against UCF, Florida Atlantic took a 14-7 lead in the final seconds of the opening quarter but that was their high note. The Owls gave up 33 unanswered points the rest of the way to end up getting stomped. Florida Atlantic was obliterated 653-296 in total offense, gave up 32 first downs while picking up 18 and was dominated 37:05 to 22:55 in time of possession. Those massive numbers in UCF’s favor offset that Florida Atlantic won the turnover battle 3-1 in the game.

For the season, the Owls are 62nd in the nation in passing offense with 250.3 yards per game through the air while they are tied for 26th in rushing offense with 218 yards per contest on the ground. Florida Atlantic is 62nd in the FBS in scoring offense with an average of 34.3 points per contest and stand 73rd in the country in scoring defense by allowing 25.8 points a game. N’Kosi Perry is 71 of 123 passing for 987 yards with 10 touchdowns against two interceptions while adding 44 yards and two scores on the ground.  Willie Taggart Jr. is two of four for 14 yards plus 38 rushing yards in limited work. Larry McCammon leads the run game with 54 carries for 394 yards and two scores. Zuberi Mobley (47 carries, 270 yards, three TD) and Marvin Scott III (18 carries, 80 yards) have been productive when called upon as well. In the passing game, LaJohntay Wester leads the team with 20 catches for 239 yards and four scores. Jahmal Edrine (14 receptions, 206 yards, two TD), Je’Quan Burton (10 receptions, 170 yards, two TD) and Tony Johnson (nine catches, 137 yards, TD) are all over the century mark in receiving yards. Morgan Suarez has hit all 17 extra point attempts and four of five field goal attempts with a long of 43 this season.

Purdue Boilermakers Try to Regroup After Stinging Defeat

Purdue was involved in a contest that was a defensive struggle for three quarters before an explosion of points poured in during the final stanza. The Boilermakers rallied to lead late only to commit stupid penalties to help Syracuse score the winning touchdown in the dying seconds. Purdue tries to regroup at home after coughing one up in the Carrier Dome. In that game, Purdue led 6-3 after the opening quarter, 9-3 at the half and trailed 10-9 after three quarters. During the final quarter, the Boilermakers took a 15-10 lead, trailed 25-15 with just over eight minutes to play, and rallied to lead 29-25 with 51 seconds to go but couldn’t hold on. Purdue allowed Syracuse to score the winning touchdown with seven seconds to play. The Boilermakers held a commanding 485-306 edge in total offense, picked up 25 first downs while allowing 23 and held a 32:25 to 27:35 advantage in time of possession yet still lost. They committed the lone turnover of the game and it was critical: Syracuse had a pick-six that changed the margin in the game.

The Boilermakers are 6th in the nation in passing offense with 359.3 yards per game while they are 101st in rushing offense with 118 yards per contest. Purdue stands 35th in the FBS in scoring offense with an average of 38.7 points per game while ranking 56th in scoring defense by allowing 22.3 points per contest. Aidan O’Connell has connected on 86 of 134 passes for 1,000 yards with eight touchdowns and one interception this year. Michael Alaimo is four of five for 37 yards while Austin Burton (three of three, 33 yards) and Brady Allen (one of three, eight yards) have each seen limited action. The run game is paced by Devin Mockobee (20 carries, 100 yards, two TD) with Dylan Downing (25 carries, 91 yards, TD), King Doerue (18 carries, 64 yards, three TD) and Kobe Lewis (13 carries, 40 yards) mixing in as well. In the passing game, Charlie Jones is far and away the top receiver for the Boilermakers with 32 receptions for 474 yards and five scores on the year. Payne Durham (13 catches, 133 yards, two TD) and Tyrone Tracy (11 grabs, 78 yards) are quality secondary targets. Mitchell Fineran is 13 of 14 on extra point attempts and two of three on field goals with a long of 41. Caleb Krockover hit his lone extra point attempt and has yet to kick a field goal this season.

O'Connell is a game-time decision with an unspecified injury.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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We have a couple of teams here that have plenty of explosiveness on the offensive side of the ball. Florida Atlantic has a distinct advantage in balance as they have a pair of very good backs in the system with McCammon and Mobley. On the flip side, we know how explosive Purdue can be in the passing game as the addition of Jones has helped atone for the departure of David Bell to the NFL. The fact that the Boilermakers rallied from 10 down midway through the fourth quarter to take the lead in the final minute before falling to Syracuse shows how dangerous they can be on offense. Purdue is at home here and that works massively in their favor in this contest. Look for the Boilermakers to bounce back from the narrow loss in the Empire State as they get back in the win column.

Prediction: Purdue Boilermakers -18.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Florida Atlantic enters this contest having seen the under hit in three of their four contests this season. The Owls have seen combined point totals of 56 (vs. Charlotte), 79 (at Ohio), 51 (vs. Southeastern Louisiana) and 54 (vs. UCF) in their games this season. Those games had totals set at 60.5, 50.5, 64 and 62 points, respectively, so the Ohio game was the lone contest to go over the mark. Meanwhile, Purdue has gone over the number in each of their three games this season. The Boilermakers have seen combined totals of 66 points (vs. Penn State), 56 (vs. Indiana State) and 61 (at Syracuse) on the year. Those games had totals set at 53.5, 54.5 and 59.5 points, respectively, so while they went over the mark, the last two were pretty close. With that said, the Boilermakers are out for vengeance and that means they likely end up in the 40s. This one ends up over the number by a couple of points.

Prediction: Over 61
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Written By Chris King , "Chris King"

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.