Three Keys to a Boilermaker Victory: Arizona Edition

Today will be the last game of the season for Purdue Football as they take on Arizona Football in the Foster Farms Bowl all the way out in Santa Clara, California for what should be a great bowl game. Kickoff is slated for 8:30 PM Eastern, and you can catch the game on Fox.

1. Stop Khalil Tate

This is a task in itself for Purdue’s superior defense, and they must hold Khalil Tate to an average day. With only 1,289 passing yards and 9 touchdowns, you would think he is your average quarterback. You take Tate seriously because he also can break down a defense with his legs. The Heisman candidate rushed for 1,353 yards and 12 touchdowns in addition to his air attack. The numbers do not lie in our Stat Packet, Purdue has a great chance of winning simply because of their defensive numbers. Arizona is a far more offensive team, averaging 41.8 points per game led by Tate. The Boilermakers only yield 19.3 points per game, meaning this game should go by the old term “Defense wins Championships”. If this happens, Tate will be stopped by the Purdue defense.

2. Score early and often

This is one area where the Wildcats would have the advantage because of Khalil Tate alone, but an Elijah Sindelar led offense can score early and often. Averaging 24.2 points per game, Purdue early in the season tended to find scoring in the second half of games. In their last few games, the Boilermakers have been able to score early against Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana. If Purdue can maintain this success of scoring in the first and second quarters, they can hold an early advantage.

3. Don’t let the moment interfere

This was the same key against Indiana with the Old Oaken Bucket and a bowl game on the line. Purdue handled themselves back then with a monster game from Markell Jones and Anthony Mahoungou, and they can do it again against Arizona. At 6-6 on the season, everybody at Purdue including Jeff Brohm was completely thrilled to find out they would play in a bowl game. There were not too many expectations before the season and if there were, Brohm exceeded every single one. On Tuesday, Brohm was quoted saying 7-6 sounds better than 6-7. That is what might drive the Boilermakers to not only participate in a bowl game but win a bowl game. The moment will be huge for every player on Purdue, simply because this will be their first bowl game ever at the program. If the moment does not interfere with the end goal, Purdue should find themselves holding the Foster Farms Bowl Champions trophy.

Published at 2:15 PM Eastern on December 27th, 2017.


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