The Auburn Tigers started promisingly, as they beat #6 Washington 21-16 in the first game of the season. They won their next three-of-four. But them faltered, going 3-3 over their final six games. They did beat #20 Texas A&M 28-24. However, they also lost big contests, as #5 Georgia beat them 27-10 and #1 Alabama humiliated the Tigers 52-21. It was a rollercoaster of a season.
The Purdue Boilermakers were a bit of an enigma this season. They lost their first three games to Northwestern, Eastern Michigan, and Missouri. They won their first game when they beat #23 Boston College 30-13. Three more wins followed, including a 49-20 upset of #2 Ohio State. A 23-13 loss to unranked Michigan State was followed by a 38-36 victory over #16 Iowa. Purdue went 1-2 over their final three games, which included a 47-44 OT loss to Wisconsin and a 28-21 win over Indiana.
Auburn – Analysis
The D is allowing on average merely 19.6 PPG. The Tigers are giving up 222.4 YPG in the air and 140.7 YPG on the ground. The Auburn secondary has 51 PD and 12 picks. They’ve recovered a half-dozen forced fumbles. Their 34 sacks and 88 TFL are most impressive and could spell trouble for the Boilermakers. However, star defensive player Nic Coe will not play due to a surgical procedure. Still the Auburn defense is deep.
Purdue – Analysis
The Purdue defense is giving up 441.6 YPG, including 276.9 in passing and 164.6 in rushing. Teams are scoring on average 27.3 PPG against the Boilermakers. Purdue has defended 42 passes and grabbed 11 interceptions. That’s not bad. But their 26 sacks and 54 TFL are a bit light. As is their three FF and one recovery. Purdue will look to senior LB Markus Bailey (104 TKLs, 8.0 TFL, 6.5 SCKs) and sophomore LB Cornel Jones (67 TKLs, 12.5 TFL, 3.5 SCKs) to set the tone and lead.
Five Keys to the Game
- Purdue offense is especially dynamic
- Auburn offense needs to grind it out
- Boilermaker D can give up the big play
- Tigers D could win this game
- Auburn gets plenty of time to pass and room to run
Our 2018 Music City Bowl Pick
Our 2018 Music City Bowl pick does like the Tigers in this one. We do think their defense will come up big. We’re taking Auburn at -3.0. As far as the over/under goes, we like the over at 55.5. We do expect point to be scored. To find out what’s happening with Friday’s other two bowls, click on the appropriate links that follow – Camping World Bowl and Valero Alamo Bowl. Check out the 2018 bowl schedule right here.