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2017 Foster Farms Bowl preview

The Foster Farms Bowl involves two teams that exceeded expectations this season. Arizona and Purdue were not very highly though of, but both were able to make a bowl game. Here is the 2017 Foster Farms Bowl preview:

Arizona Wildcats (7-5)

2017 Foster Farms Bowl preview
Khalil Tate (Photo by dailynews.com)

Rich Rodriguez was able to get Arizona to seven wins this year by putting in Khalil Tate at quarterback. The Wildcats were able UCLA and Cal for their solid wins, which both came during their four game win streak. Given their preseason expectations, this season was a success.

The offense is high-powered, as usual, with 41.8 points per game. They are the third best rushing team in the country and average 324.4 yards per game. Khalil Tate leads the team with 1,353 rushing yards on the season and he didn’t even play every game this season. J.J. Taylor is the second leading rusher as a running back with 828 yards and five touchdowns.

Tate is the leading passer with 1,289 yards, nine touchdowns and eight interceptions. It isn’t a great passing attack, but Tate completes 61.4% of his passes. Shun Brown and Tony Ellison both have around 500 passing yards. Brown has five touchdowns, while Ellison has three.

Defense has been a huge issue for Arizona, as they give up 34.1 points per game. They rank 88th against the run and 121st against the pass. Lorenzo Burns leads the team and is tied for eighth in the country with five interceptions on the season. With the defense being so bad, forcing turnovers is key.

Purdue Boilermakers (6-6)

2017 Foster Farms Bowl preview
Markus Bailey (Photo by jconline.com)

Purdue has made their first bowl game since 2012 under first year head coach Jeff Brohm. They were able to beat Ohio, Missouri and Iowa for wins over bowl eligible teams. It has been a great turnaround so far and could be capped off nicely with a win in the bowl game.

The Boilermakers only score 24.3 points per game this season. Markell Jones and D.J. Knox both have over 400 rushing yards, with Jones having 480 and Knox having 460. Running the ball hasn’t been too easy for the Boilermakers, but both of these backs average over five yards a carry.

Elijah Sindelar has lead the team in passing with 1,703 yards, 14 touchdowns and six interceptions. The passing game also has its fair share of troubles. Anthony Mahoungou has 570 receiving yards and six touchdowns on the season to lead the team.

Their defense has really improved this season, allowing 19.3 points per game. They rank 30th against the run and 86th against the pass. Sophomore linebacker Markus Bailey stepped up this season with seven sacks. They have a good team defense with not too many standout players.

Prediction

Arizona was a good team when Tate played and they will prevail in this game with him at quarterback. Purdue’s defense is good, but they haven’t seen anything all season like Tate. It is strength against strength between Arizona’s offense and Purdue’s defense, but the Wildcats will prevail.

Arizona Wildcats 39 Purdue Boilermakers 24

 

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