Auburn -3.5 (o/u 55) vs Purdue
With games played against 5 of the nation’s top 20 teams, Auburn needed a wealth of talent to survive. Unfortunately, the talent and consistency just weren’t there as they went 1-4 against those team to end up 7-5 on the season. On offense, Auburn couldn’t find that shining light that would provide the unit with leadership. With only a single player scoring 5 or more touchdowns, there was no chance they could score with the likes of #1 Alabama and #5 Georgia. On defense, it was a quite different story. While the team was giving up a little more than 360 YPG, opponents had difficulty scoring in the red zone. On the season, Auburn’s defense allowed a scant 19.1 PPG, which put them 18th in the nation for scoring defense.
Purdue (6-6) did the unimaginable. They racked up 459 YPG (48th in the nation) and passed for an average of 317.8 YPG (21st in the nation) yet struggled to qualify for a bowl game. The team’s fate can down to the last game of the season against in-state rival Indiana. They would go on to win that game 28-21 to earn the invite to the Music City Bowl. On defense, Purdue played solid football, holding 5 different opponents to 20 points or less. The offense relied heavily on the passing combination of QB David Blough and WR Rondale Moore. Blough passed for a solid 3,521 yards and 25 TDs while only being intercepted 8 times. Moore, who was his favorite target, accounted for an NCAA leading 103 receptions for 1,164 yards and 12 TDs.
Prediction: This might well be the most difficult game of the entire bowl season to handicap. Neither team was able to establish any level of consistency throughout the season. Purdue has the best offense, but Auburn has the best defense. There’s a good chance both teams will struggle to score. With that said, the combination of Blough and Moore might be the difference maker in a close game. Play Purdue +3.5