Auburn (7-5) comes into this bowl game coming off back-to-back losses to arch rivals Georgia and Alabama, while Purdue is coming off of a victory over their arch rival Indiana, 28-21, and ending their season at 6-6.
Despite having a disappointing season, The Tigers has a chance to redeem themselves against the Boilermakers, but it won’t be easy. After all, this is the same Purdue team that beat Big Ten Champion Ohio State by 29 points.
The Tigers have struggled against passing teams (see: Alabama) and Purdue’s David Blough is dangerous when given time. Blough threw for over 3,500 yards and 25 touchdown passes this season.
In a normal year, Blough would have probably been a Heisman Trophy candidate. The last time the the Tigers played a quarterback of that caliber, they got burned for six touchdowns.
Purdue also has a pretty good running game. Led by D.J. Knox, who has over 800 yards and eight touchdowns in 2018, Purdue’s offense is potent, and if Auburn is to have a chance against the Boilermakers, they will have to keep both Knox and Blough in check.
Despite their struggles on offense, Auburn can still make some noise on that side of the ball as well. Quarterback Jarrett Stidham will probably want to make a good impression in his last game of the season, so don’t be surprised if he has a good game.
Purdue’s defense gives up about 450 yards per game, so in all likelihood, the Tigers should be able to put up some points and yards on the Boilermaker’s defense. Let’s also not forget, however, that the Auburn defense, despite their top-50 defensive ranking, has been known to give up a big play or two as well.
This matchup on Friday will be full of fireworks and plenty of action, which should be pleasing to the folks who run the Music City Bowl.
Get your popcorn ready, folks. It is going to be an exciting game!