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2017 Foster Farms Bowl: Arizona vs. Purdue score predictions

Will Arizona take down its Big Ten foe in Santa Clara?

Arizona v California Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats (7-5) and Purdue Boilermakers (6-6) are set to battle Wednesday, Dec. 27 at 6:30 p.m. MST in Santa Clara, Calif. as part of the Foster Farms Bowl.

It will be broadcast on FOX.

Our score predictions for the game can be found below. Be sure to leave yours in the comment section.

Hammer and Rails, the Purdue SB Nation site, made their predictions here.

Mike C. Paulus — Arizona wins 42-28

First and foremost, when looking at the potential winner of a matchup one must begin with the Quarterback position. The Boilermakers lost their starting quarterback (David Blough) halfway through the season. Taking his place is a traditional pro-set pocket passer in 6-foot-4 Elijah Sindelar. He averaged 6.2 yards per attempt on a 55 percent completion rate. There’s no way Purdue will score enough points with the cement-footed Sindelar at the helm, and the chances of the Boilermaker defense containing Khalil Tate are slim.

Personally, I’d enjoy seeing the stable of Arizona athletes put up 400-plus yards on the ground against Purdue. The Arizona Wildcats dominate their Big Ten opponent in what will, hopefully, be a trend through the rest of bowl season.

Ryan Kelapire — Arizona wins 34-27

This is an interesting matchup since it’s strength on strength — Arizona’s rushing offense vs. Purdue’s rushing defense.

The only player similar to Khalil Tate that the Boilermakers have seen this year is Lamar Jackson, who put up some gaudy numbers in a win vs. Purdue. Obviously Tate isn’t as good as Jackson, but he has a similar skillset and so I think he will have his usual success on the ground.

This game might come down to how many stops or turnovers Arizona’s defense can generate, sort of how the Cal and Colorado games went this year. But ultimately I think the Wildcats come away with this one in a one-score game.

Brandon Combs — Arizona wins 49-31

I know Purdue has a strong rushing defense. However, I’m not sure how they’ll be able to handle Khalil Tate.

The Boilermakers don’t face athletes like Tate in the Big Ten. Like Ryan stated above, the last time they did Lamar Jackson gashed them. Add to that the backfield that UA has and I see it being too much.

Plus, the ‘Cats have had a month to get healthy and it looked like it worked.

Scott Moran — Arizona wins 45-37

This is a classic Pac-12 vs. Big Ten bowl showdown, except without the tradition of the Rose Bowl. Both teams have accomplished impressive turnarounds, going from six combined wins in 2016 to 13, soon to be 14, this year.

Purdue coach Jeff Brohm has turned one of the most sluggish offenses in an already slower-paced conferences into a legitimate threat to the iffy Arizona defense.

While Purdue has become a solid team, there’s a talent advantage for the ‘Cats. Khalil Tate just has to show up for Arizona to keep up with Brohm’s offense, and I think a great ground game like Arizona’s can beat the Boilermakers. There’s no way they can stop Tate, J.J. Taylor, Nick Wilson, AND Zach Green, and they can’t outduel them either. Should be an exciting matchup in Santa Clara.

Gabe Encinas — Arizona wins 27-24

I want to say that this game will be similar to the 2013 Independence Bowl, but I’m just not sure what we can expect from this team, the group from October or November.

It’s hard because Arizona just needs one explosive play to open things up, but struggled quite a bit to create those late in the season.

I’m going conservative, and thinking that things won’t be pretty considering how well Purdue’s defense played down the stretch, but I imagine Arizona comes away with a win here.

I think this is a game where Arizona’s young guys to pick up where they left off. The young linebacker core of Tony Fields, Kylan Wilborn and Colin Schooler will be disruptive. Maybe some plays from Jace Whittaker or Lorenzo Burns, too. I expect the defense to create enough pressure and comeaway with turnovers to put the offense in position.

I’m not so sure Arizona hangs 40-plus on Purdue, and I’m curious to see how well they can limit the big plays. Overall I think Arizona needs to sustain drives and I think they get what they need to come away with another bowl victory.

Then we enter 2018. While it doesn’t have as much intrigue as the start of the 2017 season, there are a lot of guys coming back, including the coaching staff who landed themselves another year in Tucson.

Jason Bartel — Arizona wins 34-28

Ryan stole my prediction so I gave Purdue a bonus point for fun.

Christopher Boan — Arizona wins 38-21

I know absolutely nothing about Purdue, other than that Jeff Brohm is a solid coach. They won’t have anyone that can stop Khalil Tate, and I’m not going to pick a mediocre Big Ten team over a meddling Pac-12 one, so I’ll stick with the ‘Cats to win the Poultry Bowl, or whatever it’s called these days.