Purdue vs Oklahoma State – Heart of Dallas Bowl
Purdue (6-6) will kick off the New Year against Oklahoma State (7-5) in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. For the Boilers, this game will not only mark the beginning of a new calendar year but also the start of a new regime after head coach Danny Hope was fired after the regular season.
Purdue had a season typical to what has been seen in the past in West Lafayette. Win a few early cupcake games, reality follows against upper echelon Big Ten teams, beat up a couple Big Ten doormats and a low level bowl game awaits. The Boilers struggled on offense for most of the season in large part due to the lack of consistency at the quarterback position. Senior Robert Marve will start the game but Caleb TerBush and Rob Henry have also seen plenty of action leading the offense this year. While none of the trio of QBs Purdue has to offer will frighten anyone, the Boilers should be able to move the ball on an Oklahoma State defense that ranks 112th in the nation against the pass. Defensively, Purdue hasn’t been able to stop any offense with a pulse. The Boilers ranked at the bottom of the Big Ten in most defensive categories, and that’s a big problem because….
Oklahoma State can flat out light up the scoreboard. The Cowboys are third in the nation in scoring, averaging 44.7 points per game. Like Purdue, Oklahoma State was a revolving door at the quarterback position as three players saw action this season. But unlike Purdue, Oklahoma State has a big time play makers in running back Joseph Randle who rushed for 1,351 yards and 14 TDs and wide receiver Josh Stewart who hauled in 96 passes for 1,154 yards and 7 TDs.
On paper, Oklahoma State should (and most likely will) win this game. The balanced spread offense the Cowboys employ will give Purdue fits. But can Oklahoma State’s Swiss cheese defense stop Purdue’s piece meal offense?
What will happen: Oklahoma State is coming off a disappointing season and you have to question how excited they’ll be to be playing an average Purdue team. On the other side, Purdue is looking at this game as a way to springboard into the Darrell Hazell era and should be extra motivated to impress next year’s head coach. Oklahoma State has much better talent and will win this game, but look for Purdue to put up a fight until the final whistle and stay within the number.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 45 Purdue 34
The Play: Purdue +17
Bowl Game ATS Record: 2-2
YTD Record: 20-16