Music City Bowl this afternoon at 3, features dangerous Purdue against much-improved and exciting Tennessee

Purdue Set to Face Tennessee in B1G-SEC Matchup

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – With its best season in 15 years, Purdue Football has accepted an invitation to play in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl. The Boilermakers (8-4, 6-3 B1G) will battle the Tennessee Volunteers (7-5, 4-4 SEC), Dec. 30, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. ET on ESPN.
 
The bowl bid marks the 20th bowl game in Purdue history, including the third in five seasons under head coach Jeff Brohm. Purdue has an all-time record of 10-9 in bowl games. The Boilermakers are making their second appearance in the Music City Bowl, having played in the 2018 version against Auburn.
 
“After the outstanding season our football program has had, we are extremely proud of and excited for Coach Brohm and the Boilermakers to be representing Purdue University in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl.” vice president and director of athletics Mike Bobinski said. “Our fans certainly know what a special and unique place Nashville is, and I’m certain we will have a sea of Old Gold and Black throughout the city and inside Nissan Stadium on Thursday, Dec. 30. We are appreciative of the invitation and look forward to a great game against Tennessee.”
 
Purdue enters the bowl game with an 8-4 record, the most wins in a regular season since Joe Tiller’s 2006 team captured eight victories. The Boilermakers also went 6-3 in Big Ten play to finish tied for second in the West Division, winning at least six conference game for the first time in 18 years.
 
“Playing in a game like the Music City Bowl, in the great city of Nashville, is a reward for our team after the season we had,” said head coach Jeff Brohm. “We are excited about the opportunity to compete, especially in an NFL stadium against a very good Tennessee team. Our guys are looking forward to the challenge, and we can’t wait to see our fans join us in the Music City.”
 
The Boilermakers and Volunteers have met only once in history, and the matchup also occurred during bowl season. In just the program’s second ever bowl appearance, Purdue ended the 1979 campaign by beating No. 12 Tennessee 27-22 in the Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston, Texas. Jim Young’s Boilermakers ended the season with a 10-2 record, the most wins in school history.
 
Purdue’s 2021 success can be attributed to all three phases. The passing offense is one of the nation’s best, ranking eighth in the country (340.4 yards per game) and second in the Big Ten. The Boilermaker defense is allowing just 20.4 points per game (23rd nationally) and has kept four opponents to single digits for the first time since 1978. For special teams, Mitchell Fineran is just one of three Purdue kickers in history to make at least 20 field goals in a season, converting on 80 percent of his attempts to rank fourth in the conference.
 
Fourteen Boilermakers earned All-Big Ten recognition, led by Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year David Bell on offense and fellow first team honoree George Karlaftis on the defensive side of the ball. Bell, also a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award (best receiver in college football), leads the Big Ten in catches per game (8.5) and receiving yards per game (116.9), ranking second and fourth in the country, respectively. Second Team All-Big Ten quarterback Aidan O’Connell, the first Purdue QB to be named to one of the first two All-Big Ten teams since Kyle Orton (2004), is one of the most accurate passers in the nation. The fifth-year senior is completing 73.5 percent of his passes to lead the Big Ten and rank third nationally, currently on pace to set a conference record.
 

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