PURDUE BOILERMAKERS (6-6)
vs. OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS (7-5)
Heart of Dallas Bowl - Dallas, TX
Kickoff: Tuesday, 12:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Oklahoma State -16.5, Total: 69.5
Purdue tries to keep its late-season surge going when it faces slumping Oklahoma State in Tuesday's Heart of Dallas Bowl.
Despite winning its final three games to become bowl eligible, Purdue fired head coach Danny Hope who will be replaced by wide receivers coach Patrick Higgins for this game. Oklahoma State enters this contest having lost two straight, allowing a total of 92 points and 1,233 yards in these defeats at Oklahoma and at Baylor. That dropped the Cowboys to just 1-4 (SU and ATS) in non-home games, as they allow 41.8 PPG and 523 total YPG outside of Stillwater. The Boilermakers are 3-2 ATS in non-home games, but score just 22.8 PPG in these away tilts.
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Higgins isnít running the team totally blind, as he has called plays during each of the past three wins, due to offensive coordinator Gary Nord injuring his back. Purdue scored 103 points (34.3 PPG) with Higgins calling the shots. The good news for OSU is that Purdue's offense is not in the same stratosphere as either Baylor or Oklahoma, surpassing 28 points just once in conference play this year, that being the season-ending 56-35 thumping of Indiana. Senior QB Robert Marve had a career day against the Hoosiers with 348 yards and 4 TD. Marve has shown great courage this season, playing through a torn ACL sustained earlier in the year. Purdue relies heavily on versatile RB Akeem Shavers (778 rush yds), who had season highs in both rushing (126) and receiving (99) yards while scoring three times against Indiana. The Boilers defense has been underwhelming this year, allowing 407 YPG (2nd-most in Big Ten) with 227 YPG coming through the air and 179 yards (4.7 yards per carry) on the ground. However, they do have All-American senior DT Kawann Short who has generated 14.5 Tackles for Loss and six sacks from his position in the middle of the field.
The Cowboys have been a disappointment this year, finishing with a 7-5 record on the heels of those final two defeats to Oklahoma and Baylor who scored 51 points and 41 points, respectively on OSU. But the Cowboys' offense has been potent all season, averaging 549 YPG (5th in FBS) despite having three different quarterbacks start under center. Junior Clint Chelf will start his fifth straight game after replacing freshman Wes Lunt who suffered a concussion. OSU's 333 passing YPG (7th in FBS) was pretty tremendous, but so was junior RB Joseph Randle who led the Big 12 with 1,351 rushing yards, reaching 100 yards in a game eight times. The Cowboys defense gives up 426 total YPG (286 passing, 141 rushing), which pales in comparison to the 600+ yards they have allowed in each of their two straight defeats to the high-powered Big 12 opponents.