Tennessee vs


at Nashville
Thu, Dec 30
12:00 PM Pacific
Rotation: 257
Odds: Purdue +6.5, Total: 65

Game Analysis

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Tennessee (-6.5)  37   Purdue  28

I was eager to bet over 58.5 in this game when the bowl lines were posted on Sunday the 5th but the total moved through the key number of 59 points before 6 am Pacific on Monday and kept going up. Since then, Purdue’s best two receivers have opted out, as has the Boilermakers’ best defensive player and a starting cornerback. Tennessee’s only two losses are RB Tiyon Evans, who transferred after missing half the season with an injury, and offensive lineman Cade Mays, who’s dealing with a leg injury and won’t suit up.

Purdue’s offense went from average to very good when Aidan O’Connell took over for Jack Plummer at quarterback on a full-time basis in week 5. Plummer tended to settle for the easy pass (just 9.8 yards per completion) and averaged just 6.0 yards per pass play (against teams that would allow 6.4 yppp to an average QB) while O’Connell not only threw the ball down the field more often (11.0 ypc) but he’s completed 73.5% of his passes and has averaged 7.5 yppp against teams that would allow 5.8 yppp to an average QB. Top receivers David Bell and Milton Wright have opted out and those two, along with Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen and Mershawn Rice, who were both injured in the first half of the season, accounted for 2180 yards on 228 passes thrown to them (9.6 yards per target). The 3 remaining healthy wide receivers that were part of the rotation combined for 135 targets at just 7.4 YPT, which is significantly worse than the receivers they’re replacing. So, even while O’Connell was 0.5 yppp better than the team’s season rating, the Boilermakers are projected to be 0.7 yppp better than average, which is 0.5 yppp worse than their season rating. Purdue is a horrible running team (3.8 yprp), and they won’t run often, and overall the Boilermakers rate at just 0.1 yppp better than average with their current personnel. Tennessee has a solid defense that was 0.7 yppl better than average in the regular season (5.2 yppl allowed to teams that would average 5.9 yppl against an average defense) and Purdue is projected to gain 453 yards at a sub-par 5.4 yppl.

Tennessee’s offense also got better after a quarterback change, as Hendon Hooker averaged 8.2 yppp (against teams that would allow 6.1 yppp) with 26 touchdown passes against just 3 interceptions. Opening day starter Joe Milton averaged just 4.5 yppp on 61 pass plays (excluding garbage time against Florida’s backups) and was 1.6 yppp worse than average. Tennessee’s offense is 1.4 yppp better than average with Hooker at quarterback (+1.0 yppl overall) and they rate at 1.2 yppl better than average heading into this game after accounting for the absence of Evans, who averaged 6.5 ypr on 81 runs and gained 74 yards on just 6 passes thrown to him.

Purdue’s defense allowed just 20.5 points per game, but the Boilers were just 0.2 yppl better than average defensively (5.6 yppl allowed to teams that would average 5.8 yppl) and will likely be worse without projected 1st-round NFL draft pick George Karlaftis and starting CB Dedrick Mackey. I rate Purdue’s defense at 0.1 yppl worse than average with current personnel and Tennessee is projected to gain 479 yards at 7.0 yppl.

The math favors Tennessee by 11.3 points with a total of 65.9 points, but the Vols apply to a 6-32 ATS bowl situation that applied to Oregon State and Mississippi State so far this bowl season (both lost straight up as big favorites). If you’re in a bowl pool then I’d still use Tennessee, but I suggest passing this game. The total applies to a 37-9 Under situation based on Tennessee having gone over in their final 5 games of the regular season (the market tends to overreact to late-season results and teams on an over streak tend to go under in their bowl game).

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Tennessee
  • Purdue


  • Run Plays 39.1 37.6
  • Run Yards 233.1 174.3
  • YPRP 6.0 4.6


  • Pass Comp 18.3 22.8
  • Pass Att 27.8 36.7
  • Comp % 65.8% 62.3%
  • Pass Yards 250.4 237.8
  • Sacks 3.3 2.6
  • Sack Yards 17.0 16.3
  • Sack % 10.7% 6.6%
  • Pass Plays 31.1 39.3
  • Net Pass Yards 233.4 221.5
  • YPPP 7.5 5.6


  • Total Plays 70.2 76.8
  • Total Yards 466.5 395.8
  • YPPL 6.6 5.2


  • Int 0.3 0.8
  • Int % 0.9% 2.3%
  • Fumbles 0.8 0.3
  • Turnovers 1.0 1.1
  • Points 38.8 26.9
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