The Tennessee Volunteers are taking on the Purdue Boilermakers in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl in the Volunteers’ home state of Tennessee. On December 30th at 3 PM EST, the two teams will face off for an electric game. The Volunteers ended their season 7-5 with a two-game win streak, while the Boilermakers ended their regular season 8-4 with a two-game win streak as well. Purdue surprised the nation with several predicted upsets against top teams like Michigan State and Iowa that dubbed them as a force to be reckoned with. This matchup is anticipated to be a close one and may be a thrilling meeting between the two evenly matched teams.
Tennessee Vs. Purdue Betting Odds
Tennessee Betting Odds
The Tennessee Volunteers football team has shown solid performances all year. They ended this year with a winning season thanks to their star quarterback, Hendon Hooker. Hooker had 2,567 passing yards in his senior year season at Tennessee. This 2021 season has been Hooker’s best with large yardage numbers and only three interceptions, landing him in a tie for second with the least amount of interceptions for a starting quarterback. Hooker is not only a great passer but has had a phenomenal QB rush year. He was able to acquire 561 rush yards on 148 carries. He was able to reach a high of 108 rush yards against Ole Miss. The Purdue defense will have to track Hooker’s movements to prevent large runs.
Cedric Tillman announced that he will not be leaving Tennessee for the NFL draft. Tillman led the Volunteers in receiving yards with an impressive 931 yards on 57 completions. He is also responsible for nine touchdowns for his team. Tillman has great speed and agility that is paired with elite route running, making him a serious threat to any defense. The Boilermakers will have to find the balance between applying pressure on Hendon Hookers and being all over Cedric Tillman. The two make for a nasty combination that can dissolve any defense.
Purdue Betting Odds
The starting quarterback for Purdue, Aidan O’Connell, has shown great improvement this season after recovering from an injury that left him on the sideline for the majority of the season. He announced his return to Purdue for his sixth year of eligibility, making the team very hopeful for next season. This year, O’Connell acquired 3,178 yards and 23 touchdown passes. He finds himself in the top 25 quarterbacks in college football. His accuracy and strength of his arm has been very beneficial to the Indiana team. He has to rely on his arm and heavily utilizes his receiver David Bell. When he is under pressure, O’Connell struggles to scramble. Unlike Hendon Hooker, O’Connell has next to no rush ability. Most of his rush attempts end in a loss of yards. Thankful for him, his receivers do a fantastic job on getting open downfield that prevents him from needing to scramble often.
Unfortunately for the Purdue team, their powerhouse receiver, David Bell, will not be playing in the bowl game. His absence will greatly affect the offensive pace of the Boilermakers. He has over 1,200 receiving yards this season and led the team to many game-winning plays. Their second-best receiver, Milton Wright, will also not be present at the bowl game, which will further inhibit offensive success. The team will have to reevaluate their offense and get creative with Aidan O’Connell to have a chance at victory.
Tennessee Vs. Purdue Picks & Prediction
The matchup between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Purdue Boilermakers is projected to be very close. According to ESPN’s matchup predictor, the game will be decided through a small margin with a very slight advantage to Tennessee. However, DraftKings believes that there will be a more extensive spread. Tennessee is given a spread of -6 (-110) and a moneyline of -220, while Purdue is given a spread of +6 (-110) and a moneyline of +180. I think the absences of the top receivers for Purdue will greatly impact their explosive offensive decisions and will significantly slow them down. The defense of Tennessee will be expecting rush plays with the lack of receivers and make the offense become stagnant. Because of this, I project the Volunteers will emerge victorious in the Transperfect City Music Bowl.