Heart of Dallas Bowl: Purdue vs. Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State (6-6) lost its final two games of the season as injuries contributed to a disappointing finish. But at least the Cowboys didn’t lose their head coach like Purdue (6-6), which fired Danny Hope the day after the Boilers clinched bowl eligibility. Both have spread offenses that like to get out in space. So it should be a high-scoring game on Jan. 1 in Dallas.
Oklahoma State’s offense was dynamite this season but had its defense simply held opponents to five touchdowns in each of the defeats, the Cowboys would be 10-2. The high-powered Oklahoma State offense ranks fourth in the nation in scoring (44.7 points a game) and fifth in total offense (548.9 yards per contest) as the Cowboy passing attack has compiled 333.4 yards per game to rank seventh nationally. The Cowboys have used three quarterbacks this season as each member in the trio has thrown for more than 1,000 yards.
Junior Clint Chelf is the current starting QB for the Cowboys as he passed for 333 yards and two scores last week at Baylor to improve his season totals to 1,391 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has led the Cowboys to a 2-2 record in the school’s last four games against West Virginia, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Baylor. Joseph Randle leads the Cowboy ground game as the junior has the 17th-best rushing mark in the nation with 1,351 yards and 14 touchdowns. In addition to posting eight 100-yard rushing games this season, Randle has caught 28 passes for 228 yards.
For Purdue, Hope was fired on Nov. 25 and assistant Patrick Higgins will serve as interim coach for this game. Kent State’s Darrell Hazell is the new full-time coach. The Boilers got off to a decent 3-1 start that included a close loss at Notre Dame. But with an excellent opportunity to make noise in a probation-ravaged Big Ten Leaders Division, the Boilermakers lost their first five conference games, including multi-touchdown losses to Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Penn State.
Leading the Boilermaker offense is senior quarterback Robert Marve, who guided Purdue to the three-straight wins. Marve finished with career-highs 348 yards and four touchdown passes against rival Indiana by completing 20 of 29 passes against the Hoosiers. He missed three games earlier in the season due to his third ACL knee injury of his career. Senior running back Akeem Shavers complimented Marve’s play against Indiana by posting 225 yards of total offense (126 rushing, 99 receiving) and three touchdowns, including a 73-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter. He has the two longest receiving plays of the year for Purdue. For the season, Shaver has 778 yards rushing and 316 yards receiving with nine total touchdowns.
With sophomore linebacker Landon Feichter leading the defense with 76 total tackles, senior defensive tackle Kawann Short is third nationally amongst active FBS players in career tackles for loss (48) and is 17th career sacks(18.5). Senior defensive back Ricardo Allen’s four career interception returns for touchdowns are tied for the most amongst active FBS players and his 205 interception return yards are 14th nationally.
In the only previous meeting between the two schools, Joe Tiller’s Boilermakers defeated Bob Simmons’ Cowboys 33-20 at the 1997 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio on December 30. Purdue quarterback Billy Dicken passed for 325 yards as Purdue overcame a 13-10 deficit by scoring three touchdowns in the third quarter to secure the win.
WagerWeb.com opening odds: OSU -16.5 (70) Check our current lines
WagerWeb.com trends: Boilermakers are 3-8-2 ATS in their last 13 games on fieldturf. Boilermakers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 bowl games. Boilermakers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game. Cowboys are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a S.U. loss. Cowboys are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall. Cowboys are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.