TransPerfect Music City Bowl Preview

This TransPerfect Music City Bowl should be a exciting matchup. These two teams went above expectations that I had for them at the beginning of the season. The matchup in the Music City Bowl is between Tennessee (7-5) and Purdue (8-4). The SEC vs Big Ten matchup that people didn’t know that they wanted to see is upon us and I for one am beyond excited for this game. With that being said here is my preview for the TransPerfect Music City Bowl.



The Tennessee Volunteers did pretty solid under Josh Heupel who is in his first season with the team. I remember laughing at this hiring when it was first announced, but boy was I wrong. Heupel was the right fit for this team and it showed in 2021. Tennessee averaged 38.8 points per game which ranked them ninth in the nation. That is a big step forward for them and it got better offensively for them. The Volunteers rank 20th in the nation in total yards per game (477.6) and 30th in rushing yards per game (212). This offense was led by Virginia Tech transfer Hendon Hooker. Hooker threw for 2,567 passing yards to go along with 26 passing touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He also added in five rushing touchdowns on the campaign as well. Hendon Hooker is beneficial for this Volunteers offense and he will be the key player in this matchup.

Defensively, is where the Volunteers struggle. They give up just over 250 passing yards per game and just over 420 total yards of offense per game as well. This defense also allows 27.5 points per game as well. This pass defense from Tennessee is also very lackluster and will only be worse in the bowl matchup as Tennessee will be without their best quarterback. In order for Tennessee’s defense to have a good day, they need to contain Purdue’s air attack offense.



This Purdue offense is very one dimensional. Purdue is one of the best passing teams in the nation and one of the worst rushing teams in the nation as well. The Boilermakers average 340.5 passing yards per game while only averaging 83.5 rushing yards per game. It is crazy to me that this team won eight games this season, with the one dimensional offense that they have going on. This Purdue passing attack is just that good though. Led by quarterback Aidan O’Connell who threw for 3,178 passing yards to go along with 23 touchdowns to 8 interceptions. O’Connell however, will be without his two top receivers David Bell and Milton Wright. Now with the lack of a running game, for this Purdue offense it will be next man up. Against this Tennessee passing defense there is still hope for this offense.

Defensively, is where Purdue strives. The Boilermakers defense gives up 20.5 points per game and has held opponents on average under 200 passing yards per game. Purdue’s big defensive prospect George Karlaftis will be out of this game as well as he prepares for the NFL Draft. The Boilermakers will also be without one of their starting cornerbacks as well. This Purdue defense is still good enough to contain Hendon Hooker and company.



Tennessee is a 6 point favorite with the over/under set at 65. I would lean the over here as I think both offenses are going to put up some points, but Purdue’s one dimensional offense worries me. So we stay away from that and my official play is Purdue +6. I think the Boilermakers can keep this close even with not having key pieces on both sides of the football. Take the points and don’t overthink it.


-Chris Jones (@cjoneswho1212)

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