Friday’s Bowl Tips

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**Auburn vs. Purdue**

Music City Bowl History

-- The Auburn Tigers (7-5 straight up, 5-7 against the spread) of the Southeastern Conference will face off against the Purdue Boilermakers (6-6 straight up, 7-5 against the spread) from the Big Ten Conference in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl at Nissan Stadum in Nashville, Tenn.

-- The Tigers have a lengthy history in bowl games, including a pair of national championships to their credit. But lately things have not gone according to plan in the postseason. They're just 1-4 SU over the past five bowl appearances, with only a win in the Birmingham Bowl in 2015 to their credit during the span. This will be their first appearance in the Music City Bowl since a 28-14 win against Wisconsin back in 2003.

-- The Boilermakers do not have as long a track record in the postseason, although they have had some success lately. Purdue is 3-1 SU over the past four bowl games, although this is only their second bowl game since 2012. They won the Foster Farms Bowl against Arizona, 38-35, last season. They haven't faced an SEC team in a bowl game since a 34-27 loss to Georgia in the Capital one Bowl in 2003.

-- Auburn kicked off the season with a lot of promise, pushing aside Washington 21-16 in a neutral-site marquee game. However, they lost their SEC opener 22-21 on the Plains back on Sept. 15, a bitter pill for sure. They rebounded in the next two games, but lost at Mississippi State and against Tennessee to slip to 4-3 SU/2-5 ATS and out of the playoff picture. They refocused their goals and beat Mississippi and Texas A&M to qualify for the postseason. After a rout of Liberty on Nov. 17, they were pounded 52-21 by rival Alabama in the Iron Bowl.

-- Purdue got off to a rough start, losing their opener to Northwestern on Aug. 30 and then slipping up against Eastern Michigan in a soaking rain. A loss against Missouri on Sept. 15 had them off to an 0-3 SU/1-2 ATS start, looking like the season might be lost. However, they rattled off four in a row, including a signature win against Ohio State by a 49-20 score, winning outright as 12-point favorites. However, they didn't officially qualify for a bowl until a 28-21 win at Indiana in the final weekend of the season, also taking home the Old Oaken Bucket as an extra prize.

 -- Purdue enters the day 24th in the country with 459.0 total yards per game while finishing ninth in the land with 317.8 yards per game on the ground. Their pass game is lacking, and they ranked just 103rd in the nation with 141.2 yards per outing. They were able to score 31.9 PPG, ranking 44th overall. The defense struggled, posting a 103rd rank with 445.3 yards per game allowed, while giving up 280.8 yards per contest to finish 126th.

-- Auburn's offense was very subpar this season, a major reason they were unable to realize their lofty goals. They ranked just 94th overall with 373.6 YPG, 89th in passing yards (209.5 YPG) and 71st in points scored (28.2 PPG). The defense managed to finish 44th overall with 363.6 YPG, while holding the opposing offenses to just 141.2 YPG to check in 41st. The Tigers did yield just 19.6 PPG, finishing 18th in the country.

-- QB David Blough did a good job for the Boilers when asked to pass, posting 3,521 yards, 25 touchdowns and eight interceptions, getting better as the season progressed. RB D.J. Knox, who had 868 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground is the top weapon, and the team doesn't lose much if RB Markell Jones (98-502-5) gets into the game. WR Rondale Moore led the team with 1,164 receiving yards and 12 scores, while WR Isaac Zico (43-712-6) is a nice secondary weapon.

-- Tigers QB Jarrett Stidham didn't live up to expectations, totaling just 2,421 yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions. RB JaTarvious Whitlow led the way on the ground with 777 yards (5.4 YPC) and four touchdowns. WR Ryan Davis (upper body), who is listed as probable for the game, led the team with 64 grabs and 523 yards, but he failed to score any touchdowns.

-- Purdue is 7-1 ATS in their past eight non-conference tilts, and 4-1 ATS in the past five neutral-site battles while going 7-3 ATS across the past 10 overall. However, they're just 2-5 ATS in their past seven bowl appearances.

-- Auburn enters 2-5 ATS in their past seven neutral-site battles while going 2-7-1 ATS in the past 10 outside the SEC.

-- The over has connected in four straight bowl games for Purdue.

-- The under is 4-0-1 in the past five bowl games for Auburn, while the under is 6-0-2 in the past eight neutral-site contests. The under is also 12-4 in the past 16 overall for Auburn, while going 15-4-2 in their past 21 non-conference tilts.

-- This is the first-ever meeting between the Boilermakers and Tigers.

-- Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

**Syracuse vs. West Virginia**

Camping World Bowl History

-- The Camping World Bowl takes place in the aptly named Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. featuring a battle of Top 20 teams. The West Virginia Mountaineers (8-3 straight up, 6-3-2 against the spread) from the Big 12 Conference will face down the Syracuse Orange (9-3 straight up, 8-4 against the spread).

-- Bowl games haven't been terribly kind to the Mountaineers lately, as they're 2-6 SU over their past eight postseason appearances, including a loss in this stadium on Dec. 28, 2016 against the Miami Hurricanes when the game was called the Russell Athletic Bowl. They also lost when this game was called the Champs Sports Bowl, falling to N.C. State back on Dec. 28, 2010. 

-- Syracuse has been outstanding in bowl games in recent seasons, success unrivaled by most. They're 3-0 SU in the past three bowl games, 5-1 in the past six and 12-3 over their past 15 bowl appearances. They were routed by Georgia Tech on Dec. 21, 2004 in this game when it was the Champs Sports Bowl.

-- The big news leading up to this game is West Virginia QB Will Grier announcing he'll sit out to prevent injury as he gets ready for the NFL Scouting Combine and 2019 Draft. As such, sophomore QB Jack Allison will draw the start. He was just 6-of-10 for 75 yards, a touchdown and an interception in limited work this season.

-- The Mountaineers started out 5-0 SU/4-1 ATS and they were in the Top 10 with thoughts of the playoffs running through their heads. However, a 30-14 humbling at Iowa State on Oct. 13 changed things a bit. They rattled off three wins after that to get back on track, but back-to-back losses to Oklahoma State and Oklahoma to close out the season took them out of a more prestigious bowl.

-- The Orange started out 4-0 SU/3-0-1 ATS, including a 30-7 win against Florida State on Sept. 15. They nearly pulled off a monumental upset at Clemson on Sept. 29, and followed that up with a narrow overtime loss at Pittsburgh on Oct. 6. They rebounded with four wins leading up to a measuring stick game at Notre Dame. They failed miserably against the Irish, but cleaned things up in time for a nice win over Boston College in the finale.

-- Syracuse ranks 15th in the country with 471.8 total yards per game, and they posted 40.8 PPG to finish 10th in the nation. Their rushing offense was also solid, ranking 27th with 210.2 YPG, thanks in large part to senior QB Eric Dungey, a dual threat. The defense ranked 88th in total yards (426.8 YPG) allowed and a dismal 113th against the pass, allowing 263.0 YPG.

-- West Virginia ranked seventh in total yards (520.4 YPG) and third in the country in passing yards per game (358.1 YPG), but remember, those stats are basically meaningless with Grier not playing. They were also ninth overall in scoring at 42.3 PPG, but can Allison lead them close to that kind of success? Defensively the Mountaineers struggled, giving up 405.5 YPG while checking in 99th in pass defense (254.6 YPG)

-- The Mountaineers are 3-0-2 ATS in their past five against teams with a winning record, but they're just 1-6 ATS in the past seven neutral-site appearances, 0-5 ATS in their past five bowl games and 0-4 ATS in the past four meetings against ACC foes.

-- The Orange are 4-1 ATS in the past five against teams with a winning overall mark, 4-1-1 ATS in the past six outside of the conference and 4-1 ATS in the past five overall.

-- The over has cashed in five straight for the Orange and 4-0 in the past four against winning teams. The under is 3-0-1 in the past four against ACC clubs, however.

-- The under is 5-1 in the past six neutral-site games for Syracuse, while the over is 5-2 across their past seven games overall.

-- These former Big East Conference combatants also met Dec. 29, 2012 in the Pinstripe Bowl, with Syracuse coming out on top by a 38-14 count.

-- Kickoff is slated for 5:15 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

**Iowa State vs. Washington State**

Alamo Bowl History

-- The Valero Alamo Bowl pits the Iowa State Cyclones (8-4 straight up, 6-6 against the spread) from the Big 12 Conference facing the Washington State Cougars (10-2 straight up, 10-2 against the spread) from the Pac-12 Conference in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Tex.

-- Iowa State has back-to-back bowl appearances under Matt Campbell, and they were able to surprise Memphis last season in the Liberty Bowl by a 21-20 score. It was just one of four wins in 13 bowl appearances overall. This will be their first-ever apperance in the San Antonio bowl game.

-- Washington State is appearing in a bowl game for the fourth consecutive season, and they're looking to snap a two-game postseason losing streak dating back to 2015 with a win over Miami in the Sun Bowl. This will be Wazzu's first appearance in the Alamo Bowl since Mike Price led the Cougars to a 10-3 win over Baylor in the 1994 installment of this game.

-- Iowa State has traditionally been a bit of a pushover in the Big 12, but not lately. Campbell has changed the culture and belief. The Cyclones struggled with a 1-3 SU/2-2 ATS start, including 0-2 in the conference. However, a win at Oklahoma State by a 48-42 count on Oct. 6 really jump-started things, and the Cyclones became bowl eligible by Nov. 10 with a win over Baylor. 

-- Washington State fell short in their bid for a potential playoff spot, losing the Apple Cup against Washington in the snow. They fired out of the gate with eight consecutive covers, including their only previous loss in conference at USC back on Sept. 21. The Cougars posted 31 or more points in nine of their past 12 outings overall.

-- Iowa State posted rather marginal numbers on offense, ranking 105th in total yards on offense (359.2 YPG) while doing even worse in the run game, averaging just 124.4 YPG to rank 114th in the country. They ended up with a mediocre 26.8 PPG to finish 83rd in the nation. Defensively they were a respectable 32nd with just 351.0 total yards allowed, and they were particularly hard on the run, ranking 21st overall (122.2 YPG). They allowed just 22.5 PPG, too, finishing 35th overall in points allowed.

-- Washington State had a magical offensive season, finishing first in the land in passing yards per game with 379.8 YPG. Graduate transfer QB Gardner Minshew led the way with a ridiculous 4,477 passing yards, 36 passing touchdowns and nine interceptions while also running for three scores. The mustachioed quarterback will look to cap off an amazing season in style down in San Antonio before getting a legit shot at an NFL job next season. The Cougs also ranked 15th in the country with 38.3 PPG. Defensively they were strong, and perhaps a bit underrated. They were 39th in the country with just 23.1 PPG allowed, impressive considering they play in the air-it-out Pac-12. They were 29th overall in total yards allowed (345.9 YPG).

-- Iowa State is 15-6-1 ATS in the past 22 games against teams iwth a winning record. However, they're 0-4 ATS in their past four overall and 1-5 ATS in the past six neutral-site affairs.

-- Washington State cashed in 10 of their 12 games overall this season, and they're 4-1 ATS in the past five non-conference battles. They're also 6-2 ATS in the past eight against teams with a winning record, but 0-5 ATS in the past five against Big 12 Conference combatants.

-- The 'under' is 5-0-1 in Iowa State's past six bowl games, 6-0-1 in their past seven neutral-site games and 3-1-1 in their past five against winning teams. The under is also 4-0-1 in their past five non-conference tilts and 11-1-1 in the past 13 following a straight-up win.

-- The under is 4-1 in Washington State's past five against teams with a winning record and 7-2-1 in their past 10 following a straight up loss. The under is also 7-0-1 in Washington State's past eight following a double-digit loss at home.

-- This is the first-ever meeting between Iowa State and Washington State on the gridiron.

-- Kickoff is slated for 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.