- facebook messenger
nashville, tennessee. – — Purdue entered the Music City bowl short-handed and banged up, particularly at wide receiver.
the tinkers go home winners after a game people clicked on to see an amazing ending.
Reading: Tennessee football bowl game 2021
mitchell fineran kicked a 39-yard field goal in overtime and Purdue capped off its best season since 2003 by overcoming a 14-point deficit to beat Tennessee 48-45 Thursday in a record-setting Music City Bowl.
purdue’s aidan o’connell threw for 534 yards and five touchdowns with three interceptions. he couldn’t explain the final five minutes of regulation when the teams combined to score four tds, two each.
“That’s why you love the game, that’s why it keeps bringing you back,” O’Connell said. “The fact that it is unknown. no one knows what will happen. it’s not a movie or a tv show where the actors get retries. It feels like the world is watching and anything could happen.”
purdue (9-4) tied for the second-most wins in program history as the 12th team in the Boilermakers’ 134-year history to win nine games. they also won their fifth game away from home, something they hadn’t done since 1943.
“We found a way to narrowly win,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said.
tennessee (7-6) missed the chance to make josh heupel the first vols coach to cap his debut season with a bowl win since bill battle won the 1971 sugar bowl. so did the vols They snapped a four-game bowl winning streak with a loss that dropped the Southeastern Conference to 1-5 this bowl season.
The teams combined for 1,293 yards of total offense, the second-most in overall bowl history, trailing only the 1,397 yards baylor and washington had in the 2011 alamo bowl. tennessee became the 10th team in the history of bowling games to execute 100 or more plays, and the combined 185 plays rank seventh.
This high-scoring game featured a flurry of big plays and points in the final five minutes only to see Purdue’s defense make the decisive play.
on the first possession of overtime, jamar brown and kieren douglas stopped vols runner jaylen wright on fourth-and-goal. The stoppage was upheld on review because Wright’s drive stopped even though Wright reached the ball over the goal line before the whistle without a knee touching the ground while he was lying on top of Douglas.
“I love these guys,” heupel said. “They fight, they scratch, they scratch and they compete. we fell short.”
tennessee quarterback hendon hooker watched the replay on the large video board and was excited.
“I thought we scored, but you know it’s a tough call,” Hooker said. “It feels like me and my teammates gave it our all.
After Purdue ran three plays, Fineran sealed the win with his fourth field goal of the game, sending the Boilermakers running down the field in celebration after what Brohm called “a crazy game.”
“It really picked up there at the end,” said Brohm.
The Vols had one last chance to win in regulation, but Chase McGrath’s 56-yard field goal fell short.
Tennessee finished with 639 total offensive yards and Purdue had 623 in regulation, both records before overtime. O’Connell easily set the record for passing yards, well above the 383 Mike Glennon had with N.C. status.
purdue arrived without a couple of americans in defensive end george karlaftis and wide receiver david bell, both preparing for the nfl draft, with a receiving corps further reduced by injuries. Broc Thompson, who needs surgery on both knees in the offseason, completed seven catches for a game-high 217 yards and two touchdowns.
the tinkers had a chance to keep this ending from being so exciting. but they settled for three field goals in the second quarter and only led 23-21 at halftime. Tennessee was leading 31-30 after the third.
hooker finished with 378 receiving yards. Tillman had three touchdowns on seven receptions for 150 yards, and Jabari rushed for 180 yards. small was unavailable in overtime with heupel saying he was fighting “some stuff” throughout the game.
meals to take away
Tennessee: The Vols set a single-season record with 511 points, topping the 484 scored in 12 games in 1993. …The Vols put together a record crowd of 69,489 topping the previous mark of 69,143 set in 2010 when Tennessee also played in this bowl.
purdue: brohm said his tinkerers had a lot of wide receivers, and they took advantage of that depth in this game. O’Connell distributed the ball connecting with nine receivers.
vols were penalized 14 times for 128 yards.
“at the end of the day you can’t control when the yellow scarves come out,” heupel said. “There are some things that I don’t agree with. yes, everyone knows it. but it’s about what we can control.”
tennessee is well-prepared for 2022. tillman, who began this season with eight career catches, finished with the vols’ first 1,000-yard season since 2012. he has already announced that he will return next season along with hooker, tight wings jacob warren and princeton fant and a handful of other volumes.
purdue has o’connell returning for 2022, giving brohm a chance to take advantage of an offense that threw the ball more than any team in school history.