A look at Friday’s bowl games
Music City Bowl
PURDUE (6-6) VS. AUBURN (7-5)
at Nashville, 10:30 a.m. PST, ESPN
Purdue quarterback David Blough and wide receiver Rondale Moore have helped the Boilermakers to a No. 10 ranking nationally in yards passing (317.8) a game. Moore, a freshman, leads the nation with 103 catches, good for 1,164 yards and 12 touchdowns. Auburn is No. 58 in the nation in defending the pass, but No. 26 in holding opponents to a 55.2% completion percentage. Tigers quarterback Jarrett Stidham has said he’s giving up his senior season to enter the NFL draft. Stidham has thrown for 2,421 yards this season, down from his total of 3,158 last season.
Camping World Bowl
NO. 16 WEST VIRGINIA (8-3) VS. NO. 20 SYRACUSE (9-3)
at Orlando, Fla., 2:15 p.m. PST, ESPN
West Virginia ranks in the top 10 nationally in points and yards per game, but the Mountaineers will be without two of their best players. Quarterback Will Grier decided to skip the game to prepare for the NFL draft and wide receiver Gary Jennings has been ruled out because of an ankle injury. Grier threw for 3,864 yards and 37 touchdowns. Syracuse was one of the surprise teams in the nation under Dino Babers, who will be coaching in his first bowl game with the Orange. Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey has at least a share of 18 school records, and has a realistic chance at two others in his final college game.
NO. 24 IOWA STATE (8-4) VS. NO. 13 WASHINGTON STATE (10-2)
at San Antonio, 6 p.m. PST, ESPN
Iowa State has one of the best defenses in the Big 12, so the Cyclones should not be fazed to go up against Washington State’s wide-open offense. Cougars quarterback Gardner Minshew II, the Pac-12 offensive player of the year, has passed for 4,477 yards and 36 touchdowns. He finished fifth in voting for the Heisman Trophy. Iowa State finished third in the Big 12, its best league finish in 40 years. Washington State had an outside shot at reaching the College Football Playoff until losing to Washington, a defeat that cost the Cougars a berth in the Pac-12 championship game.
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