Boilers Going Bowling for First Time Since 2012
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue football team will play in the Foster Farms Bowl at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, on Dec. 27.
The Boilermakers (6-6) will square off against Arizona (7-5) of the Pac-12 Conference. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised by FOX.
"This is an exciting time for our players, especially our seniors," Purdue vice president and athletics director Mike Bobinski said. "To have their season-long efforts and determination rewarded with the opportunity to represent Purdue in a bowl game is a tremendous accomplishment. Through the leadership of Jeff Brohm, our coaching staff has orchestrated an amazing turnaround in one year and significantly elevated the stature of our program. We are clearly trending upward, and being selected to play in the Foster Farms Bowl is a major step forward for Purdue football.
"We are thrilled to be heading to Santa Clara, where Purdue boasts nearly 10,000 alumni within 250 miles. Our fan base is re-energized, and there is no doubt in my mind that the Boilermakers will be well represented at Levi's Stadium."
On the strength of three fundamental values - playing harder, tougher and smarter than the opposition - the Boilermakers under first-year head coach Jeff Brohm won their most games since the 2012 season. From 2013 to 2016, Purdue won a total of nine games.
The Boilermakers finished tied for third place in the Big Ten Conference West Division (with Iowa, which Purdue beat 24-15 in Iowa City) - their best since the advent of division play in 2011. Purdue finished seventh each of the last three seasons.
Purdue's six losses were by an average of 7.7 points, including one by one point and one by two points. Four losses came to ranked teams.
The Boilermakers' average home attendance increase of 13,433 per game was far and away the greatest in the country. Season-ticket sales were up 15.7 percent, and student season tickets were up 17.2 percent.
"I am excited for our team, staff and university to be selected to play in the Foster Farms Bowl in Santa Clara," Brohm said. "Having lived in the area while playing with the 49ers, I know our players will enjoy the experience of being in the Bay Area and the opportunity to play at Levi's Stadium, the second time our team has been able to play in an NFL venue this season. Our team looks forward to getting back on the practice field this week and preparing to play a very good Arizona team."
The Boilermakers will be playing in their 18th bowl game all-time (9-8 record), 12th in the last 20 seasons and first since the 2012 campaign.
Purdue and Arizona have met twice previously, with the Boilermakers winning both meetings, 59-7 on Sept. 20, 2003, at Ross-Ade Stadium and 31-24 on Sept. 17, 2005, in Tucson.
The Wildcats' head coach is Rich Rodriguez, who guided Michigan from 2008 to 2010. Purdue was 2-1 against the Wolverines over those three seasons, winning 48-42 on Nov. 1, 2008, at Ross-Ade and 38-36 on Nov. 7, 2009, at Michigan Stadium.
The Foster Farms Bowl dates to 2002 and previously was known as the San Francisco Bowl (2002), Diamond Walnut San Francisco Bowl (2002-03), Emerald Bowl (2004-09), Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (2010-12) and Fight Hunger Bowl (2013). It has been a Big Ten tie-in the last three seasons. Maryland lost to Stanford 45-21 in 2014, Nebraska defeated UCLA 37-29 in 2015 and Indiana lost to Utah 26-24 in 2016. In addition, Illinois defeated UCLA 20-14 in the 2011 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.
The game is played at the home of the San Francisco 49ers. The teams competing in the Foster Farms Bowl will support the community's ongoing fight against hunger as players and coaches will participate in a day of service during their visit to the Bay Area. In addition, Foster Farms will play a lead role in the event's community engagement platform and again will donate a meal to local hunger relief organizations for every ticket sold to the game.
Purdue played at Santa Clara University on Oct. 28, 1939 (losing 13-6), and has made two other Bay Area appearances, defeating Stanford 26-14 in Palo Alto on Oct. 3, 1970, and losing at California 42-18 on Sept. 14, 1991.
As a head coach, Brohm has led each of his four teams to a bowl game - his three Western Kentucky squads from 2014 to 2016 and now Purdue. His teams have won their three bowls - averaging 48.3 points per game: 2014 Bahamas Bowl (49-48 over Central Michigan), 2015 Miami Beach Bowl (45-35 over Miami, Fla.) and 2016 Boca Raton Bowl (51-31 over Memphis under interim head coach Nick Holt after Brohm had taken the Purdue job).
Brohm was a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers in 1997 and 1998. In eight games, he completed 37 of 58 passes (63.8 percent) for 353 yards with one touchdown and one interception.