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Purdue rallies to beat Tennessee in OT in Music City Bowl

Published: Dec. 31, 2021 at 12:05 AM EST
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(AP) - NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Mitchell Fineran kicked a 39-yard field goal in overtime and Purdue finished off its best season since 2003 by overcoming a 14-point deficit and beating Tennessee 48-45 on Thursday in a record-setting Music City Bowl.

Purdue (9-4) tied for the second-most wins in program history as only 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.

Tennessee (7-6) missed a 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. The Vols also snapped a four-game bowl victory streak with a loss that dropped the Southeastern Conference to 1-5 this bowl season.

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 deciding play.

On the first possession of overtime, Jamar Brown and Kieren Douglas stopped Vols running back Jaylen Wright short on fourth-and-goal at the 1. After Purdue ran three plays, Fineran sealed the victory with his fourth field goal.

Tennessee finished with 639 yards total offense and Purdue had 623 in regulation — both bowl records before overtime. Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell O’Connell — who threw five touchdown passes — easily set a mark with 534 yards passing, well above the 383 Mike Glennon had with N.C. State. Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker also had five TD passes.

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