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2018 Music City Bowl Auburn 63, Purdue 14

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Auburn is better than Purdue at football.

NCAA Football: Music City Bowl-Auburn vs Purdue Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Well, mercifully, it is over.

I mean, what can you say about that? Just about the only time Purdue was even close was when Tim Cason nearly intercepted Jarrett Stidham deep in Auburn territory. Even if had held on to it and Purdue scored to tie the game it probably wouldn’t have mattered. JaTarvious Whitlow scored on the third play from scrimmage and it just got worse from there.

The lone first half highlight was a rushing TD from Rondale Moore that made it 21-7. From there Auburn completely outclassed Purdue in every phase of the game. The Tigers scored on their first seven first half possessions and Purdue only even forced a third down three times. Their 8th possession ended because of a kneel down with 8 seconds left.

Offensively, David Blough was intercepted twice, including one that was returned for a touchdown. Purdue could do absolutely nothing to stop Auburn defensively and Purdue’s offense moved the ball a little, but not nearly enough.

Today we saw how vast the talent difference was between the two teams. Purdue’s defense was thin on depth all year after losing seven starters and it was without Cornel Jones, Lorenzo Neal, and Dedrick Mackey (three of its best players) today. Auburn clearly had more talent and the complete lack of depth left by the Hazell regime was glaring. This is why the incoming recruiting class was so defense heavy. At worst, Purdue will finally have depth next season.

Offensively, the Purdue offensive line was pushed around all day, and losing Matt McCann early did no favors. Blough was pressured all day while Stidham had a clean pocket on every throw. Purdue had small successes, but not nearly enough.

Improved talent coming in 2019 and hopefully in 2020 will help. Experience will help. It is amazing what Brohm has been able to do with what he was dealt because 13-13 with multiple close games is a lot more than we ever expected. The fact that a blowout of this magnitude was the exception and not the rule is a good sign with more talent coming. Still, this was a difficult game to watch. We knew Auburn was likely better before kickoff. I don’t think anyone expected to be outclassed this much.

We’ll have more on the season postmortem later, but for now, let’s thank the seniors. They went through a lot with the Hazell years and just to do what they have done the last two years was a major accomplishment. There are better days ahead even though this one sucked.