Purdue Boilermakers quarterback Elijah Sindelar (2) holds the Foster Farms Bowl Championship trophy after the game between the Arizona Wildcats and the Purdue Boilermakers on December 27, 2017, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by David Dennis/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)
By Jeremy Kahn
SANTA CLARA — What a thrilling finish at the 16th annual Foster Farms Bowl between the Purdue Boilermakers and Arizona Wildcats. Elijah Sindelar threw a 38-yard to Anthony Mahoungou with 1:44 remaining in the game, as the Boilermakers came back to defeat the Wildcats 38-35 before an announced attendance of 28,436 at Levi’s Stadium.
After the Boilermakers led the Wildcats 31-14 at the half, the Wildcats came all the way back and even took the lead with 3:21 remaining in the game, as Khalil Tate threw his bowl record fifth touchdown pass to give the Wildcats a 35-31 lead.
Sindelar did not falter under the pressure of the big lights, as he drove the Boilermakers 75 yards for the game-winning score. It was the first bowl win by the Boilermakers since the 2011 Motor City Bowl over the Western Michigan Broncos at Ford Field in Detroit.
By finishing the season with a 7-6 record, the Boilermakers finished with their first winning season since 2011.
Sindelar threw for a school bowl record tying four touchdowns, and broke the Foster Farms Bowl record by throwing for 396 yards on the evening.
Mahoungou topped the 100-yard plateau with 118 yards receiving, and Gregory Phillips also topped the 100-yard plateau with 149 yards receiving.
Tate was amazing for the Wildcats, as he threw for 302 yards, and a Foster Farms Bowl record five touchdowns. However, his interception on the final series of the game clinched the win for the Boilermakers. Tate gained just 58 yards on the ground on 20 carries.
With the victory, the Big Ten is now 3-1 against the Pac-12 since the arrangement between the two Power Five Conferences began in 2014.
NOTES: Boilermakers head coach Jeff Brohm ended his first year in West Lafayette with a 7-6 record.
As for the Wildcats, their record ended with the same 7-6 record under fifth-year head coach Rich Rodriguez.
Including his time at West Virginia, Michigan and Arizona, Rodriguez falls to 6-21 against Big Ten opponents.