Boilermakers Arrive in Bay Area
Dec. 23, 2017

Purdue Bowl Central / Foster Farms Bowl

Foster Farms Bowl Tickets

SAN FRANCISCO - More than four and a half months after opening training camp, Purdue football made a trip Saturday that few outside the program imagined possible.

To a bowl game.

The Boilermakers' travel party of 275 players, coaches, support staff, administrators and families journeyed from the Purdue Airport via two chartered airplanes to the Bay Area for the Foster Farms Bowl against Arizona on Dec. 27.

"It has been a long time coming, and I am just so thankful," senior defensive end Danny Ezechukwu said. "I'm having a lot of fun with my teammates, the coaches, all the families. It is such a rewarding experience."

Under first-year head coach Jeff Brohm, the Boilermakers achieved a 6-6 record to earn their first bowl berth since the 2012 season.

"Coach Brohm and his staff came in and said they wanted to win now," Ezechukwu said. "We hit the ground running from the get-go and worked hard. It isn't over yet. We still need to win one more, and we want to win this one for the Boilermaker faithful."

Following a 23-13 loss at Northwestern, the Boilermakers needed to win their last two games, and they did, 24-15 at Iowa and 31-24 over Indiana to recapture the Old Oaken Bucket.

"After the Northwestern game, our backs were against the wall, and we knew we needed to come out swinging," redshirt sophomore quarterback Elijah Sindelar said. "What helped us not lose hope or lose our fight was the fact that our goal of making a bowl game still was achievable. That was all we needed."

The Foster Farms Bowl will be played at Levi's Stadium (home of the San Francisco 49ers and site of Super Bowl 50) in Santa Clara, California. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised by FOX.

On Sunday, the Boilermakers are scheduled to visit historic Alcatraz in the morning and practice at Laney College in Oakland in the afternoon. They will ride cable cars to dinner and evening entertainment.


* Keena Turner, a member of the Purdue Den of Defensive Ends who played for the Boilermakers from 1976 to 1979, is in his sixth season as the San Francisco 49ers vice president of football affairs after spending nearly three decades in different capacities for the organization. He oversees the team's player engagement program, aimed at optimizing and revolutionizing the personal and professional growth of players. Turner played for the 49ers from 1980 to 1990, winning four Super Bowl championships (XVI, XIX, XXIII and XXIV). His daughter, Ella, is a freshman at Purdue.

* Raheem Mostert, who played for Purdue from 2011 to 2014, is in his second season as a running back for the 49ers. He had a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the Boilermakers' 37-32 victory over Western Michigan in the 2011 Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl in Detroit.



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