Defense got Purdue to the Foster Farms Bowl.

It’s hardly disputable that, if the Boilermakers’ defense wasn’t so stingy this fall, they wouldn’t have earned a postseason berth in Jeff Brohm’s first season as head coach. Nick Holt’s unit surrendered just 19.3 points per game (fourth in the B1G) and 133.3 rushing yards per game (an over 100-yard improvement from 2016).

A year that was reserved for a more entertaining and electric brand of football was overshadowed by an aggressive, hard-nosed approach. Purdue wasn’t scoring 50 points per game and David Blough didn’t come close to hitting the 4,000-yard mark. There weren’t any shootouts in Brohm’s first year and the offense never really seemed to reach its full potential.

That’s going to have to change, at least to a degree, if Purdue wants to claim its first bowl victory since 2011 on Wednesday night.

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Only five teams in college football averaged more points per game than Arizona this season. The Wildcats put up 41.8 points per game, ranking atop the Pac-12 and sixth in the nation. They owned the third-best rushing attack with 324.4 yards per game on the ground and quarterback Khalil Tate was the conference’s second-most prolific rusher, behind only Stanford’s Bryce Love.

As good as the Boilermaker defense has been, it’s not going to completely shut down such a high-powered unit.

Purdue’s offense is going to have to score some points in San Francisco, maybe not into the 40s and 50s, but well above its season average of 24.2. This will be an opportunity for that shootout game that everyone expected to see on a weekly basis when Brohm signed on the dotted line a year ago.

Though the Black and Gold have struggled at times on that side of the ball, finding the end zone with some frequency shouldn’t be too daunting of a task.

Arizona’s defense is nothing to write home about. It’s a young, inexperienced group that surrendered a lot of yards and way too many points. It’s the primary reason Rich Rodriguez’s team was fighting for bowl eligibility rather than competing for a Pac-12 title at the end of the season.

Quarterback Elijah Sindelar shouldn’t have much trouble picking apart an Arizona secondary that ranked 122nd nationally against the pass. Markell Jones and D.J. Knox have opportunities for big days as well, going up against a defense that allowed over 185 yards per game on the ground. Brohm will have a lot of fun — and success — calling plays against one of the worst defensive teams he’s faced this season.

Can Purdue score enough, though? That’s really the question that lingers heading into the Foster Farms Bowl.

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Sure, the Boilermakers have put up their fair share of points at times throughout the year: 44 vs. Ohio, 35 vs. Missouri, 31 vs. Indiana. But those games were comfortable victories, contests Purdue took a sizeable advantage early and never relinquished — though the Hoosiers did make a late push in the season finale.

Scoring at high volume can be a little more taxing against an opponent capable of going punch for punch, though.

Yes, defense got Purdue to the Foster Farms Bowl. And against Tate, one of the most electrifying quarterbacks in college football, Holt’s unit better come ready to play on again on Wednesday night.

To beat Arizona, though, the Boilermakers are going to need a lot more out of Brohm and the offense. Purdue hasn’t experienced a shootout yet, but it’s going to be caught in the middle of one in San Francisco.

The Foster Farms Bowl will be the type of game Purdue fans expected to see out of the offense all season long. It might even provide a quick glimpse into the future of Boilermaker football.