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Nick’s Pick for the Little Caesar's Bowl

> Nicks MAC Football picks - Follow @VandelaySports

 

Western Kentucky (7-5) vs. Central Michigan (6-6)

December 26, 2012 • Ford Field - ESPN

 

WKU vs. CMU Notes:

  • For Western Kentucky, defensive coordinator Lance Guidry will be calling plays and acting ass head coach since Willie Taggart has left for South Florida...Guidry is making his second appearance as an interim coach in a bowl after leading Miami (Ohio) to a victory in the 2011 GoDaddy.com Bowl following Mike Haywood's departure to coach Pitt
  • Guidry's defense had three players earn all-conference first-team nods, but the anchor of that unit -- Sun Belt defensive player of the year and defensive end Quanterus Smith -- is out due to a knee injury suffered against Louisiana-Lafayette; he had an FBS-leading 1.25 sacks per game and 12 1/2 overall in 10 games
  • Western Kentucky led the conference with 31 sacks and was 12th among FBS teams with 7.42 tackles for loss per game
  • Western Kentucky RB Antonio Andrews will get plenty of touches as he makes a bid to set a single-season NCAA record for all-purpose yards; Andrews has rushed for 1,609 yards and 11 touchdowns also has 957 return yards and 2,977 overall; he needs 274 yards to surpass Barry Sanders' mark of 3,250 from his 1988 Heisman Trophy-winning season
  • Central Michigan finished fourth in the West Division of the MAC and only became bowl eligible by closing the season with victories over Eastern Michigan, Miami (Ohio) and Massachusetts, which had a combined seven wins among them; the Chips are making their fourth appearance in this bowl, winning one out of three from 2006-08 when it was known as the Motor City Bowl
  • The Chippewas also feature a standout running back in Zurlon Tipton who rushed for 1,391 yards and 19 rushing TDs while averaging 6.1 yards per carry; Tipton needs two touchdowns on the ground to better Brian Pruitt's single-season school record of 20 set in 1994
  • Central QB Ryan Radcliff has a pair of solid wideouts in Titus Davis and Cody Wilson, who combined for 107 receptions, 1,599 yards and 10 TDs
  • Western averages 29 points per game and gives up 25; Central averages 29 points per game and gives up 33

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Nick’s Pick: Western Kentucky 33 – Central Michigan 24

Comment: In all honesty Central Michigan does not deserve to be in a bowl game given Louisiana Tech’s 9-3 record and losing out on the entire bowl bonanza. Western Kentucky was snubbed after last year’s 7-5 record and is making their first bowl game in the school’s history. The Hilltoppers do own a I-AA national title a few years ago and were on the MAC’s list to enter the league after Marshall departed nearly a decade ago. Western Kentucky should be able to run well enough to control the game and win but Ryan Radcliff is a crafty QB and could give the Chips a “W” if he has the ball last.

 

 

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