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Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Preview and Predictions


Western Kentucky and Central Michigan will clash at Detroit’s Ford Field for the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl on Thursday, highlighting the worst bowl game of the season.

The big shakeup in this matchup lies on the side of Western Kentucky, which recently lost its head coach Willie Taggart to the vacant South Florida head coach position.  In his place, defensive coordinator Lance Guidry will act as interim head coach for the Hilltoppers in the meantime, but little is known on how will it affect the team’s offense.

Wednesday’s game also marks a big moment for the Hilltoppers. It will be the first bowl game in the program’s history (which joined the FBS in 2009). The bowl appearance could be attributed to the team’s thrilling overtime victory against Kentucky on Sept. 15, considering the team (7-5) had a relatively unremarkable season. It finished the campaign with a lousy 1-4 record.

Western Kentucky does have an electric ground attack with Antonio Andrews in the backfield. In fact, the sophomore running back is within reach of surpassing Barry Sanders’ record of 3,250 all-purpose yards in a single season. He will come into Wednesday’s game with an astounding 2,977 yards (most of which come from kickoff and punt returns).

Meanwhile, Central Michigan (6-6) doesn’t have a lot to write home about. The team barely snuck into bowl game eligibility with a late-season surge that saw them winning three in a row. They did however notch an impressive victory over Iowa early in the season, but the team as a whole has been relatively inconsistent, to say the least.

Both programs have a relatively solid offense. The Chippewas average about 29 points per game, while the Hilltoppers are right on their heels, averaging 28.8 per contest. Western Kentucky does have a slight edge on defense, surrendering just 25.6 points per game (which ranks second in the Sun Belt Conference), while Central Michigan allows more than 33 points.

As a result, the Chippewas should have the slight advantage in a game that will be decided by defense.

Prediction: Central Michigan 31, Western Kentucky 24

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