(This is the first part of a ten part series in which I break down each of the Big Ten team’s bowl games. Other bowl previews are linked at the bottom of this article or found on my home page)
Little Caesars Bowl – Detroit, MI (Ford Field)
December 27th, 4:30pm ET
Purdue (6-6, 4-4 Big Ten) vs. Western Michigan (7-5, 5-3 MAC)
Spread: Purdue -3
Purdue: The Boilermakers are playing in their first bowl game since 2007 when they beat Central Michigan 51-48 on the same field as they are playing on in this bowl game. Purdue has had an up and down season, ranging from losing at Rice to beating Ohio State. They are averaging 26.1 points per game (67th in the FBS) while allowing 26.4 points per game (64th in the FBS). Purdue has used a two quarterback system throughout the year with Caleb TerBush and Robert Marve splitting time at the position. The two have combined for 2361 yards and 15 TDs with 11 INTs. Purdue had no players on the All-Big Ten First team and had K Carson Wiggs (Coaches), DE Kawann Short (Coaches) and DB Ricardo Allen (Coaches) on the Big Ten Second Team. Short led the team in TFL (17) and sacks (6.5). Allen led the team in interceptions with three and blocked a FG to preserve a three point win over Middle Tennessee in the season opener.
Western Michigan: The Broncos are making their first bowl appearance since 2008, in which they lost to Rice 38-14 in the Texas Bowl. The Broncos were third in the MAC West Division and have won three of their last four contests. Western Michigan is averaging 35.6 points per game (18th in the FBS) and giving up 28 points per game (72nd in FBS). The Bronco offense was led by the dangerous combination of QB Alex Carder and WR Jordan White. Carder passed for 3434 yards and 28 TDs while earning All-MAC Second Team honors. White hauled in 127 catches for 1646 yards and 16 TDs. White led the FBS in catches and yards which earned him All-American honors (AFCA) and All-MAC First team honors. On the defensive side Western Michigan was led by DT Drew Nowak who was named to the All-MAC First team. Nowak led the Broncos in TFL (20) and sacks (8.5) while collecting 83 tackles, good for third on the team.
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