Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (-4, 66 o/u)
This year’s Popeyes Bahamas Bowl features the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (7-5, 4-4 C-USA) against the Central Michigan Chippewas (7-5, 5-3 MAC). The game will be played on Wednesday, December 24, at Thomas Robinson Stadium in Nassau.(12:00 p.m. Eastern).
The Hilltoppers have a clear edge in the momentum department, having won their last four games in a row, including a victory over then-unbeaten Marshall in their last outing. They have the third-best passing offense in the nation led by QB Brandon Doughty, who has outrageous numbers, throwing for 4,344 yards, 44 touchdowns, and ten interceptions this season.
“The best thing he did was he made his players believe they were better than they really were,” head coach Jeff Brohm said. “He made them believe that when they took the field they were going to win. I am always very conscious that our players have confidence, that they play with swagger and never doubt themselves.”
The Central Michigan Chippewas lost their last outing against Western Michigan; they are 3-4 in Bowl games, but have won their last two appearances in 2009 and 2012.
“I think he is the best we’ve played all year,” said CMU Head Coach Dan Enos of Doughty. “He’s very poised. He doesn’t get rattled. He gets hit a lot and you really can’t tell from play to play.”
Central Michigan’s best win game against MAC champions Northern Illinois on October 11. The Chippewas went on the road and dominated the Huskies, 34-17, handing Northern Illinois its only conference loss on the year. However, Central Michigan couldn’t parlay that big win into a streak, losing at home to lowly Ball State the next week.
Western Kentucky is a four-point favorite in the odds and the game over/under is at 66 points.
(Photo credit: By J. Glover (Author’s original work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)