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Central Michigan University has announced that sophomore receivers Titus Davis, Defarrel Davis and Courtney Williams have been suspended for the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl for a violation of team policy.
"Our student-athletes operate in accordance with an established code of conduct, and they are held accountable for upholding those standards," CMU Athletics Director Dave Heeke said. "We are looking forward to a great bowl experience for our program and fans and a great game against Western Kentucky."
Titus Davis had a breakout campaign for the Chippewas, leading the team with 860 yards receiving, eight receiving touchdowns and an average of 20 yards per catch.
Williams was their third leading receiver with 24 receptions for 260 yards and two touchdowns.
Western Kentucky RB Antonio Andrews is within reach of Barry Sanders ' NCAA record for all-purpose yards in a season.
Andrews, a 6-foot, 210-pound junior, has 2,977 all-purpose yards, 274 from breaking the mark Sanders set in 1988 for Oklahoma State. Andrews has averaged 248.1 all-purpose yards this season, 349.3 his last four games. He has 1,609 rushing yards, including consecutive 230-plus-yard games to end the season.
How Central Michigan Got Here
After consecutive 3-9 seasons, the Chippewas are bowling once again but it wasn't easy. Central Michigan opened up 2-1 which included a big upset (at the time, not anymore) at Iowa but then it dropped four straight, all by double digits, and five of its next six games to fall to 3-6. The Chippewas can thank the schedule makers as they finished with three cupcakes to close out the season and were able to win them all even though they were outgained in two of those. The final game against Massachusetts was the only game this season that Central Michigan outgained its opponent and that was only by 27 total yards. The Chippewas are here only because the Big Ten failed to have enough teams qualify and they come in with no wins against teams with a winning record.
How Western Kentucky Got Here
Western Kentucky made a significant hire with Bobby Petrino taking over as head coach although defensive coordinator Lance Guidry was named interim coach and will coach the team in the bowl game. This is the first bowl game in the history of the program so there will certainly be no lack of motivation on the Hilltoppers sideline especially considering they were 7-5 last year and were passed over on a bowl. They opened the season at 5-1 with that loss being against Alabama but a slow finish of 2-4 killed any SCB Championship hope. Those were not horrible losses however as they came by an average of just 4.75 ppg but a home loss against Florida Atlantic was inexcusable. Western Kentucky can claim however to be the only team to defeat conference champion Arkansas St.
Central Michigan should have the edge with the crowd with this game taking place in Detroit as well as its familiarity with the venue as this is its fourth time here. Still, that intangible may not be enough as the Chippewas do not possess a great offense and have a below average defense. They are ranked 67th in total offense and 94th in total defense, both of which are good for seventh in the 14-team MAC. The Hilltoppers offense is slightly better but it is their defense that could be the difference as they come in 23rd in total defense which was tops in the Sun Belt Conference. Western Kentucky possesses the sixth best rusher in the country in Andrews and he can put a hurting on the Central Michigan rushing defense which is just 99th overall. The Hilltoppers also have a significant edge in the return teams.
San Jose State enters the Military Bowl as one of the hottest teams in the nation, knocking off Louisiana Tech to finish the regular season winning six straight and recording the Spartans' first 10-win season since 1987. They finished the regular season ranked No. 24 in the AP and Coaches' Poll, as well as earning the first BCS ranking in program history. A bowl win, even without former coach Mike MacIntyre -- now the new coach at Colorado, would be a fitting end to a red-letter season for the Spartans.
Bowling Green: The prospects for Bowling Green making the postseason looked grim after a 1-3 start, but coach Dave Clawson led an impressive turnaround as the Falcons finished the regular season winning seven of their final eight contests to match their best finish since 2007. Bowling Green's success was powered by a streak of impressive defensive performance in conference play, eventually finishing the season with a defense that ranked in the Top 10 nationally in total defense (289.7 yards per game), pass defense (173.0 yards per game), and scoring (15.8 points per game). On the other side of the ball the Falcons are led by third year starting quarterback Matt Schilz and running back Anthon Samuel, who already ranks 15th in school history with 1,810 career rushing yards as a sophomore.
Quarterback David Fales makes San Jose State's offense go, completing more than 72 percent of his passes and regularly eclipsing 300 pass yards. But the Spartans must protect Fales from a ferocious Bowling Green pass rush led by defensive tackle Chris Jones, the MAC Defensive Player of the Year. Jones averages more than a sack a game, tying for fourth nationally, and Bowling Green ranks ninth nationally in sacks (3.08 per game). San Jose State has faced some top pass-rushing teams like Stanford and Utah State, which recorded an astonishing 13 sacks against Fales in a 49-27 win. If the Spartans suffer similar breakdowns against Jones and the Falcons, they'll have a hard time keeping Fales on the field.