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Broncos headed to bowl game versus Purdue in Detroit

by Mat Kanan

Dec. 5, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of WMU Bronco football.
Broncos versus Purdue at Little Caesars Bowl
KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's football team takes on Purdue University in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl at Ford Field in Detroit beginning at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27. The bowl committee announced the match up yesterday.

Get your tickets for the party and game and at Ford Field
Information on the pre-game Bronco Bowl Bash, fan bus to Ford Field and ordering tickets for the game, bash and fan bus.

This is WMU's third bowl game of the past six seasons under head coach Bill Cubit, but first time in the Detroit bowl game, previously known as the Motor City Bowl. The game will be televised on ESPN, and will match the Mid-American Conference against the Big Ten for the third time in the bowl's 15-year history. The two conferences are 1-1 in previous Little Caesars Bowl match ups.

"On behalf of Western Michigan University, our football team and our 120,000 alumni in the region, we are honored to accept the invitation to the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl," said WMU athletic director Kathy Beauregard.

WMU enters its bowl game with a record of 7-5 and with an offense that ranks in the top 20 in passing (8th), passing efficiency (14th) and scoring (18th).

The Broncos boast All-American Jordan White, who leads the nation in total receiving yards (1,646), receiving yards per game (137.17), total receptions (127) and receptions per game (10.58). He also ranks second in the FBS in receiving TDs (16). White holds all but three receiving records at Western Michigan and is 110 yards from becoming the MAC's most prolific receiver in terms of career receiving yards.

The Broncos also boast the 2011 MAC Defensive Player of the Year in senior defensive tackle Drew Nowak. Nowak ranks fifth in the nation in tackles for loss per game (1.67) and fourth in total takles for loss (20.0). The Green Bay, Wis., native closed out his regular season with 4.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss in WMU's final two games leading up to the bowl game. He is sixth Bronco to earn MAC Defensive Player of the Year.

Quarterback Alex Carder is among the nation's best, ranking seventh in the nation in completions per game (27.18) and leading the MAC with 312.2 passing yards per game. Carder twice broke the program record for passing yards in a game and tied the MAC record for passing touchdowns in a game Nov. 8 at Toledo.

MAC teams are 6-8 in the Little Caesars Bowl

1997 - (L) Marshall 31 vs. Mississippi 34
1998 - (W) Marshall 48 vs. Louiville 29
1999 - (W) Marshall 21 vs. BYU 3
2000 - (W) Marshall 25 vs. Cincinnati 14
2001 - (W) Toledo 23 vs. Cincinnati 16
2002 - (L) Toledo 25 vs. Boston College 51
2003 - (W) Bowling Green 28 vs. Northwestern 24
2004 - (L) Toledo 10 vs. Connecticut 39
2005 - (L) Akron 31 vs. Memphis 38
2006 - (W) Central Michigan 31 vs. Middle Tennessee State 14
2007 - (L) Central Michigan 48 vs. Purdue 51
2008 - (L) Central Michigan 21 vs. Florida Atlantic 24
2009 - (L) Ohio 17 vs. Marshall 21
2010 - (L) Toledo 32 vs. Florida International 34

Known as the Motor City Bowl 1997-2008
Marshall left the MAC following the 2004 season.

Related articles
Bronco Jordan White is football All-American | Dec. 5, 2011
Drew Nowak earns MAC Defensive Player of the Year | Dec. 2, 2011