Sports

Little Caesars Bowl Preview Capsule 12-26-12

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TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 08: Xzavier Dickson #47 of the Alabama Crimson Tide forces a fumble by Kawaun Jakes #6 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers that was recovered for a turnover at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 8, 2012 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

TUSCALOOSA, AL – SEPTEMBER 08: Xzavier Dickson #47 of the Alabama Crimson Tide forces a fumble by Kawaun Jakes #6 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers that was recovered for a turnover at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 8, 2012 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Central Michigan (6-6) vs. Western Kentucky (7-5), 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: Western Kentucky by 5 1/2

Series Record: First meeting

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Western Kentucky can win it first bowl game since becoming a top-tier program in college football in 2009. Central Michigan can keep its momentum for next season after winning the final three games of the regular season.

KEY MATCHUP

Western Kentucky RB Antonio Andrews against Central Michigan’s defense and special teams. Andrews has run for 1,609 yards and 11 touchdowns this year. The kickoff and punt returner has 2,977 all-purpose yards on the season, just 273 behind the record set by Barry Sanders.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Central Michigan: RB Zurlon Tipton has 1,391 yards rushing and 19 TDs, 258 yards receiving and another score.

Western Kentucky: QB Kawaun Jakes will have to make plays if Central Michigan can contain Andrews.

FACTS & FIGURES

Western Kentucky interim coach Lance Guidry is leading the program on the field before disgraced former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino, who was hired earlier this month, begins with the program. Willie Taggart left to coach South Florida. … Central Michigan coach Dan Enos is a former Michigan State quarterback and assistant coach. … The Hilltoppers play in the Sun Belt Conference. .. The Chippewas are from the Mid-American Conference, which sent seven teams to bowl games this year. … Western Kentucky was 0-12 in 2009. .. The Chippewas were 3-9 the previous two seasons under Enos and are 2-4 in bowl games in program history.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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