This 2012-2013 Bowl Blitz Invitational match-up highlights the Litte Caesars Pizza Bowl between the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (7-5, 4-4 Sun Belt) and Central Michigan (6-6, 4-4 MAC). The Gaming Tailgate owner Chris Jacobs took control of Western Kentucky in their attempt to improve to 3-0 all-time in bowl games and earn their first ever bowl win as an FBS member.
Chippewas defeat Hilltoppers in 3OT to Win Little Caesars Bowl
Detroit, M.I. – The 2012 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl went down to the wire – and then some – as Central Michigan defeated Western Kentucky 39-37 in three overtimes.
The match-up was a hard-fought defensive battle until late in the fourth quarter and OT periods. The Hilltoppers rallied to tie the game at 10-10 following an eight yard touchdown run from HB #34. WKU would get the ball back with a minute and a half remaining and the chance to win the game. However, on the drive’s first play CMU CB #2 would intercept the ball and return it sixteen yards for a touchdown.
The Hilltoppers would respond with a gritty drive culminating with a 20 yard touchdown pass with 33 seconds left in the fourth quarter. CMU would drive into WKU territory, but passed on a long field-goal attempt and instead saw a game-winning touchdown pass batted down in the end zone.
In the first overtime, WKU struck first with a one-yard HB #34 touchdown run, giving them their first lead of the game. CMU responded with a 12-yard touchdown pass, hauled in by WR #11.
The play of the day (one of many potential candidates) came to start off the second overtime. Following a sack, CMU QB #8 found WR #11 on third & long with a 32-yard touchdown pass to go ahead 31-24. WKU would answer with a five-yard touchdown from HB #26 and kick off the third OT with a 10-yard touchdown keeper from QB #6.
Trailing 37-31, the Chips would drive down the field to get in position for the win. CMU HB #5 finished with just two carries on the day – the touchdown to tie the game and the two-point conversion to win the game.
Central Michigan challenged the Western Kentucky secondary and tackling skills all game, led by a 71 yard touchdown pass to open the scoring in the first quarter. Despite the yardage allowed, CMU would not score another offensive touchdown until the first overtime. All of Western Kentucky’s touchdowns would be scored in the fourth quarter and overtimes.
Player of the Game: CMU QB #8. Despite two interceptions and two sacks, the CMU gunslinger was calm under pressure in torching WKU for over 300 yards passing.
It was over when… CMU #5 crossed the goal-line for both the touchdown & two-point conversion in the third overtime to give the Chippewas the win – his only two carries of the day.
Game Ball goes to… CMU WR #11. Six receptions for 101 yards and two touchdowns helped the Chippewas pull off the upset.
Stat of the Game: 335. Yards through the air for CMU, including a 23-yard pass by their punter on a failed fourth-down play.
Statistical Tidbits: 1638 – The NCAA Football 13 great game score assigned to this classic. … 29 – Yards rushing for Central Michigan. …34 – Combined points in regulation. … 42 – Combined points in three overtime periods.