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Motor City Bowl

Motor City Bowl

2007 Motor City Bowl Preview
by T.O. Whenham

Central Michigan (8-5) vs. Purdue (7-5)

Conference matchup: MAC vs. Big Ten
Date: Dec. 26, 2007, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
Spread: Purdue -9

The 2007 Motor City Bowl is one of the rare cases where the game is a rematch of a game played earlier in the season. Unfortunately, it's a rematch of a game that wasn't very interesting the first time around. Purdue won, 45-22, and covered as 21.5-point favorites. It wasn't as one-sided as it seemed, though - after a very rough start, Central Michigan actually outscored Purdue in the second half, and was far more productive offensively as well. Though the line indicates that the game should be closer than before, you have to imagine that bowl organizers would have avoided this matchup if they weren't contractually obligated to it. This is the second straight year that Central Michigan has won the MAC and played in this game. Last year they beat Middle Tennessee State, 31-14, in front of more than 54,000 fans.

Central Michigan can cover if: they can continue to build on their recent momentum. When the Chippewas first played Purdue they were in the midst of a terrible start. They lost three of their first four, and weren't firing on either side of the ball. Since then they have won seven of their last nine and, with the exception of an embarrassing blowout at the hands of Clemson, have been competitive every time out. They scored 34 or more points nine times in 13 tries, so offensive production won't be any trouble, especially if QB Dan LeFevour, one of the more underrated players in the country, is on his game. One challenge facing Central Michigan is that they have not been a strong underdog. They have been given points four times, and have only covered once. Those games were all on the road, though. This game is in a neutral site and it is close enough that Chippewas fans should travel in full force and make it a very friendly environment. That could give them the boost they need. They will especially need that boost defensively. They failed to crack the top 100 in many defensive categories on the season. They will need to find a way to slow down a potent Purdue offense if they want to be competitive.

Purdue can cover if: they can rediscover their early form. They started very strong, with five straight victories. They lost their last three games of the year, though, and five of their last seven to come crashing back down to all to familiar mediocrity. They will especially need to focus on their defensive play. The first half of their first game against Central Michigan was probably their best half of defensive football all year. They couldn't maintain that pace in the second half, and rarely played with the same intensity again this year. This game is theirs for the taking if they can play aggressive defensive football, because their talent level is obviously a bit higher given the conferences involved. If their defense plays well then their offense should be strong enough to stay ahead in a shootout. Quarterback Curtis Painter had a solid year, and Kory Sheets is effective on the ground, so Purdue should be able to exert their superiority, but only if they can pay better than they have in the last month.

General notes: Purdue will be playing without junior wide receiver Selwyn Lymon. He was kicked off the team after getting arrested for a second time. He's not a crucial loss as he was only the fifth leading receiver, but he did catch 41 passes and provided another option for Painter. Central Michigan played a staggering eight road games this year, so they are comfortable with playing away from home. In comparison, Purdue had just five. LeFevour will have to work to get his consistency back. After throwing fifteen touchdowns and just six interceptions in his first eight games, he has just eight touchdowns while being picked seven times in his last five. Purdue will make the Chippewas pay for turnovers more than most opponents they have faced.

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Motor City Bowl Preview
By Judd Hall

Motor City Bowl

Purdue (7-5 SU, 5-6 ATS) vs. Central Michigan (8-5 SU, 5-6-1 ATS)

How they got there:

The Boilermakers are sucking wind heading into their 10th bowl game in 11 seasons under Joe Tiller. They started the year 7-2, including a win against a downtrodden Notre Dame squad. Purdue, however, closed out the season with three consecutive defeats which culminated in losing the Old Oaken Bucket to the Hoosiers on Nov. 17 for the first time in six years.

The Chippewas are going bowling for the second straight year in surprising fashion. I say that it’s surprising considering they started the season 1-3, including a 45-22 loss at Purdue as 21 ½-point road underdogs. Central Michigan finished strong with a 7-2 record that helped result in its winning the Mid-American Conference championship two years in a row.

What to expect:

It’s not everyday that we get a bowl game that serves as a rematch from the regular season, but that is exactly what we’ve got at Ford Field in Detroit.

If there is one thing that I can guarantee you’ll see on Dec. 26 is passing…lots and lots of passing. Purdue was 17th in the nation throwing the ball, averaging 287.3 YPG through the air. The Chippewas are no slouch either, gaining 265.1 passing YPG to rank 32nd in the country.

The first meeting this year between these two programs combined for 724 passing yards (Purdue 360, CMU 364) and five touchdowns. The game really hinged on the Boilermakers gaining 223 yards rushing for three scores.

Players to Watch:

Purdue – Quarterback Curtis Painter has been known to give defenses fits throwing the ball, while running back Kory Sheets has been surprisingly effective on the ground by gaining 832 yards and nine touchdowns in 2007. Jaycen Taylor will also get his fair share of touches, too.

Central Michigan – Quarterback Dan LeFevour is a one man wrecking crew for the Chippewas, passing for 3,360 yards and rushing for another 1,008 yards. LeFevour will be looking to improve on the 26 yards he gained on the ground the last time he faced Purdue.

Bowl Records:

The Chippewas have posted a 1-2 record SU and ATS in their previous three postseason appearances. However, they did win as nine-point favorites in last year’s Motor City Bowl against Middle Tennessee State, 31-14.

Purdue is going to its 10th bowl game in 11 years under Tiller. The Boilers are 3-6 SU and 4-5 ATS in their past nine postseason contests. Last year, Purdue dropped a 24-7 affair as a one-point favorite to the Terrapins in the Champs Sports Bowl.

Bowl History:

This will be the 11th Motor City Bowl. If history holds up, then the Boilermakers will be walking away with their eighth postseason victory for the program. The favorite has gone 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS in the past 10 editions of this clash in Detroit. The ‘over’ has gone 6-4 in that stretch.

Inside the Line: Purdue -8, 71½

Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened this line 9½, but the public has been in love with Central Michigan as the line has progressively dwindled. The bettors out there have been hitting ‘under’ frequently as the number has shrunk from the starting point of 73½.

The Chippewas have watched the ‘over’ go 3-1 in their last four meetings this year. Purdue has seen the ‘under’ post a 4-1 mark in its final five regular season games.

Expert Opinion: Christian Alexander

The Boilermakers stumbled down the stretch losing their last three - which is why they are thankful for another chance to end the season on a high note. On the other hand, Central Michigan got things going in the right direction in the last month of the season, winning four of their last five including the Mid-American Conference championship game.

This game shouldn't lack for entertainment value. Both teams average nearly 33 points a game and both have talented QBs that can get the ball down the field.

The Boilermakers downfall this year has been on defense where they ranked eighth in the Big Ten in total defense, allowing over 385 yards per game. However, the Chippewas are even worse, ranking 106th in the nation in total defense.

VI Prediction:

I hate to bet along with the public on the Chippewas, but I’m going to for this postseason tilt. Central Michigan may have gotten whipped in the earlier matchup, but that prior knowledge can only help Butch Jones’s squad this time around.

Expect a high scoring affair between both offenses, but LeFevour is going to have a coming out party of sorts against a Boilermaker squad that didn’t finish the year strong at all.

Final Score: Central Michigan 42, Purdue 33

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Motor City Bowl preview: Central Michigan vs. Purdue

Motor City Bowl
Teams: Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Purdue Boilermakers
Date: Wednesday, Dec. 26, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Ford Field, Detroit
Line: Purdue -9 Total 72½

Detroit’s Big Three automakers sponsor the Motor City Bowl, so it’s fitting that this year’s combatants pack serious horsepower. The Central Michigan Chippewas and Purdue Boilermakers should light up the Ford Field scoreboard on Boxing Day.

The schools met earlier this season, a 45-22 Purdue win on the Boilermakers’ home turf. The Week 3 win helped Joe Tiller’s boys jump out to a 5-0 start this year. Central Michigan’s loss turned out to be its second of three defeats in September. The schools’ fortunes changed once their conference schedules began in earnest.

Central Michigan earned another Motown berth by repeating as Mid-American Conference champions. The Chippewas were the MAC’s offensive dynamo under Brian Kelly last year, then did it again under new head coach Butch Jones this season. CMU led the MAC in scoring under both coaches, with the common link being sophomore quarterback Dan LeFevour.

LeFevour joined current NFLer Vince Young as the only top-flight college quarterbacks to throw for more than 3,000 yards and run for another 1,000 in the same season. The MAC offensive player of the year, LeFevour is surrounded by talent at the skill positions, especially young wideouts Bryan Anderson and Antonio Brown.

It’s a good thing CMU can score points, because its defense isn’t shy about conceding them.

Central Michigan allowed opponents 36 points a game this season, a number inflated by the Chipps’ appearances against BCS-conference opponents. They conceded 52 points to Kansas, 45 to the Boilermakers and 70 to Clemson. The defensive low-light may have been allowing 44 points to Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division II) school North Dakota State.

A soft defense is exactly what Purdue needs to end its season on a positive note. The Boilermakers lost five of their last seven games, all against Big Ten opponents. None of the losses hurt more than the season-ending defeat at Indiana. Purdue had rallied from a 21-point deficit late in the second half, but lost the Old Oaken Bucket to its state rivals on a last-minute field goal.

The Boilermakers still bring some of the Big Ten’s top offensive talent to Detroit. Quarterback Curtis Painter tossed 26 touchdown passes against only nine interceptions this year. Tight end Dustin Keller and running back Cory Sheets excel in the red zone, and star receiver / return man Dorien Bryant might be the best athlete in the entire conference.

Purdue’s defenders will hope CMU doesn’t pack as much punch as their other Michigan-based opponents this season. Both Michigan and Michigan State scored 48 points against the Boilermakers. Still, Purdue’s ‘D’ improved its overall numbers for the second straight season under defensive coordinator Brock Spack. Purdue excels at causing turnovers, forcing 27 of them in its 12 games this year.

Central Michigan will play only its fourth bowl game in school history and has a chance to repeat as Motor City Bowl champs. The Chippewas handled Middle Tennessee State 31-14 at Ford Field last year. Purdue poses a bigger challenge to CMU, however, and the Boilermakers are hungry to end their three-game bowl losing streak.

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What bettors need to know: Purdue vs. Central Michigan

The line

Most sportsbooks opened the spread with Purdue favored by 9½ points. Some books opened the line as high as 10 points, but it has been moving down since then. Don’t be surprised if it is eight points or lower by game time. The total is also sliding downward after opening at 72½ points.

Streaks and slumps

If you’re wondering why bettors are jumping on Central Michigan, you don’t need to look much further than how these two teams finished the season. Purdue lost three straight – and failed to cover in two of those games – while Central Mich won four of its last five and went 2-1-2 against the spread (ATS) to finish out the year.

The non-con story

The Chippewas improved enough throughout the year to win the MAC championship. But there is no overlooking their performance against schools from BCS conferences.

CMU went 0-3 straight up (SU) and against the spread against BCS teams and lost – no, got annihilated – by a combined score of 167-43. The only remotely good news is that the closest of those three games came against Purdue, a 45-22 affair on Sept. 15. The other two beat downs came at the hands of Kansas State and Clemson.

The Chippewas only played in one other non-conference game – a 44-14 loss against Division I-AA’s North Dakota State. Eww.

Purdue went 4-0 against non-conference opponents and 2-1 ATS. The Boilers win over Division I-AA Eastern Illinois didn’t have a line.

The rematch

About that game on Sept. 15. Purdue has to be at least a bit worried that things might go down a little differently this time because the team can’t play much better. Joe Tiller said the first half of that game was "the best half of football defensively" his team has played since he came to Purdue. His team held the Chippewas scoreless in that half.

That’s not exactly the Boilers’ style. Their style is more like the one they showed over the final three games of the season during which they scored 38.3 points per game and gave up an average 33.7 points and 437 yards.

Purdue also had its best yardage output of the season against CMU when the team racked up 583 yards. Quarterback Curtis Painter threw for 360 yards and three TDs while Kory Sheets rushed for 144 yards and two scores.

Since that game, the Boilers went 4-5 straight up and 3-5-1 ATS. Central Michigan went 7-3 and 5-2-2 ATS.

Defense, schmefense

Neither team has much of a defense to write home about. Purdue ranks 60th in total defense with 385.3 yards against while Central Michigan is among the worst in the nation at 106th (450.2 yards).

Still, bettors seem to think the opening total was too high. The over/under is being bet down from 72½.

The Quarterbacks

I’m tempted to call CMU sophomore Dan LeFevour a poor man’s Tim Tebow but that’s not really true. He’s more like a middle-class man’s Tim Tebow. He has all the arm of the Heisman winner with a little less speed, agility and size.

Still, LeFevour loves to take on linebackers and safeties head-on when he tucks the ball, just like Tebow. He led the Chippewas in rushing with over 1,000 yards and passed for 3,360, so you see why I am making the comparison. Watch him if you haven’t seen him play before.

Purdue’s Curtis Painter, meanwhile, is more of a pure passer who loves to stand firm in the pocket and find the perfect receiver. He threw for 3,300 yards, 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions this season. It probably would have been more if the Boilermakers didn’t have a solid running game. Painter should have fun against a pitiful CMU pass defense that ranks 111th in the country.


This marks the second straight year the Chippewas will play in the Motor City Bowl, so they’ll know their way around Ford Field. They’re playing in their home state so that should also mean a bit of a home-field advantage.

Motivation factor

This is the Super Bowl for a MAC team. The Mid-American champion proceeds directly to Detroit each year and it is thrilled about it.

Purdue, meanwhile, was the last team in the Big Ten to earn a bowl invite. Several players have already admitted they were at least initially disappointed when they heard they were headed to the Motor City. Boilers leading receiver Dorien Bryant was reported to have made comments about declining the bowl invite on his Facebook page. He later said it was a joke between friends.

Key mismatch

The Purdue passing game stacks up impressively against the Central Michigan pass defense.

At times this year it just looked like this Central Michigan defense couldn’t stop anything. That has to be the biggest cause for concern against Painter and Purdue’s passing game.

It’s the depth more than anything that the Boilers can hurt you with. They have two outstanding receivers in Bryant and Dustin Keller, who each had at least 700 yards and six touchdowns this year. But they also have five other players with at least 100 yards receiving and two touchdowns. When you add the running game of Kory Sheets and Jaycen Taylor, there is a lot to cover against Purdue.

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Motor City Bowl-bound CMU's LeFevour in rare company
December 23, 2007

Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) -- Dan LeFevour doesn't have a national championship like Vince Young or a Heisman Trophy like Tim Tebow.

And, playing for Central Michigan, he certainly doesn't have their name recognition.

In one important way, though, he's a member of the club.

Before this season, Young was the only member of college football's 3,000-1,000 club. While leading Texas to the 2005 BCS title, he finished the season with 3,036 yards passing and 1,050 yards rushing.

LeFevour became the second member earlier in this month, reaching 1,000 yards rushing in Central Michigan's 35-10 victory over Miami in the Mid-American Conference title game. He now has 3,360 yards passing, including 23 touchdowns, and 1,008 yards rushing with 17 touchdowns.

Tebow could join the group by rushing for 162 yards against Michigan in the Capital One Bowl.

As LeFevour prepares to play against Purdue in Wednesday's Motor City Bowl, he's not about to rank himself on the same level as Young and Tebow.

"It's a great honor to even be mentioned with Vince, but this isn't something I did by myself," he said. "This is an achievement for our whole offense. If they don't do their jobs, I'm not going to get anything at all."

Unlike last year's Motor City Bowl, when Central Michigan beat little-regarded Middle Tennessee State 31-14, the Chippewas know they are the underdogs this time. Not only are they facing a Big Ten school in Purdue, but the Boilermakers have already beaten them this year, a 45-22 rout on Sept. 15.

The Boilermakers led that game 38-0 in the third quarter, so the idea of a rematch didn't exactly thrill first-year coach Butch Jones.

"Getting to the Motor City Bowl is always our number-one goal, so that's a great accomplishment, but we certainly didn't get any favors by getting Purdue again," he said. "It's going to be a great challenge, because they have so much talent."

Jones does take hope from the fact that the game -- Central's third of the season -- featured teams that have changed a lot in the intervening three months.

"It was early in the season, and both teams were still establishing their personalities," he said. "We started slow, and we had to try to play catch-up against them, and that didn't work."

LeFevour didn't have a big rushing day against Purdue, only picking up 26 yards on 10 carries, but he threw for 364 yards and two touchdowns.

"The thing that impressed me the most about Dan's performance against us was that he's not just a creation of the spread offense," said Purdue coach Joe Tiller, a spread guru himself. "He's good enough to create things outside the system."

LeFevour's talent is partially Tiller's fault -- he attended Purdue's passing camp while attending Benet Academy in Illinois. Tiller joked at the bowl's kickoff luncheon that an unnamed assistant took the blame for not recruiting LeFevour while he was in West Lafayette.

"That assistant no longer works for the program," he said.

LeFevour will get a rare second chance this year to make Tiller pay for that mistake. Central Michigan hasn't played the same team twice in a season since playing makeshift schedules during World War II.

"We're very excited about being back at this bowl," he said. "Beating a Big Ten team would be huge, especially after they beat us like that in September."

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MOTOR CITY BOWL (at Detroit)

Central Michigan (8-5, 6-5-1 ATS) vs. Purdue (7-5, 6-5 ATS)

Central Michigan returns to the Motor City Bowl in its back yard for the second straight year, this time getting an opportunity to avenge a regular-season beatdown when it takes on the Boilermakers indoors at Ford Field.

The Chippewas finished the season on a 4-1 run (2-2-1 ATS) to capture the Mid-American Conference championship and Motor City Bowl bid for the second straight year. Central Michigan ripped Miami (Ohio) 35-10 on Dec. 1 as a three-point favorite in the MAC title game, which was also at Ford Field. Double-threat QB Dan LeFevour had a huge game, completing 24 of 34 passes for 185 yards and a TD (two INTs), and rushing 20 times for another 170 yards and two scores to account for 355 total yards. The Chippewas had a 452-306 yardage edge, finishing on target for their season offensive average of 447.9 ypg.

Purdue fell backward into the Motor City Bowl, losing its last three games (1-2 ATS), including a 27-24 setback at Indiana as a 1½-point road chalk in the regular-season finale on Nov. 17. QB Curtis Painter aired it out 45 times against the Hoosiers, completing 28 for 281 yards with a TD and an INT, but he was sacked four times and finished with minus-21 yards rushing. The Boilermakers also allowed 219 rushing yards, well over their season average of 149.4.

The Boilermakers hammered Central Michigan 45-22 as a 21 ½-point home favorite back in September. Purdue led 31-0 at halftime and rolled from there despite five turnovers (four fumbles). The Boilermakers finished with 586 total yards to the Chippewas’ 465.

Central Michigan won and covered in this same game last year, beating Middle Tennessee State 31-14 as an 8½-point chalk. Including MAC title game appearances, the Chippewas are now 3-0 SU and ATS in three visits to Ford Field over the past two seasons. However, the Chippewas are 1-3 ATS this season catching points, including the non-cover against Purdue.

Central Michigan hasn’t covered in two straight games since beating Ball State and Army back-to-back in early October. Also, the Chippewas went 1-3 SU and ATS this season against bowl-eligible teams, getting outscored by an average of 51-25 and outgained by an average of 110 yards per contest (537-427).

Dating to 1994, Central Michigan has lost 14 consecutive games to Big Ten opponents (3-10-1 ATS). On positive notes, the Chips are on ATS runs of 23-7-3 overall and 14-4-2 following a spread-cover.

The Boilermakers opened the season 5-0 (3-1 ATS in lined games) before dropping five of their last seven (3-4 ATS). They’re in a bowl game for the 10th time in coach Joe Tiller’s 11 years, going 3-6 SU and 4-5 ATS in the previous nine, including an ongoing 0-3 SU and ATS skid. Last year, Purdue fell 24-7 to Maryland in the Citrus Bowl.

Purdue is 7-12-2 ATS in its last 21 as a chalk and 3-8 ATS outside the Big Ten (2-1 ATS in non-conference action this year). Also, despite the rout of Central Michigan earlier this season, the Boilermakers are just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 vs. the MAC.

LeFevour finished the season with 3,360 yards passing, completing 338 of 509 attempts (66.4 percent), with 23 TDs against 13 INTs, for an offense that averaged 33.8 ppg. He also was the Chips’ leading rusher with 1,008 yards and 17 TDs,, joining ex-Texas star Vince Young as the only QBs to throw for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in the same season. WR Bryan Anderson had 83 catches for 1,003 yards and seven TDs.

While Central Michigan’s offense is solid, the defense is one of the worst in the college football, allowing 450.2 per game (110th in the nation) and 35.8 points (107th).

Like LeFevour, Purdue’s Painter also broke the 3,000-yard passing mark, completing 62.3 percent of his tosses for 3,300 yards with 26 TDs and just nine INTs. He leads an offense that averages 32.9 points and 422.9 yards per contest. However, as was the case with Central Michigan, Purdue fields a generous defense, allowing 24.8 points and 385.3 yards per game, totals that jumped to 33.7 points and 437.3 yards during the team’s season-ending three-game losing skid.

The over is 7-1 in Central Michigan’s last eight overall, 7-0-1 in its last eight as an underdog and 7-1-1 in its last nine non-conference outings. Also, the over is 4-0-1 in the Boilermakers’ last five against the MAC, with the one push coming in the victory over Central Michigan back in September.


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Motor City Bowl: Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Purdue Boilermakers

A rare season rematch is featured on Boxing Day when the Central Michigan Chippewas and the Purdue Boilermakers battle at Ford Field in the Motor City Bowl. Purdue destroyed the Chippewas 45-22 in September, barely covering the 22.5-point spread.

Oddsmakers currently have the Boilermakers listed as 8-point favorites versus the Chippewas, while the game's total is sitting at 71.

Central Michigan picked up a 35-10 win over the Miami-Ohio RedHawks last time out in the MAC Championship Game.

Miami-Ohio had been pegged as a 3-point favorite in that contest, while the combined score fell UNDER the posted total of 64 points.

The Boilermakers were defeated 27-24 by the Indiana Hoosiers last time out, as 2-point favorites. The combined score fell UNDER the posted total of 62.

Kory Sheets carried the ball 12 times for the Boilermakers with two touchdowns in a losing effort.

Team records:
Central Michigan: 8-5 SU, 6-4-2 ATS
Purdue: 7-5 SU, 5-5-1 ATS

Central Michigan most recently:
When playing in December are 2-0
When playing on turf are 7-3
After outgaining opponent are 8-2
When playing outside the conference are 3-7

Purdue most recently:
When playing in December are 3-4
When playing on turf are 4-6
After being outgained are 4-6
When playing outside the conference are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Central Michigan's last 8 games
Central Michigan is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
Central Michigan is 2-2-2 ATS in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Purdue's last 5 games
Purdue is 3-5-1 ATS in its last 9 games
Purdue is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games

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Purdue's Tiller, Central Michigan's Jones match offenses

DETROIT -- When Joe Tiller came to Purdue in 1997, he was told his high-octane offense would never work in the Big Ten.

Not only would the spread attack be frowned upon in a conference that still believed in Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler and ''3 yards and a cloud of dust,'' but a pass-based system would be grounded by the wind and cold of a Midwest autumn.

Tiller didn't pay any attention. Nor did his opponents in the Motor City Bowl. On Wednesday night at Ford Field, Purdue will play its 10th bowl game in 11 years, facing the back-to-back Mid-American Conference champion Central Michigan Chippewas, who also use the spread offense.

''When I got to Purdue, they told me that there was no way the spread would work here because of the weather,'' Tiller said. ''That never made much sense to me, because I had just been having great success with it in Wyoming. Maybe they didn't know what November is like in Wyoming.''

While Tiller was one of the coaches to bring the spread offense - a system using four or five receivers on many plays, and a quarterback in the shotgun formation on most snaps - to a wider audience, it has now become the latest trendy scheme. Tiller, though, doesn't consider it some kind of unstoppable attack.

''It's one of those cyclical things. Right now, the spread is the hot offense,'' he said. ''In a few years, the pendulum might change again, and everyone will be playing the wishbone again.''

First-year Central Michigan coach Butch Jones is another spread believer, and he inherited a program that already ran Brian Kelly's version of the system. He made some changes, adding things he had learned in his two years as an assistant at West Virginia under new Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez.

Rodriguez's system, unlike many flavors of the spread, makes heavy use of the quarterback as a runner, and Jones had the perfect player in Dan LeFevour.

LeFevour led the Chippewas to a MAC championship and a Motor City Bowl title as a freshman, but took a big step forward as a sophomore, joining Vince Young as the only quarterbacks to ever throw for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in the same season.

LeFevour will be lining up Wednesday against another quarterback with gaudy numbers, Curtis Painter. The Purdue senior threw for 3,300 yards and 26 touchdowns this season, but in Tiller's version of the spread, he's not the same type of runner as LeFevour.

When Purdue played Central Michigan in September, a game the Boilermakers won 45-22, the teams combined for 1,048 yards of offense, including 724 in the air. Painter and LeFevour combined to complete 64 of 95 passes, with five touchdowns and one interception.

''We know from firsthand experience that this game is going to feature two dynamic offenses,'' Jones said. ''It might come down to whichever defense can make a play.''

Purdue won the first game after leading 38-0 early in the third quarter, but Painter doesn't expect a repeat.

''That's an entirely different team to the one we played at the beginning of the season,'' he said. ''They've improved a lot, enough to win their conference championship, and they learned a lot from having played us once already.

''This isn't going to be easy.''

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CENTRAL MICHIGAN vs. PURDUE (Motor City)...Rematch of Purdue’s 45-22 win and cover earlier in season. Under Tiller, Boilermakers have lost and failed to cover their last 3 bowls, and 2-5 vs. spread last 7 bowls. CMU won this bowl over MTSU LY and is 3-0 SU and vs. spread at Ford Field since LY. Chips only 1-3 as dog TY after 3-0-1 mark in role LY. Tiller 7-12-2 his last 21 as chalk. Purdue was 1-7 its last 8 vs. line against non-Big Ten foes prior to TY, when it covered 2 of 3. Tech edge-slight to CMU, based on Purdue trends.

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Re: Motor City Bowl

Game Preview for Purdue vs Central Mich

GAME NOTES: In the 11th annual Motor City Bowl, the Mid-American Conference Champion Central Michigan Chippewas battle with the Purdue Boilermakers of the Big Ten in Detroit's Ford Field on December 26th. The Chippewas will be looking for revenge, as they fell to the same Boilermakers 45-22 at West Lafayette back in early September. The game was never in doubt as Purdue shot out of the gate with a 38-0 lead. While CMU ended the season in a flurry, it's safe to say Purdue played its best football in the first month of the season. The Boilermakers began the 2007 campaign with a high powered offense that scored at least 33 points in their first five contests, all of which resulting in wins. Following a 33-19 defeat of Notre Dame, Purdue's season went downhill. They were no match for Ohio State and Michigan, but managed consecutive victories against Iowa and Northwestern, the last of which would prove to be their final victory of the season. The Boilermakers fell to Penn State and Michigan State in back-to-back affairs before traveling to rival Indiana to battle for the Old Oaken Bucket. Down 24-3 in the second half, the Boilermakers sprung for 21 straight points, but a Hoosier field goal with 40 second left marked Purdue's first loss to Indiana since 2001. The 3-5 conference record matches the worst Big Ten season during the Joe Tiller era. Central Michigan used a polar opposite approach in advancing to the postseason. The Chippewas limped out to a 1-3 mark, with the last loss coming at the hands of the Boilermakers. However, the defeat seemed to wake up the squad, as they reeled off three straight wins behind strong offensive performances leading them to 140 points during the win streak. After a forgetful 70-14 loss at Clemson, the Chippewas recorded back- to-back conference road wins. An unfortunate 48-45 loss at home to Eastern Michigan was followed by a terrific comeback effort against Akron. The Chippewas scored 15 points in the final seven minutes to rally for a 35-32 win over the Zips. In the MAC Championship Game, Central Michigan used 267 yards rushing to secure a 35-10 victory over Miami-Ohio, and CMU become the first program to repeat as MAC Champion since Marshall won four straight titles from 1997-2000. The Chippewas went to the Motor City Bowl last year, and came away with a 31-14 victory over Middle Tennessee. To repeat the feat, Central Michigan will need its first ever victory over Purdue, as the Boilermakers have won all three times the teams have met.

Curtis Painter led a vaunted Purdue offense that was among the leaders in the nation the first few weeks of the season. But the offense struggled against good defenses, and averaged only 20.4 points in their five losses. Painter was solid throughout the up-and-down campaign, finishing with 3,300 yards passing and 26 touchdowns. He completed a whopping 62.3 percent of his passes while only throwing nine interceptions. It's clear his main target all season came in the form Dorien Bryant. The senior collected 82 receptions, 871 yards and eight touchdowns to add to his illustrious career. He was also a factor in special teams, averaging 28.5 yards per kickoff return, including two touchdown returns. The running game is led by Kory Sheets, who carried the ball 156 times for 855 yards. The running back crossed the goal line nine times on the ground and twice through the air, and had a career best 144 yards against the Chippewas earlier this season.

On the surface, the Boilermakers were nothing more and nothing less than mediocre on the defensive side of the ball. The squad gave up an average of 24.8 points and 385.3 yards of total offense per game. Through the air, teams only managed to throw 15 touchdowns on the defensive backs. Leading the way in the secondary was Terrell Vinson. The cornerback led the team in tackles (78) and interceptions (5). He threw in six tackles for losses and two sacks for good measure. While opponents ran for a healthy 149.4 yards per game on Purdue, they vaulted over the goal line 19 times on the ground. The rushing defense played well against CMU however, only giving up 101 yards on the ground. Anthony Heygood and Cliff Avril ranked near the conference leaders with 14.5 tackles for a loss on the season.

One of the most underrated players in the nation lines up under center for Central Michigan. Dan LeFevour did more than enough to gain the MAC Offensive Player of the Year Award. The all-purpose quarterback passed for 3,360 yards while tossing 23 touchdowns. He also led the squad in rushing, tucking the ball under and picking up 1,008 yards, while crossing the goal line 17 times. His numbers bring him in exclusive company, as he's only the second quarterback in Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A) history to throw for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a single season. The only other to do so was Vince Young. LeFevour's favorite targets were Antonio Brown and Bryan Anderson downfield. Brown broke Anderson's school reception record in his freshman season, hauling in 98 balls for 909 yards and five touchdowns. Anderson wasn't outshined, bringing in 83 passes for a team-high 1,003 yards and seven touchdowns. The lead running back, Justin Hoskins, averaged 6.0 yards per carry, while running for 649 yards and 10 touchdowns. Not surprisingly, the Chippewas ranked first in the MAC in scoring offense with 33.8 points per game.

One of the problems with having such a prolific high-scoring offense is that the defensive squad is usually on the field a lot. Central Michigan's defense wasn't one that could benefit from the extra snaps. In particular, the pass defense gave up a ghastly 284.8 yards for game, easily ranking them last the league. The Boilermakers' Painter for example, exploited the defense for 360 passing yards and three TDs in the September bout. The massive yardage given up allowed teams to average 35.8 points, second worst in the league. They did manage to pick off 16 passes, with Josh Gordy leading the way with four interceptions. In a conference with below average run defenses, CMU actually ranked in the top half of the league by allowing 165.4 yards rushing per game. Linebacker Red Keith ranked second in the entire MAC with 139 tackles, 70 of which were solo. Ike Brown also contributed 100 tackles and 10.5 tackles for loss.

An opportunity for redemption isn't often available in a college football calendar year. Central Michigan has a shot to give Purdue a taste of its own medicine this time around. With LeFevour playing with a little more confidence, an upset could be in store in the Motor City.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Central Michigan 38, Purdue 31

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Re: Motor City Bowl

College Football Gameday

Motor City Bowl
Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
Purdue vs. Central Michigan

The Boilermakers ended the season on a three-game losing streak, but still qualified for a bowl game with a 7-5 record. Purdue packs a potent offense, but their defense, which ranked among the worst in the Big Ten, was unreliable all season. Quarterback Curtis Painter is coming off a solid season that saw him pass for 3300 yards with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Running back Kory Sheets rushed for 832 yards on 156 carries with nine touchdowns, while Dorien Bryant and Dustin Keller combined to catch 143 passes for more than 1600 yards and 14 touchdowns.

The Chippewas topped the Mid-American Conference this season after finishing with an 8-5 record. Quarterback Dan LeFevour was a double threat for Central Michigan with terrific passing and rushing numbers. LeFevour passed for 3360 yards with 23 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and also led the Chippewas in rushing with 1008 yards and 17 touchdowns. Justin Hoskins also had a solid season on the ground with 649 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Central Michigan needed a high-scoring offense this season, as they had the second-worst defense in the MAC after allowing 35.8 points per game.

The Boilermakers and Chippewas met up during the regular season when Purdue defeated Central Michigan 45-22 as a 21.5-point favorite. Painter picked apart the Chippewas for 360 yards and three touchdowns, while LeFevour had 364 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns with an interception for Central Michigan. Kory Sheets also had a big game for Purdue with 144 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.

The Boilermakers played in the Champ Sports Bowl last season and lost to Maryland. The Chippewas are making their second-straight appearance in the Motor City Bowl after defeating Middle Tennessee in Detroit last year. In this year's Motor City Bowl the Boilermakers are a 9-point favorite, while the total has been set quite high at 71.5.


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