-- Despite the effects of day-long snowfall hampering
travel and hence likely attendance, Ford Field was host to an
attention-grabbing Little Caesars Pizza Bowl highlighted by new
records, ongoing lead changes, and depending on who you cheered
for close calls or controversies.
Michigan Chippewas would score their lead-grabbing touchdown with
5:11 left in the fourth quarter to make the final score 24-21,
but the game-winning play turned out be the defense’s stoppage
of a fourth-and-2 conversion attempt by the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
with less than a minute remaining.
effort would come thanks in part to the combined efficiency of
CMU quarterback Ryan Radcliff who was 19-29 in pass attempts for
253 yards and three touchdown receptions from wide receivers Andrew
Flory and Cody Wilson in addition to a respective 105 and 101
yards. This performance earned Radcliff Game MVP honors, while
teammate and linebacker Shamari Benton earned a Best Lineman award
for his defensive contributions.
opened the game’s scoring with a 69-yard reception to cap
a four minute-long drive, but Western Kentucky answered with their
own plus half-field pass reception from QB Kawaun Jakes to WR
Rico Brown for 70 yards during a drive of just a minute and a
half. Jakes himself would rush 6 yards to tie the game at seven
the first quarter’s end, Central went up 14-7 on a 29 yard
pass to Flory again, and two consecutive possession turnover punts
by WKU’s Hendrix Brakefield and CMU’s Richie Hogan
would set Little Caesar’s Bowl records at respective 74
yards and 82 yards.
10 minute mark of the second, another Little Caesar’s Bowl
record was set by kicker David Harman with a 50 yard field goal
to make it 17-7 CMU. Just over three minutes later in regulation,
Hilltopper running back Antonio Andrews rushed a total 47 yards
on a drive capped with a nice one-handed catch by Jack Doyle to
cut the cut the lead to three at halftime. That amount was only
part of 119 yards in the game.
Kentucky’s second possession in the third lasted over nine
minutes, and would see them regain the lead 21-17 on a call that
stirred debate: Kadeem Jones would rush one yard, but appeared
to fumble the ball as his arm reached across the endzone line.
Still, the referees said he broke the plain and ruled it a touchdown.
a botched prior drive that saw a Zurlon Tipton touchdown called
back because his elbow hit the ground before crossing the line,
the winning score came off a reception to Cody Wilson.
beats WKU 24-21 in Little Caesars Pizza Bowl at Ford Field
courtesy of LCPB
The 2012 Little
Caesars Pizza Bowl trophy display at the team luncheon on Christmas
Eve at the 'Soundboard Nightclub' in the Motor City Casino and