The MAC was doing so well this bowl season, and then Boise State happened. The Broncos took Northern Illinois out to the toolshed and put a beating on them from the start to the end. The final score 55-7 in favor of Boise State. The only points Northern Illinois were able to secure was from a kickoff return. The Huskies finished the game with 33 total yards. Through the entire game! Remember that this is the same team that almost beat Ohio State. I know they didn’t have their starting quarterback playing yesterday, but the defense may as well just stayed on the sideline the entire game. The defense is what kept them in against the Buckeyes. It took away the luster from the previous two showings from the MAC, which went in Toledo and Akron’s favor. Bowling Green also took on Georgia Southern last night. As I write this they are playing, so I cannot report on what happened there.
Western Michigan represents the MAC on Christmas Eve in the Bahamas Bowl down in Nassau. The Broncos will take on Middle Tennessee of Conference USA. Both the Broncos and Blue Raiders could have better seasons, as they finished with marks of 7-5 in 2015. If last years game is any indication, this will be one of the most entertaining bowl games of the year. Last season the last play of the game was a successful hook-and-ladder plus multiple laterals from Central Michigan to tie the game up after getting down by 4 touchdowns. Central opted to go for 2 points to try and finish the game but Western Kentucky held on for the 1 point win. The Hilltoppers added another bowl win this season already.
The MAC ended up being an extremely competitive conference. Western Michigan figured to be near the top, but the rest of the conference was way too strong to keep up with. They started the season off against Michigan State which was a hard fought 37-24 loss to a team in the college football playoff. A few weeks later they had to play Ohio State, which resulted in a 38-12 loss. The Broncos biggest win came in their final game of the season, a 35-30 win over Toledo. Among Middle Tennessee’s notable opponents were Alabama and Vanderbilt. Both losses, but they played hard in 37-10 and 17-13 losses. They put it all together in the final weeks, winning four straight games to earn a spot in the Bahamas Bowl.
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders vs. Western Michigan Bahamas Bowl Betting Odds:
Middle Tennessee +4.5(-110)
vs. Western Michigan -4.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Middle Tennessee vs. Western Michigan Pick:
The Blue Raiders’ offense is paced by Brent Stockhill who has thrown the ball around considerably well this season. Stockhill enters with 27 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. His best has come the last several weeks, as since November 7th against Marshall, Stockhill has passed for 8 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. The Blue Raiders have been playing some of their best football of the season lately. With the break in action between then to the Bahamas Bowl, we will see if they cool down or continue to stay hot. The Broncos have a bit of momentum coming in after sitting Toledo down. Middle Tennessee has averaged 34.3 points per game this season, and in the last two weeks, have scored 41.5 a game.
The defense has been great during that time as well, allowing only 14 points in total. The Blue Raiders on the season have given up 25.1 points per game this season. When you look at Western Michigan one has to think wow these teams are similar. They play a similar brand of football, have the same records, and statistically match up well. Zach Terrell, quarterback of Western Michigan, has passed for, well, take a look above and check out what Stockhill has done. Yes, Terrell has passed for 27 touchdowns and 8 interceptions as well. If you want to find other statistics for Western Michigan just look at Middle Tennessee. The Broncos have scored 35.3 points per game, a point more than the Blue Raiders. Likewise, Western Michigan has allowed 28.1 points per game, 3 more than Middle Tennessee. Such a similar matchup that makes me want to take the points in the Bahamas Bowl.