LITTLE CAESARS PIZZA BOWL
WESTERN MICHIGAN (7-5)
VS. PURDUE (6-6)
WHEN: 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: Ford Field, Detroit
LINE: Purdue by 3
SERIES RECORD: Purdue leads 2-0
WHAT’S AT STAKE: Any time Western Michigan faces a Big Ten team, it’s a chance for the Broncos to prove themselves. They last defeated one when they beat Illinois in 2008. Purdue is going to a bowl for the first time since 2007 after winning two of its last three regular-season games, including a victory over Ohio State.
KEY MATCHUP: Western Michigan WR Jordan White against the Purdue secondary. White was a third-team All-American despite playing in relative obscurity in the Mid-American Conference. He has 127 catches for 1,646 yards and 16 touchdowns on the season, and this is his chance to make a name for himself on a bigger stage.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Western Michigan–QB Alex Carder has thrown for 3,434 yards with 28 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions this season. White is his top target, but he can spread the ball around if need be. Purdue–CB Ricardo Allen has intercepted three passes this season, and the sophomore leads a defensive backfield that will try to contain White and the Western Michigan passing game.
LOUISVILLE (7-5) VS.
NORTH CAROLINA STATE (7-5)
WHEN: 8 p.m.
WHERE: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.
LINE: N.C. State by 1
SERIES RECORD: Louisville leads 3-0
WHAT’S AT STAKE: The winner of this showdown between the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Wolfpack and Big East’s Cardinals will continue to build momentum into 2012. Both teams come into the game hot, with the Cardinals having won five of their last six and the Wolfpack four of their last five.
KEY MATCHUP: Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater doesn’t always put up the best numbers, but he knows how to win games. He’ll face a Wolfpack defense that led the nation with 24 interceptions. Wolfpack CB David Amerson was the nation’s leader in interceptions with 11 and was one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award. The Wolfpack is 7-0 in games they’ve forced three or more turnovers.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Louisville–WR DeVante Parker had only 17 receptions for the Cardinals, but six went for a touchdown, the most on the team. He’s averaging 16.2 yard per catch. N.C. State–Mike Glennon has thrown for 28 touchdowns this season, the third-highest total in school history.
– Associated Press