MOUNT PLEASANT – Central Michigan has accepted an invitation to play in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, setting up a meeting with Western Kentucky of the Sun Belt Conference on December 26, 2012 at Ford Field in Detroit. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.
"We are thrilled to be back in Detroit for a bowl game,” said CMU Athletics Director Dave Heeke. “Central Michigan has a great tradition with this bowl. I am so pleased that our loyal fans will have an opportunity to rally around this program and come out in big numbers. I am very proud of the players and coaches in our program and happy for the opportunity they have to extend their season."
Tickets will go on sale at Ticket Central Thursday at 8 a.m., by phone (1-888-FIRE-UP2), in person (CMU Events Center atrium), and online (cmuchippewas.com). Purchasing tickets through the CMU ticket office is the only way to ensure seating in CMU fan sections.
The Chippewas have played in a Detroit bowl game on three occasions, from 2006-08, when it was known by its previous name of the Motor City Bowl. The bowl game will be CMU’s seventh overall and its fifth in the last seven years.
Central Michigan (6-6, 4-4) ended the 2012 regular season by winning four of its last five games, including three straight conference games. The Chippewa offense features four 2012 All-MAC selections in senior offensive tackle Eric Fisher (first team), junior running back Zurlon Tipton (second team), sophomore receiver Titus Davis (second team), and senior receiver Cody Wilson (third team). Defensively, CMU is led by senior safety Jahleel Addae, a Second Team All-MAC selection in 2012, and two of the MAC’s top tacklers in linebackers Justin Cherocci and Shamari Benton.
Western Kentucky (7-5, 4-4) placed fifth in the Sun Belt Conference in 2012 and will be appearing in the program's first-ever bowl game. The Hilltoppers are led by junior running back Antonio Andrews, the nation’s leader in all-purpose yards (2,977) and senior defensive end Quanterus Smith, the NCAA leader in sacks per game (1.25).
Central Michigan is one of an unprecedented seven Mid-American Conference teams to accept bowl bids.
"This is a landmark day for our conference," said Heeke, "to have all seven bowl eligible teams selected. It truly shows how strong our conference has become from a football perspective."