The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (7-5, 4-4 C-USA) have accepted an invitation to the inaugural Popeyes Bahamas Bowl set for Christmas Eve in Nassau. Their opponent is a familiar one: the Central Michigan Chippewas (7-5, 5-3 MAC). In Western Kentucky's only other FBS bowl appearance in 2012, they lost to Central Michigan by a score of 24-21 (2012 Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl). The Hilltoppers are led by their prolific senior quarterback Brandon Doughty, who has led a Hilltopper offense that averaged 44 points in the regular season. Head coach Jeff Brohm, in his first season as a head coach at this level, will have the opportunity to win the program's first bowl game against the Chippewas, who are led by fifth year coach Dan Enos. Although Brohm has no connection to the 2012 Little Caesar's Bowl matchup, many Hilltoppers including seniors Doughty and Willie McNeal were on the squad when their team lost to Enos and the Chippewa in 2012.
Brohm and the Tops will have over two weeks to prepare for a Central Michigan offense led in part by senior running back Thomas Rawls, who has rushed for over 1,000 yards and ten touchdowns this season. We will have a full, in-depth game preview for you soon, so stay tuned!