C. Michi­gan holds off West­ern Ken­tucky in Lit­tle Cae­sars Bowl,

WKU goes for win in­stead of late, game-ty­ing FG.

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By Noah Trister Car­los oso­rio / AP

DETROIT — Ryan Rad­cliff threw an 11-yard touch­down pass to Cody Wil­son with 5:11 re­main­ing to give Cen­tral Michi­gan the lead, and West­ern Ken­tucky was stopped on fourth down when a field goal would have tied the game in the fi­nal minute, giv­ing the Chippe­was a 24-21 win in the Lit­tle Cae­sars Pizza Bowl on Wed­nes­day night.

Lance Guidry, coach­ing the Hill­top­pers on an in­terim ba­sis be­fore Bobby Petrino takes over, de­cided to play for the win on fourth-and-2 from the 19 with 51 sec­onds left, but Kawaun Jakes threw in­com­plete.

West­ern Ken­tucky (76) fell just short in its first bowl since join­ing col­lege foot­ball’s top tier in 2009.

Avery Cun­ning­ham blocked a punt for Cen­tral Michi­gan (7-6) to give the Chippe­was a short field be­fore Wil­son’s TD.

Rad­cliff went 19 of 29 for 253 yards and three touch­downs, but Cen­tral Michi­gan needed to rally late. Zur­lon Tip­ton ap­peared to have put the Chippe­was ahead in the fourth quar­ter, but his fourth-down run was ruled short of the goal line af­ter a re­view.

With West­ern Ken­tucky still up 21-17, the Hill­top­pers had to punt from their own end zone. Cun­ning­ham blocked it, and although the ball bounced around for a bit, the Chippe­was fi­nally se­cured it and took over with great field po­si­tion in­side the 30.

Rad­cliff found Wil­son in the back left cor­ner of the end zone for a 24-21 lead.

West­ern Ken­tucky’s fi­nal drive ended when Jakes’ pass in­tended for Jack Doyle fell in­com­plete.

Petrino, the Hill­top­pers’ coach-in-wait­ing, was ex­pected to be at Ford Field watch­ing his new team, but a snow­storm forced him to scrap those plans. West­ern Ken­tucky started ag­gres­sively.

Down 7-0, the Hill­top­pers ran a flea-flicker on their first play from scrim­mage, with An­to­nio An­drews run­ning to his right, then toss­ing the ball back to Jakes, who found Rico Brown for a 70-yard gain.

Two plays later, Jakes scored on a 6-yard run to tie it.

Cen­tral Michi­gan an­swered with a 73yard drive that ended with An­drew Flory’s 29yard touch­down re­cep­tion, his sec­ond of the quar­ter.

The of­fenses set­tled down a bit for the rest of the quar­ter.

West­ern Ken­tucky re­ceiver Rico Brown is chased by Cen­tral Michi­gan de­fen­sive back Lorenzo White on Brown’s 70-yard re­cep­tion on a flea-flicker.

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