The Times-Tribune - - Sports -

Boca Raton Bowl Western Ken­tucky (10-3) vs. Mem­phis (8-4) 7 p.m., ESPN

WHAT’S AT STAKE — Last year it was Mem­phis play­ing in a bowl game with an in­terim head coach (Dar­rell Dickey) af­ter los­ing Justin Fuente to Vir­ginia Tech, and with cur­rent head coach Mike Norvell wait­ing in the wings. This time around it’s Western Ken­tucky try­ing to nav­i­gate those waters fol­low­ing the res­ig­na­tion ear­lier this month of coach Jeff Brohm and the hir­ing of Mike San­ford to re­place him. De­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Nick Holt, who lob­bied hard for the job, is hop­ing his Hill­top­pers avoid the re­sult the Tigers wound up with last De­cem­ber (a 31-10 loss to Auburn in the Birm­ing­ham Bowl) and ride the strong arm of se­nior quar­ter­back Mike White to vic­tory.

KEY MATCHUP — Western Ken­tucky WR Tay­wan Tay­lor vs. Mem­phis CBs Chauncey Lanier and Arthur Maulet. Tay­lor is White’s fa­vorite tar­get and racked up 1,586 re­ceiv­ing yards and 16 touch­downs dur­ing the sea­son. So Maulet (two in­ter­cep­tions) and Lanier (one in­ter­cep­tion) will have their hands full try­ing to con­tain him. PLAY­ERS TO WATCH — Mem­phis: WR An­thony Miller heated up in the sec­ond half of the sea­son to the tune of 845 re­ceiv­ing yards and nine touch­downs, so look for ju­nior QB Riley Ferguson to tar­get him early and of­ten.

Western Ken­tucky: QB White be­gan his col­lege ca­reer at the Univer­sity of South Florida be­fore trans­fer­ring to Western Ken­tucky last year. Af­ter sit­ting out the 2015 sea­son, White took charge of the Hill­top­pers’ of­fense and com­pleted 260 of 386 passes for 4,027 yards, 34 touch­downs and six in­ter­cep­tions.

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