Senior quarterback Dan LeFevour threw for 395 yards and Central Michigan defeated Troy 44-41 in double overtime in the 2010 GMAC Bowl.
That was the last time the Chippewas were in a bowl game.
This season, CMU will look to build a two-game bowl win streak against Western Kentucky in the Little Caesars Pizza bowl at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 26 at Ford Field.
“Everybody is excited to play in a bowl game,” head coach Dan Enos said. “That’s the goal from the beginning of the season. It’s only the seventh bowl game in the history of the school, which is quite an accomplishment if you ask me. So, I told the players they should be very proud of what they accomplished.”
The Chippewas bowl chances looked slim after they gave up 28 fourth-quarter points in a 42-31 loss against Western Michigan on Nov. 3, dropping their record to 3-6. But they won their last three games to get to .500 for the first time under Enos.
WKU (7-5) has lost three of its last four, but all by seven points or fewer.
The bowl will be the first in its program history.
“Like a lot of our players, this is their first bowl game as well,” Enos said. “It’s fun for everybody. I know they’ve got to be awfully proud of their football team and what they’ve accomplished.”
The Hilltoppers feature Antonio Andrews, the nation’s leader in all-purpose yards. The junior running back leads the team in rushing and return yards and is third in receiving yards.
“He’s got very good vision,” Enos said. “He’s powerful; he has good size and runs real hard. They do a real good job with him, too. They have good schemes, and their offensive line and tight ends do a good job blocking.”
On defense, WKU allowed the second-fewest points per game in the Sun Belt Conference. Junior linebacker Andrew Jackson is second in the conference with 116 total tackles.
“They’re well-coached,” Enos said. “Defensively, they do a lot of different things; they have a really good middle linebacker (Jackson), and their defensive line has been really impressive.”
Wednesday was the first time CMU practiced since its last game, and Enos said the team will take exam week off before getting back to the field.
“I think it’s really important,” senior receiver Cody Wilson said. “After 12 weeks, I think a lot of guys are banged up. We have a lot more time to practice, so we don’t have to push quite as hard this far out, so I think that’s good to get guys fresh.
“And as far as a coaching standpoint, it gives us a lot more time to get to know them, so that’s a big factor.”
CMU is one of seven Mid-American Conference teams to make a bowl game this season, the most in the history of the conference.