Redshirt freshman wide receiver Andrew Flory has been forced to step into the spotlight a couple of times this season.
First on Nov. 10 against Eastern Michigan when he caught nine passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns filling in for the injured sophomore receiver Titus Davis.
And then again in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl where he caught two more touchdowns in his three receptions for 105 yards while filling in for the void left by Davis and sophomore receiver Courtney Williams, who were suspended for the bowl game.
“We know he is very talented,” head coach Dan Enos said. “We know he and Cody (Wilson) are going to be number one receivers on a lot of teams in our league.”
Senior receiver Cody Wilson has been in the spotlight since his freshman season.
He and Flory combined for three touchdowns against Western Kentucky in the Little Caesars Pizza bowl leading Central Michigan to a 24-21 win.
It did not take long for him to get noticed by the WKU defense, catching two key passes on the Chippewas first drive.
The first was a short out route for seven yards that gave CMU a first down. Three plays later, senior quarterback Ryan Radcliff and Flory connected on a slant-and-go route for a 69-yard touchdown pass.
He proved to be a viable deep threat once again on the Chippewas next drive when Radcliff found him open in the end zone for a 29-yard score.
“It’s not what you’d expect to do in the first quarter of a bowl game,” Flory said. “But it happened and it was great for the team, and I was just happy I could help my teammates out.”
Flory did not have any more receptions, but Enos said his early contributions helped open up the running game for junior running back Zurlon Tipton.
“I think it loosened (Tipton) up a little bit,” Enos said. “Obviously, when you have a guy like Titus that isn’t playing, the other team is probably thinking (the Chippewas) are going to lack big play potential, but then we ran our touchdown play and Andrew ran a great route.
“At that point, I think it opened up our running game and gave everybody confidence on our team that we were going to be balanced.”
With CMU also without Williams, it relied on the experience of Wilson.
He delivered with ten catches, the last one giving CMU the 24-21 edge with 5:11 remaining in the game.
“(Wilson) never lets us down,” Enos said. “Anything we ask him to do, he does. He got hot today and we kept calling his number, and we know this about Cody—if the ball is anywhere near him, we know he’s going to catch it.”
He also had four catches for first downs and finished with 101 receiving yards.