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Today's Motor City Bowl

CENTRAL MICHIGAN (9-4) VS. MIDDLE TENNESSEE ST. (7-5) Where: Ford Field, Detroit Time: 6:30 p.m. Latest line: Central Michigan by 9 1/2 . Bowl ranking: 30th of the 32 bowls. Key stats: Central Michigan is 19th nationally in pass offense (258.4 yp...

CENTRAL MICHIGAN (9-4) VS. MIDDLE TENNESSEE ST. (7-5)

Where: Ford Field, Detroit

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Latest line: Central Michigan by 9½.

Bowl ranking: 30th of the 32 bowls.

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Key stats: Central Michigan is 19th nationally in pass offense (258.4 ypg, 27 TDs). Middle Tennessee is 105th nationally in total offense (282.7 ypg).

The buzz: Central Michigan is the Mid-American Conference champ; the Chippewas won the title on the same field last month. But they'll be without their main head coach, as Brian Kelly took the coaching job at Cincinnati (Jeff Quinn is the interim coach). Redshirt freshman QB Dan LeFevour threw for 2,869 yards and 25 TDs, and added 452 yards and six TDs on the ground. TB Ontario Sneed and WR Bryan Anderson are the other keys on offense. The defense is nothing special, though E Dan Bazuin is a good pass rusher and LB Thomas Keith is a tackle machine (118 this season). MTSU is here because the Big Ten couldn't fill its slot in this game.

The Blue Raiders need a big game from TB Eugene Gross (70.4 ypg, 10 TDs). Senior QB Clint Marks doesn't make many mistakes, but he's not that productive, either (1,666 yards, eight TDs, seven picks). E Erik Walden (9.5 sacks) is the headliner of a defense that has some speed (81 tackles for loss, third-most in the nation, including 33 sacks).

The pick: Central Michigan, 28-16.

Mike Huguenin, Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel

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