Jeff Quinn’s first game as head coach just happens to be the first bowl game for Central Michigan in 12 years. Brian Kelly left to become head coach at Cincinnati. The Chippewas had one of their best seasons in years going 7-1 in the MAC and beating Ohio 31-10 in the conference title game on November 30th at Ford Field, the same location as this bowl game. The offense is a big reason for the Chippewas success as they are averaging 30 ppg and 380 yards per game. The defense may be allowing 23 ppg, but they have held three different opponents to 10 points or less and have forced 27 turnovers on the year.
Middle Tennessee is making its first bowl appearance as a Division I school as they have only been a top-tier program for 8 seasons. The team racked up a school record with 6 conference wins and their only loss was to eventual champion Troy in a game they blew a 13 point fourth quarter lead to fall by a single point. The defense only allowed 271 points, but even more impressive is that 179 of those came against major bowl schools in Maryland, Oklahoma, Louisville, and South Carolina. With 6 games in which they scored 30 points or more, you know their offense can be up to the task for this one.
Even with both offenses capable, we believe this is going to be a defensive game. Middle Tennessee State is 9-1 UNDER on the road after an ATS loss and Central Michigan is 7-0 UNDER on the road after a game in which they forced 3 or more turnovers. Expect little offense and a lot of defense in this one.
If you want to know which team is going to cover tonight’s game, take a look at what our expert handicappers have on tap for college bowl predictions.
2006 Motor City Bowl Best odds:
Middle Tennessee +9.5 -102 at Pinnacle
Central Michigan -9.5 -108 at Pinnacle
OVER 52 -108 at Pinnacle
UNDER 52.5 -110 at BetCris