Western Michigan vs. Purdue: Last-Minute Spread Info for Little Caesars Bowl

T.J. Mcaloon@@tjmcaloonContributorDecember 23, 2011

The Little Caesars Bowl features a great matchup between two teams that held teams to under 30 points per game: The Western Michigan Broncos (7-5, 5-3) take on the Purdue Boilermakers (6-6, 4-4). 

Western Michigan comes into this game with the better overall offense, passing game and more points per game. However, Purdue has the better rushing offense and had the better opponents average points per game. 


Where: Ford Field, Detroit, MI 

When: Tuesday, December 27th 4:30 PM

Watch: ESPN and ESPN-3.com

Listen: Western Michigan- WZUU 92.5 FM Purdue- WZBD 92.7 FM


Betting Line

According to Odds Shark, the Boilermakers are favored by -2.5 points. You should take Western Michigan in this game, because they have the better overall offense. 

Yes, Purdue has the better defense, however, Western Michigan allowed 28 points per game compared to Purdue’s who gave up 26 points per game.  


Key Storyline

The Purdue Boilermakers are looking for their first winning season since the 2007 season. Where as the Western Michigan Broncos, are looking to take down a BCS school to represent the mid-major conference, the MAC.  


Who Might Not Play for Purdue

RB Akeem Shavers is probable with a concussion. Shavers did not play in the Boilermaker’s season finale game against Indiana. 

LB Kaulana Judd is probable with an illness: Judd missed the last four games because of this illness. 

LB Dwayne Beckford is doubtful with a suspension. Beckford was arrested recently and could miss their bowl game against Western Michigan.  


Who Might Not Play for Western Michigan

QB Alex Carder is probable with a shoulder injury. This injury came during the Broncos’ game against Miami (OH). 

OL Greg Peterson is probable with a foot injury. This injury has kept Peterson out of action since Week 7.

RB Calvin Smith is doubtful because of a suspension. Smith was suspended for their Nov. 22nd game and then did not play the following week against Akron.  


What it Means for Purdue

Purdue needs this win for its first winning season since 2007. If not that will have made for four straight losing season for this Boilermaker club.  


What it Means for Western Michigan

Western Michigan can cap off a great season finishing 8-5. They would score a huge win for mid-major schools with a win over a Big Ten school.


What They're Saying


From Mike Carmin of JConline.com, he says that two Boilermakers who were arrested earlier this week will play in their bowl game. 

Defensive end Gerald Gooden and linebacker Will Lucas won't miss playing time in the upcoming bowl game following Monday's arrest, Purdue coach Danny Hope said Thursday.

Gooden and Lucas were both arrested by Purdue Police on suspicion of theft under $100,000 value. Lucas was also picked up on suspicion of criminal mischief and receiving stolen property. Both spent Monday night in jail and were released around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Western Michigan

From Mat Kanan from WMUBroncos.com

Of course, all four of these Broncos have something to be proud of, playing so many games in a career, but this trio also have one more way they can distinguish themselves from Broncos of the past and it also has to do with a number.  That number is one, meaning Armer, Potter and Zajac, and the rest of the Broncos have a chance to be the first to bring a bowl win back to Kalamazoo.


Purdue Player to Watch: RB Ralph Bolden

Bolden had a down year compared to his 2009 season where he rushed for 935 yards and nine touchdowns. However, he still had a very productive season with 674 yards and six scores. 

In his last three games, Bolden has scored three times, while averaging between 3.9 to 5.1 yards per game. 

If Purdue is going to be successful in their bowl game, it will be because of Bolden.


Western Michigan Player to Watch: QB Alex Carder

Carder led this Broncos offense for a second consecutive year of over 3,330 yards passing with 28 or more touchdowns. If Carder can throw two or more touchdowns in their bowl game, he will have surpassed every his major stats from last year. 

Carder comes into this bowl game after throwing for 548 and 429 yards in his last two games. In those two games, Carder had 10 touchdowns, throwing for seven against Toledo and three against Miami (OH).

Carder should light the scoreboard up against the Purdue defense. 


Key Matchup: QB Alex Carder vs. Purdue’s defense

Carder went off against his last two defenses that he faced. While Purdue was okay against quarterbacks this year. 

Purdue gave up 2,434 passing yards this year, while allowing 203 yards per game. They only gave up 14 passing touchdowns, which should make it difficult for Carder to find his receivers downfield. 



Purdue should win this game because of the talent on their team. They are from a BCS conference and have played better talent compared to Western Michigan. However, you cannot ignore how good WMU’s Carder has played over his last two games. 

For that reason, I’m going to give the advantage to the Broncos to win the game. 

Western Michigan 38 - Purdue 23


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