2012 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
Central Michigan 24, Western Kentucky 21 Final Stats Postgame Notes
Central Michigan senior quarterback Ryan Radcliff led his Chippewas to a 24-21 win over Western Kentucky in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in his final collegiate contest. Radcliff connected with senior wide receiver Cody Wilson for a 12-yard touchdown pass with 5:11 in the fourth quarter for the three point lead. In the victory, Radcliff finished 19 of 29 passing for 253 yards and three touchdowns, with no interceptions. Running back Zurlon Tipton finished with 23 carries for 101 yards and his seventh consecutive 100-yard rushing performance.
Central Michigan finished the season with a 7-6 overall record, including the program’s fourth consecutive win. The bowl victory was the first for Head Coach Dan Enos and the program’s first bowl win since a 44-41 overtime win over Troy in the 2010 GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
Central Michigan opened the scoring and used the big play early as Radcliff found wide receiver Andrew Flory for a 69-yard touchdown strike and the early 7-0 lead at the 10:54 mark of the first quarter. Western Kentucky responded in three plays as quarterback Kawaun Jakes rushed six yards for a touchdown to tie the game, 7-7, at 9:27 of the opening frame.
Once again, the tandem of Radcliff and Flory struck again on the second consecutive possession to give Central Michigan a 14-7 lead. Radcliff hit Flory in stride for a 29-yard score at the 5:46 of the first quarter. In the second quarter, Chippewas senior kicker David Harman capped an eight-play, 48-yard drive with a 50-yard field goal off the right upright to open a 17-7 lead at the 9:59 mark of the second quarter.
Western Kentucky marched 75 yards in six plays as tight end Jack Doyle made a one-handed grab in the corner of the end zone on a six-yard touchdown pass from Jakes to cut the Chippewas lead, 17-14, with 6:48 left in the second quarter. The two teams entered the half with the Chippewas holding the 17-14 lead.
Late in the third quarter, Western Kentucky fullback Kadeem Jones plunged one-yard for a touchdown with 1:24 left in the third quarter to give the Hilltoppers their first lead of the game, 21-17.
Central Michigan regained the lead with 5:11 left in the fourth quarter as Radcliff connected with Wilson on a 12-yard touchdown pass. The Radcliff to Wilson corner route connection opened a 24-21 Chippewas lead.