Football

Western Kentucky football to face Central Michigan in bowl game grudge match

NASSAU, Bahamas — Western Kentucky and Central Michigan will meet again in the postseason, this time in the Bahamas Bowl on Dec. 24.

It's a rematch of each team's most recent bowl trip, when Central Michigan won 24-21 in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in 2012. Neither team was picked for a bowl last season, despite both meeting the six-win standard.

Central Michigan (7-5) was fourth in the Mid-American Conference's West Division. Western Kentucky (7-5) tied for third in Conference USA's East Division.

"It is a tremendous reward and opportunity for our players and coaches who have worked incredibly hard this season," WKU Coach Jeff Brohm said. "A bowl game is one of our goals at the beginning of every season, and to be able to realize and achieve that goal is a credit to their attitude and willingness to put in the effort to get better each and every week. We look forward to getting back to practice and preparing for our second bowl game in school history."

Western Kentucky has won each of its last four games, including a wild 67-66 win over then-unbeaten Marshall. The Hilltoppers are No. 6 nationally in scoring at 44 points per game, but are also tied for sixth nationally in points allowed — 39.3 per contest.

Western Kentucky quarterback Brandon Doughty leads the nation with 4,344 yards and 44 touchdown passes this season.

Bowl officials said the game will be the first bowl matchups for what are now Football Bowl Subdivision teams outside of the United States or Canada since the 1937 Bacardi Bowl, a 7-7 tie between Auburn and Villanova.

Several schools including Notre Dame, Miami, Nebraska, UCLA, Army, Air Force and Grambling played at Japan in an annual game there between 1977 and 1993, though those were considered regular-season contests.

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