2015 POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL SET: The 2015 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl is the first bowl game of the 2015 season to announce a complete matchup. Conference USA’s Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (7-5, 6-2 C-USA) celebrated their bid after a 42-7 victory over UTSA last Saturday in San Antonio. The MAC’s Western Michigan Broncos (7-5, 6-2 MAC) found out at a team meeting Tuesday morning.
ABOUT MIDDLE TENNESSEE: This will be the fifth bowl game appearance, and the first since the 2013 Armed Forces Bowl, for the Blue Raiders, all under head coach Rick Stockstill, who is in his 10th season at the school. The trip to Nassau will also be a homecoming for MTSU President Dr. Sidney McPhee, who is a native of the Bahamas and graduated from Nassau’s R.M. Bailey High School.
The Blue Raiders will come into the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl with a four-game win streak. The team set a school record for total offense yards with 5,504 as Middle Tennessee has over 5,000 offensive yards for the third straight season and the sixth time in school history. A large part of the offensive output has come from a pair of freshmen, quarterback Brent Stockstill, the son of the Middle Tennessee head coach, and wide receiver Richie James. Stockstill set a Conference USA record for most passing yards by a freshman with 3,678 yards. James, his favorite target, set a school record for receptions with 100 and became the second player in school history to have over 1,000 receiving yards with 1,220. The duo is the first 3,000-yard passing and 1,000-yard receiving combo in school history.
ABOUT WESTERN MICHIGAN: This will be the the seventh overall bowl game appearance, and it will be the second straight for the Broncos under head coach P.J. Fleck, who is in his third season at the school and is the youngest head coach at the FBS level. The Broncos played in the 2014 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against Air Force.
The Broncos, 7-5 overall and 6-2 in MAC play, will come into the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl with a share of the MAC West Division title after posting six victories in their last eight games, including a 35-30 victory over No. 24 Toledo in WMU’s last game. Western Michigan has the top receiving duo in the country as juniors Daniel Braverman (103 receptions; 1,270 yards) and Corey Davis (82 receptions; 1,253 yards) have combined for 185 catches in 2015. Davis has 3,602 career receiving yards, the most among active FBS players and 32 receiving touchdowns, second-most among active FBS players. The ball-control offense of the Broncos is second in FBS in average time of possession (34:32).
#PASSPORTTOKICKOFF: #PassportToKickoff is not only our hashtag, but a reminder that all U.S. citizens must have a valid passport to travel to the Bahamas & the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl. For passport info: passports.state.gov.
WEEK 14 SCHEDULE
Saturday, December 5
Conference USA Championship Game
(Houchens-Smith Stadium; Bowling Green, Ky.)
Southern MIss at WKU
Noon ET (ESPN2)
Friday, December 4
Marathon MAC Championship Game
(Ford Field; Detroit, Mich.)
Northern Illinois vs. Bowling Green
8 pm ET (ESPN2)
WEEK 13 RESULTS
Friday, November 27
* WKU 49, Marshall 28
Saturday, November 28
* Southern Miss 58, Louisiana Tech 24
* Florida Atlantic 33, Old Dominion 31
* Middle Tennessee 42, UTSA 7
* Rice 27, Charlotte 7
* UTEP 20, North Texas 17
Tuesday, November 24
* Bowling Green 48, Ball State 10
* Ohio 26, Northern Illinois 21
Friday, November 27
Western Michigan 35, Toledo 30
Akron 20, Kent State 0
Central Michigan 35, Eastern Michigan 28
UMass 31, Buffalo 26
* – conference games
WEEK 13 INDIVIDUAL HONORS
QB Brandon Doughty, WKU: The senior threw for 370 yards and five touchdowns in a 49-28 victory over Marshall for C-USA Offensive Player of the Week honors.
LB Nick Holt, WKU: The senior had four tackles, two interceptions and forced a fumble in a 49-28 victory over Marshall for C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors.
KR Deandre Reaves, Marshall: The senior returned a kickoff 97 yards for a TD and had 221 kick return yards in a loss to WKU for C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
RB Marquis Young, UMass: The freshman rushed 35 times for 240 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-26 win at Buffalo for MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week honors.
LB Brandon Harris, Bowling Green: The freshman had 11 tackles and two tackles for loss in a 48-10 victory over Ball State for MAC East Division Defensive Player of the Week honors.
P Zach Paul, Akron: The senior punted three times for 117 yards (39.0 avg.), including a long of 45 yards in a 20-0 win over Kent State for MAC East Division Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
WR Corey Davis, Western Michigan: The junior had six receptions for 139 yards and two touchdowns in a 35-30 victory over No. 24 Toledo for MAC West Division Offensive Player of the Week honors.
S Marlon Moore, Northern Illinois: The senior had seven tackles, forced a fumble, intercepted a pass and broke up two passes in a loss to Ohio for MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week honors.
DB Kavon Frazier, Western Michigan: The senior had a key blocked punt in a 35-28 win over Eastern Michigan for MAC West Division Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; 13 college bowl games, 10 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 250-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Boca Raton, Boise, Birmingham, Dallas-Fort Worth, Albuquerque, St. Petersburg and Las Vegas, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.
ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.
AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl (Houston); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); Marmot Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney (Orlando, Fla.); Orlando Kickoff (Florida); Popeyes Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); St. Petersburg Bowl (Florida); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)
AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Okinawa, Japan); DIRECTV Wooden Legacy (Orange County, Calif.); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s Classic Presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic Presented by Corona (Hartford/Storrs, Conn.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan) and State Farm Champions Classic (Chicago)