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Motor City Bowl Player Profile, History, More
Posted Dec 14, 2006

2006 Motor City Bowl Player Profile, History & More

Middle Tennessee (7-5) vs. Central Michigan (9-4)

Dec. 26th, 7:30 pm, ESPN

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- 2006 Motor City Bowl Preview

By Richard Cirminiello

Motor City Bowl History
2005 Memphis 38, Akron 31
2004 Connecticut 39, Toledo 10
2003 Bo. Green 28, Northwestern 24
2002 Boston College 51, Toledo 25
2001 Toledo 23, Cincinnati 16
2000 Marshall 25, Cincinnati 14
1999 Marshall 21, Brigham Young 3
1998 Marshall 48, Louisville 29
1997 Mississippi 34, Marshall 31

Motor City Bowl Player Profile
DE Dan Bazuin, Central Michigan – If the Motor City Bowl needs a spokesman for this year’s game, the only logical choice is Bazuin, whose own motor runs hotter and longer than anything coming off a Detroit assembly line.  He’s your basic understated farm boy from rural McBain, Mich. with a Spartan work ethic in practice, on game day and in the weight room that dwarfs all other Chippewas, despite being one of the most decorated players in school history.  A four-year starter and Academic All-American, Bazuin has spent his college years in opposing backfields, racking up a whopping 60 tackles for loss, 33½ sacks and countless post-season honors.  In terms of NFL potential, pro scouts are still mining for a glaring weakness in his game.  He’s a solid 6-3, 270 pounds with 4.68 speed and exceptional pass-rushing skills.  Oh, and don’t forget those hard-to-quantify intangibles, which have helped propel him in five years from a lightly-recruited teen to one of the most respected ends in the country.  In an era when character seems to matter more than ever before to NFL types, Bazuin is nicely positioned to spend the next decade revving up his engine on Sundays for a hefty paycheck.                         

Best Chippewa Bowl Moment – Central Michigan has never won a bowl game, losing badly in the 1990 California Bowl and the 1994 Las Vegas Bowl, so a win next Tuesday at Ford Field would easily establish a new postseason standard for future generations of Chippewa players.      

Best Blue Raider Bowl Moment – Since Middle Tennessee State has never participated in a major bowl game, it would have to be when the program officially accepted an offer to play in this game earlier in the month.  The Blue Raiders have played in the post-season during the pre-Division I-A days, but playing in the 1956 Refrigerator Bowl or beating Muskingum in the 1964 Grantland Rice Bowl won’t end up in the school time capsule.   

Central Michigan's best win ... MAC Championship, Central Michigan 31 .... Ohio 10
Central Michigan held Ohio State 224 yards and forced three key turnovers on the way to the MAC Championship. Damien Linson set a MAC title game record with 191 yards helped by a 71-yard touchdown, helping get the Chippewas off to a 17-7 halftime lead. Ohio stayed in the hunt by starting off the second half with a 16 play, 76-yard drive culminating in a 33-yard Matt Lasher field goal to pull within seven, but Central Michigan controlled the rest of the game with Ontario Sneed catching a four-yard touchdown pass and ending the game with a 96-yard scoring dash.

Central Michigan's worst loss ... Northern Illinois 31 ... Central Michigan 10
Garrett Wolfe ran for three touchdowns scoring from ten, two and 13 yards out and Dan Nicholson threw a 20-yard scoring pass as Northern Illinois blew past the MAC West champions. The Chippewas managed a one-yard Ontario Sneed touchdown catch and a 25-yard field goal from Rick Albreski, but the defense couldn't handle Wolfe and a NIU running game that helped the Huskies hold on to the ball for 33:42.

Middle Tennessee's best win ...
Arkansas State 38 ... Middle Tennessee 10
A 88-yard Brandon Robinson interception return for a touchdown and short touchdown runs from Desmond Gee and DeMarco McNair helped Middle Tennessee pull away in the second half to a 31-3 lead. Arkansas State moved the ball well all game long, but only managed a 14-yard Levi Dejohnette touchdown late in the fourth quarter. McNair scored again on the first play following the unsuccessful onside kick attempt with a 48-yard run.

Middle Tennessee's worst loss ...
Oklahoma 59 ... Middle Tennessee 0
Oklahoma dominated from start to finish outgaining Middle Tennessee 462 yards to 95 and blowing out to a 45-0 halftime lead highlighted by a 22-yard interception return for a touchdown from Zach Lattimore and three Adrian Peterson touchdown runs. Paul Thompson was brilliant throwing three touchdown passes to three different receivers including an 18-yard play to Malcolm Kelly in the first quarter to start off the touchdowns. Reggie Smith capped things off with a 61-yard punt return for a score. Middle Tennessee gained 22 rushing yards and seven first downs.

2005 Motor City Bowl
Memphis 38 ... Akron 31
DeAngelo Williams set the NCAA record for most career 100-yard rushing games with his 34th, and ran for three touchdowns and Stephen Gostkowski nailed field goals from 32, 35 and 50 yards out as Memphis cranked out a 38-17 lead with just over three minutes to go. But Akron was able to come back with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Domenik Hixon, a recovered onside kick, and a 19-yard touchdown pass to Jamari Arthur. Memphis, despite a disputed fumble, was able to run out the clock. Akron QB Luke Getsy threw for 455 yards and four scores in the loss.
Player of the game:  Memphis RB DeAngelo Williams ran 30 times for 233 yards and three touchdowns and caught one pass for 42 yards.
Stat Leaders: Memphis - Passing: Maurice Avery, 7-13, 170 yds
Rushing: DeAngelo Williams, 30-233, 3 TD. Receiving: Ryan Scott, 3-103
Akron - Passing: Luke Getsy, 34-59, 455 yds, 4 TD
Brett Biggs, 14-46. Receiving: Jabari Arthur, 8-180, 2 TD

Middle Tennessee Bowl History (2-2)
1964 Grantland Rice Middle Tennessee 20, Muskingum 0
1961 Tangerine Lamar Tech 21, Middle Tennessee 14
1960 Tangerine Middle Tennessee 21, Presbyterian 12
1956 Refrigerator Sam Houston State 27, Middle Tennessee 13
Central Mich. Bowl History (0-2)
1994 Las Vegas UNLV 52, Central Mich 24
1990 California SJSU 48, Central Mich 24

- 2006 Motor City Bowl Preview