Western Michigan (8-4) vs. Cincinnati (7-5)
Noon p.m. ET, ESPN
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International Bowl Player Profile
CB Londen Fryar, Western Michigan – In a
season of surprises in Kalamazoo, one of the most unexpected
developments was the play of Fryar, who climbed all the way up to
the All-MAC first team just one year after starting only a single
game for the Broncos. Of course, he did have a unique advantage
growing up. How many corners can practice their bump-and-run
technique on one of the NFL’s all-time greatest receivers…in their
own living room? Londen’s dad is Irving Fryar, the former Nebraska
Husker and five-time Pro Bowl receiver. Irving has taught his son a
few things about the game, but none more important than how to
handle a position change, something the elder Fryar faced 25 years
ago in Lincoln, when he was moved from cornerback to wide receiver
by Tom Osborne. Ironically, Londen was asked to do the exact
opposite two years ago, going from a potential heir apparent to Greg
Jennings to the Bronco secondary. Both moves seem to be working out
pretty well. Blessed with outstanding athleticism and a keen
understanding of how receivers think, Fryar blossomed into a stopper
in his first season as a starter, making 44 tackles, picking off a
league-best five passes and scoring a couple of touchdowns. He’s
always had the lineage, but this past year, the sophomore showed
that he has the ability as well. Best of all, with just two years
on defense at this level, Fryar’s only going to get better in the
second half of his college career.
Best Bronco Bowl Moment – Western Michigan’s next bowl
victory will be its first. The Broncos came close in the 1988
California Bowl, nearly shocking high-powered Fresno State at
Bulldog Stadium before falling short, 35-30, to the passing of Mark
Barsotti and the running of game MVP Darrell Rosette.
Best Bearcat Bowl Moment
– Even a broken hand and unseasonably cold weather in Texas couldn’t
keep Cincinnati QB Gino Guidugli from carving up the Marshall
defense in the 2004 Fort Worth Bowl. The senior threw for 231 yards
and a pair of touchdowns, leading the Bearcats to a 32-14 victory,
their first in postseason play in seven years.
best win ...
Western Michigan 17 ... Virginia 10
Mark Bonds gained 118 of Western Michigan's 179 yards and
scored the first touchdown of the day on a two-yard dash to start off
the shocker. The Bronco defense got in the act with a 34-yard
interception return for a touchdown from Desman Stephan in the second
quarter to take the lead for good. Virgina's points game on a five-yard
Jason Snelling touchdown run and a 34-yard Chris Gould field goal in the
first half, but the offense only managed 258 yards of total offense and
struggled to get moving in the second half.
Western Michigan's worst loss ...
Central Michigan 31 ... Western Michigan 7
Central Michigan clinched the MAC West title taking three
Western Michigan second-half turnovers to score 21 points on three
Marcel Archer touchdown runs from two, 24 and 16 yards out. The
Chippewas started off the scoring with a 53-yard Damien Linson touchdown
grab, but the Broncos came back with a five-yard touchdown pass to Nic
Saad for its only points of the game. CMU outgained WMU 305 to 234.
Cincinnati's best win ...
Cincinnati 30 ... Rutgers 11
Cincinnati stuffed the Rutgers offense holding it to 50
rushing yards and keeping it out of the end zone until late in the
fourth quarter on a one-yard Ray Rice run. Despite losing three
fumbles, the Bearcats jumped out to a 17-0 lead helped by a 84-yard
DeAngelo Smith interception return for a touchdown and a one-yard
Nick Davila scoring run, but didn't pull away for good until Brent
Celek took a pass 83 yards for a score. Kevin Lowell hit three field
goals for the Bearcats.
Cincinnati's worst loss ...
Pitt 33 ... Cincinnati 15
Pitt WR Derek Kinder took a two passes for touchdowns from 80
and 55 yards out to help the Panthers out to a big early lead UC
couldn't overcome. Tyler Palko threw three touchdowns and Darrelle
Revis returned an interception 57 for a score with four seconds left
to seal the win. The Bearcats got a one-yard touchdown run from
Bradley Glatthaar and a 15-yard touchdown catch from Bill Poland,
but only managed 35 rushing yards and couldn't get any consistent
passing game going. Pitt LB H.B. Blades made 14 tackles.
Western Michigan Bowl History (0-2)
Fresno St 35, Western
New Mexico 28, Western
Cincinnati Bowl History (3-4)
Cincinnati 32, Marshall
North Texas 24,
Toledo 23, Cincinnati 16
Marshall 25, Cincinnati
Cincinnati 35, Utah
West Texas St. 14,
Cincinnati 18, Virginia