International Bowl Player Profile & More
Posted Dec 14, 2006

2007 International Bowl Player Profile, History & More

Western Michigan (8-4) vs. Cincinnati (7-5)

Jan. 6th, Noon p.m. ET, ESPN

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By Richard Cirminiello

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.

Western Michigan's 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)
1988 California Fresno St 35, Western Mich 30
1961 Aviation New Mexico 28, Western Mich 12
Cincinnati Bowl History (3-4)
2004 Fort Worth Cincinnati 32, Marshall 14
2002 New Orleans North Texas 24, Cincinnati 19
2001 Motor City Toledo 23, Cincinnati 16
2000 Motor City Marshall 25, Cincinnati 14
1997 Humanitarian Cincinnati 35, Utah State 19
1950 Sun West Texas St. 14, Cincinnati 13
1946 Sun Cincinnati 18, Virginia Tech 6