Middle Tennessee (7-5, Conference USA) vs. Western Michigan (7-5, Mid-American Conference), noon (ESPN)
Line: Western Michigan by 4 ½
Series Record: First meeting.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Western Michigan is seeking its first bowl victory in school history, as the Broncos have lost all six of their previous bowl appearances. A victory also would give Western Michigan consecutive eight-win seasons for the first time ever. Middle Tennessee is seeking to end the season on a five-game winning streak.
Western Michigan wide receivers Corey Davis and Daniel Braverman vs. Middle Tennessee secondary: Davis and Braverman have each exceeded 1,200 yards receiving this season, which marks the first time since 2010 that two Football Bowl Subdivision teammates have reached that mark. They’re facing a Middle Tennessee defense that has 16 interceptions, tied for 15th among all FBS teams. Free safety Kevin Byard has 19 career interceptions, which matches the highest total among active FBS players.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Middle Tennessee: QB Brent Stockstill: The son of Middle Tennessee coach Rick Stockstill has thrown for 3,678 yards, putting him 379 yards shy of the NCAA freshman record set by Florida State’s Jameis Winston in 2013. He also has 301 completions and needs just 20 more to match the NCAA freshman record set by Kentucky’s Jared Lorenzen in 2000. Stockstill, who redshirted last year, has thrown 27 touchdown passes and only eight interceptions.
Western Michigan: Davis: He has accumulated 100 yards receiving in six straight games and has 3,602 career yards receiving to lead all active FBS players. His 32 touchdown catches rank him second among all active FBS players, behind only Baylor’s Corey Coleman.
FACTS & FIGURES
Western Michigan’s Braverman is the only player to rank among the top eight FBS performers in receptions, yards receiving and touchdown catches. Braverman has 103 catches for 1,270 yards and 12 touchdowns. … Braverman ranks second among nationally with 8.6 catches per game, while Middle Tennessee’s Richie James is third with 8.3. … James, who has 100 catches, is the second player in Middle Tennessee history to have at least 1,000 yards receiving in a season. … Middle Tennessee averages 44.3 points per game at home but only 24.2 per game away from home. … Western Michigan ranks second among all FBS teams in time of possession. The Broncos are controlling the ball for 34 ½ minutes per game.