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2011 Little Caesars Bowl: Strong Western Michigan Passing Game Takes Center Stage

On the eve of the 2011 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit, the Western Michigan Broncos find themselves in a rare position for a MAC team facing a Big Ten team. The Broncos are a very slight favorite in some experts' eyes, and most are not afraid to pick the Broncos in a fun shootout:

It might seem crazy, but can the Big Ten team play with the MAC team? WMU QB Alex Carder is expected to be healthy after missing the regular season finale, and the offense has the potential to blow up against a mediocre Purdue defense. The Boilermakers don’t have a high-octane offense.

The SB Nation sites for each school recently traded questions about this matchup. The Hustle Belt received concern for quarterback Alex Carder against a struggling Purdue defense:

I think we're going to see another shootout. I don't trust our coaching staff to prepare well against a very dynamic passing attack. I do think we will be able to run the ball and maybe even work on our passing game a little. Caleb TerBush knows that we have three quarterbacks coming in next year, plus another coming off of a redshirt and the proposed starter for this season coming off of injury. If he wants to keep starting as a senior he needs a big game.

At Hammer & Rails, MAC Defensive Player of the Year Drew Nowak will be a concern for Purdue's running game:

He's the plug in the middle, so as long as we can contain on the outside, we should be able to throw an extra man or two in the box and stop any power run game. Of course this is all in theory and will probably end up like the rest of year where teams ran it down our throats and we really couldn't stop it.

Purdue's Hammer & Rails will be on hand in Detroit for a live account of the game.