QUICK LANE BOWL AT A GLANCE

 

Gophers vs. Central Michigan

4 p.m. Dec. 28, Ford Field, Detroit

TV: ESPN2 (100.3-FM)

Home-state advantage: Central Michigan is located in Mount Pleasant, Mich., which is about a 2-hour, 30-minute drive from Detroit. The Chippewas have drawn well for this bowl game, playing in it when it was called the Motor City Bowl in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and returning when it was called the Little Caesar’s Bowl in 2012.

About Central Michigan’s season: The Chippewas suffered close nonconference losses to Oklahoma State (24-13) and Syracuse (30-27) before opening Mid-American Conference play with a win over Northern Illinois. Central Michigan won five of its final six games to finish 7-5 overall and 6-2 in the MAC. The Chippewas were in a four-way tie for first place in the MAC’s West Division, but Northern Illinois held the tiebreaker.

Get to know them: The Chippewas are led by John Bonamego, who was diagnosed with tonsil cancer shortly after he was hired last February. They had one first-team All-MAC selection (center Nick Beamish) and five second-team selections: quarterback Cooper Rush, tight end Ben McCord, place-kicker Brian Eavey, defensive end Blake Serpa and safety Kavon Frazier.

JOE CHRISTENSEN