2014 Bahamas Bowl final score: Western Kentucky outlasts Central Michigan, 49-48
Central Michigan did their best to make a five touchdown defecit interesting, but Western Kentucky held on to win the first game held outside of the United States or Canada since the 1930s.
The first ever Popeyes Bahamas Bowl started with promise, got pretty one sided in a hurry, but ended in true MAC/Conference USA fashion with a flurry of points before Western Kentucky’s Jeff Brohm would win his first ever bowl game as a head coach, 49-48. Central Michigan went for the win on a two-point conversion after completing a ridiculous hook-and-lateral hail mary sequence but a back corner fade on the try proved unsuccessful.
Both teams’ starting quarterbacks finished the game with five or more touchdown passes. WKU’s senior signal caller Brandon Doughty finished the afternoon 31-for-42 for 486 yards and the aforementioned 5 TDs while his counterpart for the Chippewas, sophomore Cooper Rush, completed 27 of his 44 passes for 418 yards, 6 TDs, and an interception.
The Hilltoppers jumped out to an emphatic head start with 441 yards of offense in the first half to go along with a 42-14 halftime lead. But despite trailing by five scores heading into the fourth, CMU stayed at it and managed to close the gap to just 14 points before an unsuccessful offside kick helped seal things for WKU.
A pair of senior wide receivers had the kind of games fans from both teams have grown to expect. Chippewas wideout Titus Davis called it a college career with 6 grabs for 122 yards. Though Jared Dangerfield was the more decorated pass catcher for the Hilltoppers coming into this one, senior Willie McNeal pulled down 5 grabs for 155 in his final college football game as well.
Neither teams’ defense provided much resistance all afternoon long, as the teams easily gave up over a thousand yards and over a hundred points combined.
Western Kentucky heads to the offseason with some real momentum having ended Marshall’s ‘New Year’s Six’ Bowl aspirations and winning a bowl in consecutive contests. Central Michigan coach Dan Enos was unable to repeat the same formula that saw the Chips win 2012′s Little Caesars Pizza Bowl as the fourth place team in the MAC’s west division finishes the season 7-6 after the loss.