Not too many people had the 2011 Little Caesars Bowl circled on their calendar this bowl season. However, if the Western Michigan Broncos and Purdue Boilermakers can keep this up in the second half, it might be remembered as the most exciting one of them all.
In a first half that included two recovered onside kicks, a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, a flea-flicker touchdown, an extra point fake, a fourth-down stop and four turnovers, Purdue overcame a 15-7 deficit to take a 27-15 lead into halftime.
The half ended with perhaps the most surprising 19-yard field goal of the season. Not surprising for how Purdue kicker Carson Wiggs made it, but because it didn't involve any kind of fake, fumble or crazy play.
Purdue's lead justifies its advantage in the total yards battle (275 to 184). Their issues has been turnovers. The Boilermakers have fumbled the football five times, two of which led to turnovers. The first turnover directly led to Western Michigan's first score, a 49-yard flea-flicker bomb.
Robert Marve had played great in relief of Caleb TerBush, who was injured early on but has since returned to alternating action. Marve is 6-of-7 for 76 yards and a touchdown. RB Akeem Shavers leads Purdue with 79 yards on 10 carries while Reggie Pegram ran in a score.
Meanwhile, WMU's Alex Carder has had a lot of highs and a lot of lows on the day so far. He's thrown two touchdowns but also thrown two interceptions as part of his 9-for-20, 141 yard performance. Carder is also leading the anemic rushing attack with 19 yards on four attempts.
Jordan White leads the Broncos with 96 yards and a touchdown on four receptions.
Before the second half begins, take a breathe, adjust your seat and get ready for the show. A lineman touchdown...blocked field goals returned for scores...Statue of Liberty plays...nothing seems out of the question from here on out.