That might've been the most lopsided five-point game in bowl history. Purdue's 37-32 win over Western Michigan in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl was decided for one reason alone: turnovers.
If turnovers were dollar bills, WMU would have been able to not only buy a Little Caesars Pizza, but have enough money left over for a 2-liter, provided they were able to find some change in the cup holder.
This was only the second time Alex Carder threw four interceptions in a game. He's usually not this erratic (28 touchdowns and 10 INTs this season) but really made some bad choices and appeared to try and be the first quarterback ever to throw a football through a defender. Not only do physics disallow such throws, it'd be abnormally painful to the defender. He also fumbled the ball twice, including on the final drive when WMU had a glimmer of hope had they could compile an 88-yard touchdown drive in 2:09 with no timeouts.
So that's a bummer. WMU remains perfectly imperfect in bowl games, the MAC drops their first one of the year, and Purdue ends up with a winning record. Strange times abound. Things were looking up with Carder located Jordan White on a flea-flicking touchdown. Then they followed it up with a fake extra-point as John Potter, in a similar play from last year, ran in the 2-point conversion:
Fun stuff. It seemed like they were en route to a successful game, but turnovers are going to mortally wound the psyche of any team. It was nice to see them come back after falling behind 34-18 in the third quarter but I wonder if Bill Cubit didn't err by leaving Carder in as long as he did. His passes just looked a little off and maybe it was the injury flaring up, but perhaps benching Carder in lieu of Tyler Van Tubbergen, a VERY capable quarterback, should've been the way to go.
And not enough can be said about everything Jordan White did in the game. For all his season-leading marks this year, 13 catches for 265 yards was a career-best mark in terms of receiving yards. His previous high was 235 yards, set in that 66-63 loss to Toledo. This was a wonderful showing for White to the NFL scouts. He demonstrated capable speed but more importantly hands of velcro.
So that's the WMU season. 7-6 and a bowl loss. Sounds about right. If this is what the Broncos are OK with every year they should keep Cubit around for a while.