The Central Michigan Chippewas (6-6) are going bowling against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (9-3) in lovely and scenic Miami, Florida for the Miami Beach Bowl.
The bowl, which has primary tie-ins to the Mid-American Conference and the American Athletic Conference, will be played at Marlins Park in downtown Miami.
CMU’s 2016 campaign was a tale of two seasons: after going 3-1 in the out-of-conference slate, including a miraculous upset on the road over Oklahoma State, the Chips wound up finishing just 3-5 in conference. The conference season was blighted by injuries at key positions and included a 3-loss stretch to Toledo, Kent State and Miami after a 2-1 start in the MAC, but the Chippewas still have a lot to play for.
The Chips managed to play 5-7 Minnesota close in the Quick Lane Bowl last season and Coach John Bonamego will want to send his senior players, including Cooper Rush, Kelby Latta and Devon Spalding, out with a win.
The Tulsa Golden Hurricane was a surprising group this season, riding one of the nation’s best offenses to a nine-win campaign in the tough AAC, finishing second in the West to Navy, who they lost to by two points on the road. Tulsa also had nationally-ranked Houston on its heels before a controversial ending gave the Coogs a chance to win.
Last season, Tulsa participated in a wild back-and-forth affair with VA Tech in the Independence Bowl before falling 55-52 in the waning moments. QB Dane Evans and the rest of coach Phillip Montgomery’s Air Raid offense will look to overwhelm a sneaky good CMU defense.
The game will be on Dec. 19 at 2:30 p.m. EST and will be televised on an ESPN network.