Time and Date: 11:00AM ET on December 27, 2021
Broadcast Network: ESPN
Location: Ford Field in Detroit, MI
Spread: Western Michigan (-6.5), per DraftKings*
Point Total: 56.5 per DraftKings*
ESPN FPI: Nevada 59%
All-Time Series: First meeting
*Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details
Western Michigan was an exercise in both celebration and frustration this year for Bronco fans. After firing off to a 4-1 start, WMU limped home to a 7-5 final record with only one win over a MAC West opponent (NIU). WMU is a balanced team, capable of running or passing. The defense is the question mark, but there is an opportunity in this game with a pass-heavy attack the unit can game plan and focus on that.
For Nevada, they had a great season and are several plays away from a 10-win season and a significantly higher prestige bowl game. But for this game, it’s more about who isn’t there as opposed to who is or what’s happened. Head coach Jay Norvell has departed and QB Carson Strong is sitting this out in prep for the NFL Draft. So, the question is begged whether Nevada’s system and those left behind are strong enough and talented enough to carry on.
Suffice to say, this is one of the most intriguing matchups of the bowl season. Throw in the likely pro-WMU crowd given the location, the ridiculously early start time, and the general possibility of an oddity in a bowl game, and we might be getting weird early in the Detroit morning for this one.