Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Instant analysis: Central Michigan 44, Troy 41, 2 OT
By Graham Watson
The Mid-American Conference’s bowl game losing streak has been broken.
Central Michigan’s 44-41 double-overtime win over Troy in the GMAC Bowl snapped a 14-game bowl losing streak that dated back to 2006.
The game, which featured just 19 combined points in the first half, was a fitting way to end the regular bowl season considering it’s the same way it started. Wyoming and Fresno State opened the bowl season with a double-overtime game in the New Mexico Bowl.
Troy had a field goal blocked in the second overtime, the second consecutive season the Trojans have lost a game on a blocked field goal in overtime.
How the game was won: Central Michigan kicker Andrew Aguila hit a 37-yard field goal in double-overtime. Central Michigan erased a 31-19 fourth quarter deficit to win its first bowl since 2006.
Turning point: After Troy took a 31-19 lead with 8 minutes left, Central Michigan receiver Antonio Brown ran a kickoff back 95 yards for a touchdown, swinging the momentum to Central Michigan.
Stat of the game: Troy and Central Michigan combined for 1,122 yards of total offense and quarterbacks Levi Brown and Dan LeFevour combined for 782 yards passing.
Co-player of the game: Central Michigan receiver Antonio Brown had 402 yards of total offense, including a 95-yard kick return for a touchdown that helped the Chippewas overcome a 31-19 fourth-quarter deficit. He also had had two big catches on the final drive of the fourth quarter that gave the Chippewas the brief lead. He finished the game with 178 yards receiving and 202 return yards on seven returns
Co-players of the game: Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour led the Chippewas on an 85-yard drive for a score and then converted a two-point conversion to give CMU a 34-31 lead late in the fourth quarter. It was the seventh time in LeFevour's career that he had orchestrated a late fourth-quarter comeback. LeFevour also scored the first touchdown of overtime.
Unsung hero of the game: Kicker Andrew Aguila not only made the game-winning field goal in the second overtime, he’s the reason why Central Michigan was able to stay in the game in the first place. Aguila made four consecutive field goals before Central Michigan was able to get into the end zone late in the third quarter.
Record performance: Troy quarterback Levi Brown became the first quarterback in Troy and Sun Belt history to pass for 4,000 yards in a season. He’s also the 40th player in FBS history to accomplish the feat. Brown threw for 387 yards to give him 4,255 on the season.