W Kentucky to play C Michigan in Pizza Bowl

Before the Bobby Petrino era begins at Western Kentucky, there’s

a bowl game to play – the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl against Central


The game at Ford Field on Wednesday night is in Detroit, not far

from the campus of the Chippewas (6-6). The Hilltoppers (7-5) will

be run by interim coach Lance Guidry.

Petrino’s hiring has almost overshadowed the play of the

Hilltoppers. They are in their first bowl since becoming a top-tier

college football school in 2009.

Petrino is returning to coaching less than a year after he was

dismissed at Arkansas. He had hired his former mistress to work in

the Razorbacks’ football department.

Guidry, who was the team’s defensive coordinator, says his

players are ready.

”These kids are really hungry,” Guidry said. ”Really been

having some great practices, although they’ve been going through a

lot of different things with the head coaches.”

Guidry was appointed interim coach Dec. 8, a day after Willie

Taggart left to coach South Florida. Two days later, Western

Kentucky hired Petrino to be Taggart’s full-time replacement in a

stunning move that didn’t seem to shake up the players much because

familiar faces were still around.

”Even though Coach Taggert is gone, the coaches are still here

with us,” Western Kentucky junior running back Antonio Andrews

said. ”They’ve been here since Day One.”

Dan Enos has been leading the Chippewas since 2010. Enos was

hired soon after Central Michigan played in and won its last

postseason game, beating Troy in the GMAC Bowl with a team put

together by former coach Butch Jones, who is now coaching at


Central Michigan won its last three games this year to be

eligible for a bowl. After going 3-9 in each of Enos’ first two

seasons, his players are excited to still be playing.

”That’s why I coach,” Enos said. ”That’s why our coaches

coach, to have an impact on those young people.”

The running backs may have much to say in deciding how this game

plays out.

Andrews has run for 1,609 yards and 11 touchdowns this year.

He’s also a receiving threat and returns kickoffs and punts. He has

2,977 all-purpose yards on the season, just 273 behind the record

set by Barry Sanders.

Central Michigan’s Zurlon Tipton has 1,391 yards rushing and 19

TDs, 258 yards receiving and another score.

”I like that whole battle-of-the-backs thing,” Tipton said.

”It’s going to be a good battle, and I’m looking forward to