WESTERN Michigan will play in a bowl game for the second consecutive season as the Broncos accepted a bid to represent the Mid-American Conference in the 2015 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl at Thomas A Robinson National Stadium on December 24.
The Broncos will face Middle Tennessee (7-5) in a MAC vs. Conference USA matchup in the second Popeyes Bahamas Bowl. The bowl game will be played at noon and the contest will be televised on ESPN and broadcast on the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl Radio Network.
The early invitation allows Western Michigan additional time to make preparations to play in an international destination, including obtaining passports for those who still need them in order to travel to the Bahamas as well as giving extra time for fans to make their travel plans to Nassau for bowl week.
Information on tickets and travel packages to the 2015 bowl is available through PopeyesBahamasBowl.com. A reminder that all US citizens who wish to attend the game must have a valid US passport to enter the Bahamas.
The Popeyes Bahamas Bowl will mark Western Michigan’s seventh overall bowl game appearance, and it will be the second straight for the Broncos under head coach PJ Fleck, who is in his third season at the school and is the youngest head coach at the FBS level. The Broncos played in the 2014 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against Air Force.
This is the second time Western Michigan will participate in a bowl game outside of the United States as the Broncos played in the inaugural 2007 International Bowl against Cincinnati in Toronto, Canada.
“We are pleased that Western Michigan will be competing in the 2015 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl,” said Popeyes Bahamas Bowl executive director Richard Giannini. “Coach Fleck and his staff have done a tremendous job in preparing the Broncos all season long, and their victory over a ranked Toledo team was one of the biggest in the MAC this year.”
“We are excited to have a strong 2015 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl with a pair of 7-5 teams in Western Michigan and Middle Tennessee, and we look forward to what will be a great bowl week in Nassau with both universities and their fans,” said Giannini.
“We’re thrilled to be going to the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl and to play against an elite Middle Tennessee team,” Fleck said. “It is an elite reward for our players and staff for all the work they’ve done. We continue to accomplish ‘nevers’ in our programme as this is the first time in programme history we’ve gone to bowl games in consecutive seasons. With elite preparation and execution we hope to also earn our first bowl victory in programme history.”
The Broncos, 7-5 overall and 6-2 in MAC play, will come into the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl with a share of the MAC West Division title after posting six victories in their last eight games, including a 35-30 victory over No. 24 Toledo in WMU’s last game.
Western Michigan has the top receiving duo in the country as juniors Daniel Braverman (103 receptions; 1,270 yards) and Corey Davis (82 receptions; 1,253 yards) have combined for 185 catches in 2015. Davis has 3,602 career receiving yards, the most among active FBS players and 32 receiving touchdowns, second-most among active FBS players. The ball-control offense of the Broncos is second in FBS in average time of possession (34:32).
“It is truly another great day to be a Bronco,” Western Michigan athletic director Kathy Beauregard said. “We are proud to be able to represent the Mid-American Conference in the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl. The student-athletes and staff have worked incredibly hard in pursuit of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. We are truly ecstatic to be able to showcase our Broncos, our university and our greater Kalamazoo community in a nationally televised appearance on ESPN. We take great pride in being able to provide Broncos everywhere the opportunity to watch and cheer our Broncos from wherever they may be in the world.”
The 2015 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl will mark the first meeting between Western Michigan and Middle Tennessee. For more information on the 2015 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl, visit PopeyesBahamasBowl.com