DETROIT — Ryan Radcliff threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Cody Wilson with 5:11 remaining to give Central Michigan the lead, and Western Kentucky was stopped on fourth down when a field goal would have tied the game in the final minute, giving the Chippewas a 24-21 win in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl on Wednesday.
Lance Guidry, coaching the Hilltoppers on an interim basis before Bobby Petrino takes over, decided to play for the win on fourth-and-2 from the 19 with 51 seconds left, but Kawaun Jakes threw incomplete.
Avery Cunningham blocked a punt for Central Michigan (7-6) to give the Chippewas a short field before Wilson’s TD.
Radcliff went 19-of-29 for 253 yards and three touchdowns, but Central Michigan needed to rally late.
With Western Kentucky (7-6) still up 21-17, the Hilltoppers had to punt from their own end zone. Cunningham blocked it, and although the ball bounced around for a bit, the Chippewas finally secured it and took over with great field position inside the 30.