Flory opened the scoring when he caught a Radcliff pass at the Hilltoppers' 45-yard line and raced untouched into the end zone on a 69-yard play. Western Kentucky tied the game on its first possession with the help of some trickery. Jakes hit Rico Brown for a 70-yard gain on a flea flicker, and Jakes scored two plays later on a 6-yard run.
Flory gave Central Michigan a 14-7 advantage when he beat one-on-one coverage over the middle for a 29-yard score. David Harman's 50-yard field goal with 9:59 remaining in the half gave the Chippewas a 10-point lead, but Jakes responded with a 6-yard scoring toss to Doyle.
NOTES: The Chippewas are 3-4 all-time in bowls, including 2-2 record in the bowl at Ford Field, previously named the Motor City Bowl. They have a 5-3 overall record at Ford Field. ... Wilson extended his streak of at least one reception to 42 games. ... Jakes' second-quarter touchdown pass was the 51st of his career, breaking the school record set by Justin Haddox (2003-06). ... Central Michigan fullback Tyler Lombardo suffered a knee injury on the opening kickoff and did not return. ... Western Kentucky defensive end Quanterus Smith, the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year, missed the game with a knee injury. ... Mid-American Conference representatives had a five-game losing streak in the bowl before Wednesday. ... The Hilltoppers made their first appearance in Michigan since losing to Northern Michigan in 1977.