Western Michigan has been running a "Carder2White" campaign all year to highlight the connection between quarterback Alex Carder and receiver Jordan White, and that relationship made the Little Caesars Bowl interesting — at least early — despite an eventual 37-32 loss to Purdue.
On its first play following a Purdue fumble in the first quarter, Western Michigan executed a flea flicker to perfection for its first touchdown. Carder handed it to running back Tevon Drake who started to run toward the line of scrimmage before tossing it back to Carder, who found White streaking down the middle of the field for a 49-yard score.
That was White's only score of the game, but it was part of a monster effort for the nation's leading receiver: He finished the night with 13 catches for a career-high 265 yards in his final college game.
Western Michigan capped the trick play touchdown with a trick play conversion, faking the PAT in favor of a two-point run by John Potter an 8-0 advantage — the first lead in a bowl game in school history. It would be short-lived: By the middle of the second quarter, Purdue found its groove offensively, and took a 16-point lead in the third on a 33-yard pass from Caleb TerBush to Gary Bush. (Purdue actually used a bit of trickery itself, executing a pair of onside kicks, and ran another kickoff back for a 99-yard touchdown.) Western Michigan cut the score to 37-32 with 4:28 on the clock, but Carder fumbled away the Broncos' final possession with two minutes remaining.
Western Michigan falls to 0-5 all-time in bowl games, but White opened some eyes with his performance, which should bode well for a senior who has ambitions of playing in the pros.