MAC Championship Game
Western Michigan (7-4) vs. No. 11 Marshall (11-0)
Site: Marshall Stadium, Huntington, W. Va.
Time, TV: 8 p.m., ESPN2.
Data: The Thundering Herd is seeking its third consecutive Mid-American Conference championship, its third consecutive trip to the Motor City Bowl, its 30th consecutive home win and its 16th consecutive win overall -- Division I-A's longest active winning streak. Marshall defeated Western Michigan, 31-17, on Nov. 13 at Western Michigan, but don't expect the Herd to sleepwalk through this one. A loss probably would keep Marshall out of a bowl game since all the at-large spots in other bowls have been filled. Marshall senior QB Chad Pennington and WRs Nate Poole and James Williams lead an offense that averages 472 yards and 37 points per game (fourth and seventh in the nation, respectively). That's not a good sign for a Western Michigan defense that is ranked 97th in the nation in total defense, giving up 410 yards per game. Still, none of Marshall's opponents this season has scored as many points against the Herd as the Broncos did. Western Michigan QB Tim Lester has thrown for 3,357 yards and 32 TDs this season (his prime target is SE Steve Neal, who has 66 catches for 1,008 yards), but Marshall's defense, led by a dominating front four of ends Ron Puggi and Paul Toviessi (West Potomac High School) and tackles Giradie Mercer (H.D. Woodson) and Jimmy Parker, leads the nation in scoring defense, allowing 9.5 points per game.