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Courtesy: WMU

GAME DAY: WMU at Illinois - 9.1.12 - ESPNU

Courtesy: Mat Kanan, director of athletic media relations
Release: 08/27/2012
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GAME 1
Western Michigan (0-0) at Illinois (0-0)
All-Time series - WMU trails 1-3
Last Meeting - No. 24 Illinois 23, WMU 20
Sept. 1, 2012 // Memorial Stadium (30,200)
11 a.m. CDT // Champaign, Ill. // ESPNU

RADIO BROADCAST | LISTEN LIVE | LIVE STATS
The game will be broadcast live on the Bronco Radio Network: 96.5 FM (Kalamazoo, Portage, Mattawan); 96.1 FM (Hollad, Grand Rapids, Muskegon), 94.1 FM (Lansing, Jackson, Battle Creek), and 94.3 FM (Detroit).  Robin Hook (play-by-play) and John Creek (analysis) will have the call beginning at 11 a.m. ET

TELEVISION BROADCAST | WATCH LIVE on ESPN3 (View Blackout Map)
The WMU-Illinois game will be broadcast live on ESPNU with an 11:01 a.m. CT official kick time.  Anish Shroff (play-by-play) and Dan Hawkins (analysis) have the call.

WMU FOOTBALL NOTES OF INTEREST
• Western Michigan trails the all-time series against Illinois, 1-3-0
• WMU is 1-1 against Illinois under head coach Bill Cubit
• WMU is looking for its first win in a season opener since defeating Tennessee-Martin, 42-0, on Sept. 2, 2004
• WMU is looking for its first win in a season opener against a team from the FBS since defeating Northern Illinois, 37-23, on Sept. 3, 1998
• WMU is looking for its first win in a season opener against a Big Ten team since defeating Wisconsin, 24-14, on Sept. 3, 1988
• This will be the 11th time WMU has opened a season against a team currently in the Big Ten in program history and the first time against Illinois to open a season
• This is the sixth time during the Bill Cubit era WMU has opened against a Big Ten opponent (including Nebraska) and the fifth-straight season dating back to 2008
• Illinois is one of two teams (besides MAC West opponents) to appear on the Broncos schedule after appearing on it in 2011 — Connecticut is the other
• Cubit and Beckman coached WMU and Toledo to 129 combined points, 1,439 combined yards and 18 combined TDs (all MAC single game records) in the meeting on Nov. 8, 2011
Alex Carder enters the 2012 season has the nation’s top returning QB in total offense (345.25 ypg) and second behind only Texas Tech’s Seth Doege in passing (27.50 comp/g)
Johnnie Simon is the third Bronco defender to finish a season with over 100 tackles since the 2008 campaign and the first since Austin Pritchard in 2009
• Five different Broncos enter the season opener with over 20 career starts and two of those players are entering their junior year of eligibility
• Illinois was one of seven teams to give up 300 or more passing yards to Alex Carder in 2011; Western Michigan was 4-3 in those games

SEASON STORIES
• WMU boasts four team members on preseason watch lists (Alex Carder — Walter Camp POTY, Davey O’Brien, Unitas Golden Arm, Manning, Senior Bowl; Kevin Galeher — Rimington; Dann O’Neill — Senior Bowl; Johnnie Simon — Jim Thorpe)
• WMU will be on national or regional television seven times this season including in four of the program’s six home games — at Illinois (ESPNU); vs. Eastern Illinois, vs. Connecticut, vs. Toledo, at Central Michigan (ESPN3); vs. Northern Illinois (ESPN Regional); at Minnesota (BTN)
• New linebacker coach Tim McGarigle is the NCAA FBS leader in career tackles (545)
• New equipment manager Taylor Jorgensen is the son of former WMU quarterback Paul Jorgensen, the only WMU QB to rush for 100 yards in a game
• WMU returns four All-MAC selections in 2012 — Freddie Bishop, Alex Carder, Dann O’Neill and Johnnie Simon
• WMU will play three teams from the state of Illinois in 2012 — Illinois (Sept. 1), Eastern Illinois (Sept. 8) and Northern Illinois (Oct. 27)

HERE’S SOMETHING YOU DID NOT KNOW
Prior to his freshman high school season, WMU nose guard Travonte Boles was not allowed to play football because of his size difference compared to other kids.  Instead he acted and sang in school plays.  Learn more about Travonte in a three-part series called “CAMP LIFE: WMU Football 2012” which launched on Wednesday, Aug. 29 on www.wmubroncos.com.

LIVE CHAT - WMU at ILLINOIS

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