WMU Challenges MAC West Rival Northern Illinois
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The WMU football team comes home this week after a two-game road trip to face Mid-American Conference West rival Northern Illinois on Saturday.
The Broncos, after coming off two tough road losses at Ball State and Kent State, look to keep goal of a bowl bid on track.
"We have to keep going to work everyday," said head coach Bill Cubit. "Just work as hard as we can, take one game at a time."
The Broncos are coming off a crushing defeat at the hands of the Kent State Golden Flashes last Saturday, 41-24, and have no time to rest as they face the high octane offense of Northern Illinois.
"They're a very tough opponent," said Cubit. "It's a no star type team, just 11 guys working really hard."
Northern Illinois, (7-1, 4-0 MAC) winners of seven straight, come in to Kalamazoo averaging 36 points per game. NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch runs the offense that Cubit and the Broncos plan to stop this weekend.
"I think he (Lynch) is one of the best quarterbacks, if not the best quarterback in this league," said Cubit.
Last Saturday, Tyler Van Tubbergen and Josh Schaffer hooked up for a 81-yard touchdown pass, which capped the fifth longest one-play drive in school history. Schaffer set a career high in receptions (9) and receiving yards (151) at Kent State and hopes to repeat the same performance this week.
"In order to win, we just have to go out there and make plays," said Schaffer. "We have to dictate and control the game and make them stop us."
Western Michigan (3-5, 1-3 MAC) is keeping a positive attitude heading into the final weeks of the season.
"Win today is our slogan right now," said Schaffer. "Nobody has given up and we just have to go out there and get the job done."
WMU faces Northern Illinois this Saturday in the Hall of Fame game. WMU 2012 Hall of Fame inductees will be honored during the halftime show. Kick-off is scheduled for 12 p.m.