Conference play for the Western Michigan University football team begins this Saturday night under the lights at Waldo Stadium following Education Day.
The Broncos (2-2 0-0 MAC) will be wearing alternate uniforms to celebrate the beginning of MAC play against the University of Toledo Rockets (3-1, 1-0 MAC).
WMU hopes the attention will spark the team to a much needed win and a run at the MAC Championship game at Ford Field in Detroit.
“It’s kind’ve like one of those paintings when you see it starts to sparkle a little,” said a chuckling WMU head coach Bill Cubit. “The kids are excited and they should be.”
It’ll be tough for the Brown and Gold this week, and possibly for the remainder of the season without starting quarterback Alex Carder, who WMU head coach Bill Cubit said is out indefinitely after having a pin inserted in his middle-finger on his throwing hand after an injury he sustained in Saturday’s 30-24 win against UCONN.
Coach Cubit wouldn’t rule out the return of Carder before the end of the season.
WMU Junior quarterback Tyler Van Tubbergen will make his second start for the Broncos when the Rockets invade Kalamazoo on Saturday Night. WMU is looking for its tenth consecutive home victory.
“We prepare for this type of thing,” said Cubit. “We even get the third string reps. It’s really not that big of a deal, we just need Tyler to be a good quarterback. We’ll be fine.”
The Broncos are looking to even the all-time series with its MAC West Division rival Rockets at Waldo Stadium. Toledo leads WMU 17-16 at Waldo, and 39-28 in the all-time series. WMU is looking to avoid a three game losing streak against the Rockets after coach Cubit defeated them in each of his first four tries.
Last season WMU fell to the Rockets 66-63 in a shootout at the Glass Bowl where Broncos receiver Josh Schaffer put up his first 100 yard game.
“It’s all about the MAC now,” said WMU receiver Josh Schaffer. “I think having a game like [UCONN] carry over into MAC play is great with the confidence of beating a Big East team. Toledo who is one of the better teams to compare ourselves with right away is great.”
The MAC opener is always a huge draw of Bronco faithful and coach Cubit looks for Saturday to be the same.
“It’s the first MAC game and we’re really excited,” said Cubit. “It’s at our place at seven o’clock under the lights and hopefully we’ll get a great crowd out there to give us some support because we need it.”