Sour defeat in Champaign, Ill. proved to be a nightmare for Western Michigan University senior quarterback Alex Carder. The Western Michigan University football team opened its 2012 season with a 24-7 defeat at the hands of the University of Illinois Fighting Illini.
The Illini (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) pressured Carder all afternoon and never allowed him to be consistent in the pocket. Carder threw three interceptions, escaping another pair. He never looked in-sync and appeared to lose control.
“I’d like to say it was due to unfamiliarity of the new guys and that we’re not in a rhythm yet, but that wouldn’t be the truth,” said WMU QB Alex Carder.
Carder went 26-of-43 for 239 yards and threw for a touchdown. Jaime Wilson led the receivers with eight snags for 59 yards and a TD. Johnnie Simon led the Brown & Gold with 18 tackles and Donald Celiscar added an end-zone interception that ended a key Illini drive.
The Broncos (0-1, 0-0 MAC) have a lot to build on from the defensive side of the ball and look to take that momentum into next week.
“Our offense will be fine,” said WMU Head Coach Bill Cubit. “We know that. But boy I’ll tell you, if we can continue to get the type of effort we got from the defensive side of the ball today then we’ll be in good shape.”
The committed defense provided the chance for WMU to compete for all four quarters.
“It’s just hard,” said WMU Cornerback Donald Celiscar. “We [defense] went out there and never gave up. We knew those guys [Illinois] weren’t really able to move the ball on us all afternoon. We never got tired and were up for the challenge.”
Carder held his head in his hands before the press conference, appearing to be in deep thought.
“Today I had probably one of the worst games of my career,” Carder said. “I’ll just try to be the best teammate I can be. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to be, a good teammate.”