KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The biggest story from the Mid-American Conference is the “Row-the-Boat” Western Michigan Broncos and their 10-0 start. The No. 14 Broncos moved to 10-0 for the first time in program history. They beat Kent State 37-21, last Tuesday. This is the first Broncos’ team in program history to reach 10+ wins.
The “Row-the-Boat” theme is an innovative brand developed by head coach P.J. Fleck for the football team to do everything in the program in unison. It is working. Coach Fleck had the Broncos to their first bowl win in program history last season. They beat Middle Tennessee State, 45-31, at the Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl on Dec. 24. Last year’s Western Michigan squad finished the season 8-5, after rattling off six straight wins during MAC play.
This year the Broncos are “Rowing-the-Boat” even better. WMU is ranked #14 in the Associated Press rankings.
All they have to do is beat Toledo on Friday, November 25th. No time has been selected yet. The winner gets to go to Ford Field in Detroit to face Ohio.
TV RUNS THE SHOW
ESPN has informed Western Michigan and the Mid-American Conference that an announcement regarding the game time and television platform of the Nov. 19th football game against Buffalo will be made this weekend on either Saturday, Nov. 12 or Sunday Nov. 13. The game will be played at either 12:00 p.m., or 3:30 p.m., and be televised on one of the ESPN family of networks which includes ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPNews.
CHICAGO – Guaranteed Rate Field, previously known as U.S. Cellular Field, hosted Toledo and Northern Illinois in a mid-week game for the benefit of television. In front of a sparse crowd, Kareem Hunt scored with 1:15 left to give Toledo a 31-24 victory over Northern Illinois University on Wednesday night. It was billed as the Huskie Chi-Town Showdown at Guaranteed Rate Field. Hunt’s touchdown helped the Rockets overcome an 11-point second half deficit to defeat NIU for the first time since 2009.
Senior wide receiver Kenny Golladay (Chicago, Ill./St. Rita/North Dakota) caught a career-high 14 passes for 143 yards; sophomore quarterback Ryan Graham finished the night 24-of-43 passing for 221 yards and three touchdowns. Golladay became the first receiver in NIU history to post back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons as his 2016 total now stands at 1,023 yards on 79 catches.
Guaranteed Rate Field is the home field of the Chicago White Sox, a Major League Baseball club competing in the American League Central division. The park is owned by the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, but operated by the White Sox.
OHIO’S SOLICH MOVING UP MAC CAREER WINS LIST
Ohio head coach Frank Solich and his Bobcats finished 2015 with an 8-5 overall record.
Solich continues to rise up the MAC career head coaching win list with 86 wins, which ranks third most in MAC history. Last year he surpassed former Toledo head coach, Gary Pinkel (73 career victories), former Bowling Green head coach Doyt Perry (77 career wins) and former Marshall head coach Bob Pruett (79 career wins) on this list. Solich arrived in Athens, Ohio in 2005 and now in his 12th season running the Bobcats program has garnered a bowl appearance in six of the previous 10 seasons. During his coaching career at Ohio, Solich has a record of 87-64.
EMU BOWL ELIGIBLE
Brogan Roback completed 37 of 71 passes for a career-high 468 yards and three touchdowns. Eastern Michigan beat Ball State on the road, 48-41. EMU is Bowl eligible for the first time since 1987. They presently stand at 6-4.
THREE MAC STUDENTS CLIMB CAREER RECORD BOOK
Three MAC seniors have the opportunity to continue to climb up the MAC career record book this 2016 season. Senior quarterbacks Cooper Rush (Central Michigan) and Zach Terrell (Western Michigan) rank among career leaders in total offense, attempts, completions, yards passing, touchdowns and completion percentage. Also, Western Michigan senior wide receiver Corey Davis set the MAC career receiving yards record on Oct. 1st with 72 yards receiving.