Broncos Sports First Blog

  • WMU hockey ready for St. Lawrence to open 2012 season

    Posted by Carolyn Binder

    Note: For WMU hockey score updates, text BRONCOS to 80373

    KALAMZOO (1660 THE FAN) -- Skating to a 2-2 draw in Saturday’s exhibition with Western Ontario at Lawson Ice Arena, the Western Michigan hockey team officially kicked off their regular season at their weekly press conference Monday.

    Second year head coach Andy Murray said of Saturday’s effort, “I thought the game against Western Ontario was a good one for our team, they’re a tough team and a good challenge for us,” citing the defensive effort of the Broncos that held the Mustangs to 20 shots on goal.

    Western Michigan tallied 46 shots on goal, but only capitalized twice.

    “We would have liked to have some better results offensively in the game, but those are coachable moments as we prepare for St. Lawrence.” 

    Junior Forward Chase Balisy said that despite losing leaders from last year’s CCHA championship team, this year’s team has guys that know what it takes to accomplish their goals. Defending their first CCHA title since 1986 and in their last year in the CCHA, the three goals remain the same.

    “Win a regular season title, the CCHA tournament, and the NCAA tournament,” said Balisy, “We accomplished one of those three last year and we’re ready for the challenge this season.”

    The Broncos open the regular season at home against the St. Lawrence Saints. The two teams last met in 2010, splitting the series in Canton, NY. The high-octane St. Lawrence offense is led by Junior wing Greg Carey. Carey, a freshman at the time, tallied a hat trick against the Broncos. All three goals came in the second period on the way to a 3-3 OT draw on October 23, 2010.

    The first of two games this weekend at Lawson is Friday night at 7:00. Follow the Broncos all season long on WKZO.

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    WMU Hockey Andy Murray

  • Broncos ready to bounce back against UMass

    Posted by Carolyn Binder

    Note: For in game WMU score updates, text BRONCOS to 80373

    KALAMAZOO (1660 THE FAN) – Taking stock of the Broncos’ 37-17 loss to Toledo in the MAC opener last weekend, there is little room for “doom and gloom” from their head coach. Speaking at the weekly press luncheon, Coach Cubit said “We have to get our kids back to basics, and playing good football.” 

    Emphasizing his team’s inability to stop Toledo’s rushing attack Saturday, Cubit added, “We put ourselves in a 17-0 hole, and that’s a lot of pressure on our offense”. 

    Junior quarterback Tyler VanTubbergen made his first start under center since November 25, 2011 on Saturday. He set personal records for passing attempts (46), completions (26) and yards (232). When asked about his approach to this week’s game against UMass, he said, “My game management will be better with a start under my belt.”

    VanTubbergen said the three interceptions he threw Saturday had “nothing to do with preparation during the week, I just missed those throws,” adding, “The comfort level with my receivers is there this week.” VanTubbergen will be the starter this weekend as Alex Carder continues to recover from hand surgery. Coach Cubit said Carder will have pins removed in 10 days to two weeks and then begin rehab.

    Monday’s practice was spent looking at game film and mentally preparing for their first ever meeting with the UMass Minutemen. UMass is 0-5, but Coach Cubit noted, “That team has shown a lot of growth against Miami of Ohio on the road, and gave a scare to Ohio last week. 0-5 doesn’t mean anything to me.”

    Kickoff is 2 pm at Waldo Stadium. Join Robin Hook and John Creek at 1 pm on 96.5 FM WKZO.

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    Coach Bill Cubit

  • Offensive miscues costly for WMU in MAC opener

    Posted by Carolyn Binder

    Note: For in game WMU score updates, text BRONCOS to 80373

    KALAMAZOO (1660 THE FAN) – In a re-match of last year’s record 66-63 shootout in Toledo, the Rockets scored early and often Saturday night, topping Western Michigan at Waldo Stadium 37-17.

    Click here to watch the post game press conference. 

    Making his first start since November 25, 2011, junior quarterback Tyler VanTubbergen failed to complete a pass in the opening quarter. His struggles set the tone for WMU’s offense that finished with four turnovers in the game, including three interceptions.

    On a night that the offensive game plan was in need of the run, the Bronco rushing attack finished with 173 yards on 30 attempts, but struggled to finish in short third-down situations. WMU finished 9-17 on third down conversions.

    After the game, Coach Cubit said, “that played a factor in choosing whether to run or pass on third down, and you like to have that option.”

    Toledo took their opening drive 67 yards on eight plays to start their scoring on a David Fluellen six yard rush. Fluellen carved up the Bronco defense for 213 yards on 21 carries. He added a 53 yard score in the first, and found the end zone again in the third from 22 yards out.

    VanTubbergen hooked up with Jaime Wilson in the second quarter from 22 yards out to get the Broncos on the board, but they were already in a 20 point hole.

    The third quarter was a bright spot for the Broncos. A WMU punt turned into two points for Western when Donald Celiscar tackled Dwight Macon in the end zone, pulling the score to 20-9. Following a pair of Toledo touchdowns, Brian Fields added a highlight-reel score of his own, breaking free for a 48-yard rushing touchdown. The score was the longest rushing touchdown for the team this season.

    The loss breaks Western’s consecutive home winning streak, which dates back to 2010. They will look to start a new streak next Saturday hosting UMass for Homecoming.

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  • Bronco football has new look

    Posted by Carolyn Binder

    As WMU opens MAC play Saturday at home against Toledo, they will be sporting a new look.

    Introduced to the team Monday night, the new uniforms feature Tech Fit technology from Adidas, and the helmet is a metal pattern with the Bronco logo used from 1998-2010.

     

    The team gave the new alternate uniforms two thumbs up:

    The WMU Athletic department is getting the fans involved too. A wearable replica helmet will be handed out to the first 5,000 students through the gates at Saturday night's game. Kick off is 7:00 pm at Waldo Stadium.

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  • Record day lifts WMU over UConn for second straight year

    Posted by Carolyn Binder

    Note: For in game WMU score updates, text BRONCOS to 80373

    KALAMAZOO (1660 THE FAN) – Western Michigan is no stranger to tough non-conference opponents. Playing their third BCS qualifier team in four games, the Broncos were solid from beginning to end defeating the Connecticut Huskies 30-24.

    Despite gaining 90 less yards of offense, the Broncos made every yard count putting the first 17 points on the board. Western finished with 330 total yards compared to UConn’s 425.  

    Freshman place-kicker Andrew Haldeman nailed a 44-yard field goal on the Broncos opening drive to start the scoring. Antoin Scriven punched in a 1-yard run in the second quarter to give WMU a 10-0 lead. Dareyon Chance tallied his longest run of the day on the next drive, adding a 9-yard score on the ground to extend the Broncos lead to 17-0.

    Alex Carder finished with 237 yards and a touchdown on 18-for-37 passing. He left the game late in the third quarter with a hand injury. After the game, he said he hit a helmet on his follow through and will need to be evaluated.

    Carder found a rhythm with Josh Schaeffer and Jaime Wilson. The pair of receivers combined for 104 and 100 yards respectively, the first time that two receivers reached 100 yards in a game since 2009. Josh Schaffer’s third quarter touchdown put the Broncos up 24-7.  Wilson has reached 100 yards in three consecutive games.

     

    Dareyon Chance had a slower game than his last, but 66 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown led the Western rushing attack that finished with 77 yards.

    After the game, Coach Cubit said “Dareyon was a little quiet compared to last week, but his 66 yards were crucial to our win”.

    Western’s defense stood tall once again, sacking Husky quarterback Chandler Whitmer six times, and forced two turnovers. The play of the game came at the 7:12 mark of the final quarter when Desmond Bozeman broke free off the line, forcing a fumble and taking it in for a touchdown. The extra point attempt failed, but the touchdown put the Broncos up 30-17.

     UConn found the end zone late in the fourth quarter on a 7-yard pitch and catch from Whitmer to Geremy Davis.

    The win is Western’s second consecutive over UConn, and the first over a BCS opponent at Waldo Stadium. The Broncos open up MAC play against Toledo next weekend at home.

     

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  • Late offense not enough for Broncos in Minnesota

    Posted by Carolyn Binder

    Note: For in game WMU score updates, text BRONCOS to 80373

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN (1660 THE FAN) – In their second Big Ten tilt in three weeks on the road, Western Michigan nearly rebounded from an 11-point deficit to the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Broncos outscored Minnesota 13-7 in the second half, but fell by a final score of 28-23. 

    Senior quarterback Alex Carder finished 24-for-44 on the day for 209 yards and a touchdown. After opening the game on a field goal, a first quarter interception stalled Western’s chance to add to their lead in the first quarter.

    Jaime Wilson was Carder’s primary target, hauling in 10 receptions for 117 yards. A 10 yard touchdown strike from Carder to Wilson late in the fourth quarter pulled the Broncos to within 5 points. Josh Schaffer caught four passes good for 42 yards, and tight end Blake Hammond registered three catches for 26 yards.

    Determined to mix in the running attack, the Broncos found success on the ground recording 165 of their 374 total yards on 38 attempts. Dareyon Chance led the way with 144 yards on 29 carries and a touchdown. Antoin Scriven added a score from a yard out in the third quarter putting the Broncos within a score at 21-17.

    Western’s defense held Minnesota to 5-of-11 on third down tries, and forced two Gopher turnovers. Dual-threat quarterback Marqueis Gray was held to 3-of-6 passing for 29 yards and a touchdown, and 57 yards rushing on 11 carries before exiting the game in the second quarter after being sacked by Trevonte Boles and Freddie Bishop.

    Gray was replaced by sophomore Max Shortell who dominated with 188 yards on 10-of-17 passing with three touchdowns and an interception.

    Western Michigan falls to 1-2 on the year, 0-2 in both Big Ten road games while Minnesota improves to 3-0, 2-0 at TCF Bank Stadium. The Broncos return home next Saturday to host Connecticut. Western defeated UConn in Hartford last year 38-31.

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  • Week 3 Preview: WMU prepares for second Big Ten tilt of 2012 in Minnesota

    Posted by Carolyn Binder

    KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO) – Western Michigan University athletics held its weekly press luncheon for WMU football on Tuesday. The Broncos are coming off a 52-21 win against Eastern Illinois on Saturday in the first game at Waldo Stadium this season. 

    With a game against Minnesota upcoming, head coach Bill Cubit said his squad still has a few things to work on.

    “There’s a lot of room for improvement,” Cubit said. “I think there are some good things, but there are a lot of things we need to clean up.”

    The Broncos offense was impressive on Saturday. Quarterback Alex Carder threw for 364 yards and five touchdowns in the game, giving him his twelfth career game with at least 300 yards passing. His performance against the Panthers was a dramatic turnaround from the first game of the season in which Carder struggled against a tough Illinois’ defense.

    Cubit said Carder may have felt the pressure to make too many plays in the season opener.

    “I think the first game Carder tried to do way too much,” Cubit said. “He tried to win the game by himself.”

    However, Cubit said Carder’s following game at home proved to be a huge improvement.

    “I was surprised by how many yards we threw for, because it didn’t even seem like that from the sidelines,” he said. “(Carder) looked better and I think he felt better, too.”

    Cubit said he was disappointed with the running game against Eastern Illinois and wants to improve upon that moving forward.

    “We tried to put it on Brian (Fields), but he fumbled twice,” Cubit said. “You just can’t do that. You just can’t fumble the ball. You just can’t put the ball on the ground, especially with the way we’re trying to play offense.”

    Senior tight end Blake Hammond had his first multi-touchdown game of his career, bringing in two touchdown catches against Eastern Illinois.

    Hammond said his offense is looking to improve the way they change their plays going forward.

    “In great offenses, versatility is the name of the game,” Hammond said. “Not necessarily running different plays, just running those plays out of different formations.”

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  • Broncos poised for Big Ten in season opener

    Posted by Carolyn Binder

    Note: For in game WMU football score updates, text BRONCOS to 80373

    CHAMPAIGN, IL (WKZO) -- The Western Michigan Broncos open their season in Champaign taking on the Fighting Illini today at 12:00 pm.  WMU is 1-3 against the Illini, and 1-1 under head coach Bill Cubit. Western looks for it's first opening season win against a Big Ten team since 1988.  Robin Hook has the call begining at 11:00 am on FM 96.5 WKZO.  

    Robert Cash and Carolyn Binder are in Champaign to bring you live in-game updates and full post game coverage on WKZO.com.

     

     

    WMU and Illinois warm up at Memorial Stadium

     

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  • 8/9 Sports Update

    Posted by Zeke

    KALAMAZOO, MI-- 1660thefan reporter, Zeke Trezevant's sports Update for Thursday August 9th 2012.

    8/9 Sports Update

  • 2012 Western Michigan University Football Position Preview- Kickers and Punters

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    With the graduation of the Broncos all-time leading scorer and most accurate PAT kicker, and a punter who averaged 41 yards per punt last season, WMU Head Coach Bill Cubit biggest area of weakness heading into the 2012 season is with his kicking game.  

    Cubit laughed slightly when asked about the kicking situation, but maybe only to hide his fear that his special teams unit could be in severe trouble in 2012.  

     “Thank goodness we don’t play (Illinois) tomorrow, because we need a lot of work!”

    Gone from last year’s team are four year starters, placekicker John Potter and punter Ben Armer. Potter, now a member of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, leaves Western as the MAC record holder with 129 consecutive successful PATs, and the Broncos all-timer leading scorer with 333 points. Potter also made contributions on special teams, recording 36 tackles in four years.  Ben Armer averaged 41 yards per punt in 2011, with 21 of 42 punts landing inside the 20.

    Coach Cubit knows and understands how difficult the loss of these two players could be for his team.

    “It’s huge”, Cubit said. “A lot of people don’t look at how big of a loss they are for us.”   

    Attempting to replace Potter’s golden foot will be redshirt freshman Andrew Halderman.  Halderman struggled during spring ball but looked more comfortable as the spring wore on. But the field goal kicking team is still a work in progress

    “The PAT and field goal, that’s going to take some time.  However, Andrew is a lot better now than he was in the spring, which is good.”

    Incoming freshman J Schroeder will take over the punting duties, but also has the ability to kick field goals and be used for kickoffs. As a senior in high school the Columbus, Ohio native was successful on 11 of 14 field goal attempts, while 73% of his kickoffs resulted in touch backs.

    “I think Schroeder will be good for us, I like what he’s done”       

  • 2012 Western Michigan Football Team Position Preview- Quarterbacks

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    At the beginning of the 2010 football season, one of the biggest question facing the Bronco football team was how would Alex Carder perform after replacing Tim Hiller at the quarterback position? Fast forward to 2012 and now the question is who goes down as the better quarterback in Bronco history, Carder or Hiller?

    As of right now Hiller has the edge, but after what Carder did last year, in 5 months from now that might not be the case.

    During the 2011 season Carder not only broke the WMU record for passing yards in a game, he did it twice. He did it first against UConn with 478 yards, then broke his own record a few weeks later with 548 yards against Toledo. He also set a WMU and MAC record with 7 touchdown passes against Toledo.

    The numbers Carder put up in 2011 were impressive and people are starting to take notice. Carder has already been named to four preseason watch list including the Davey O’Brien Award for the best quarterback in college football, the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, the All State Sugar Bowl's Manning Award and most recently the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.

    And while the records, preseason award lists, and being mentioned in the same sentence as Hiller are nice, Carder has something else on his mind, becoming the first WMU quarterback to lead his team to a MAC Championship in 24 years.

    “I didn’t think a whole lot about becoming the greatest quarterback in WMU history”, Carder said. “Living up to Tim’s expectations is something I’ve been trying to do since I’ve been a starter here. Just to be in the same conversation as him is an honor. But I’d like to be the first Bronco quarterback to win a MAC Title in the 21st century.”

    A MAC Title would put the debate into Carder’s favor, however the hope now for Western is that Carder doesn’t fall off the same way Hiller did during his senior season. Hiller still had a good senior year but his numbers and team record declined from his junior season. However, head coach Bill Cubit doesn’t see history repeating itself with Carder’s senior year.

    “Tim was a great player but sometimes you try to do much”, Coach Cubit said. “Alex has more weapons around him and a better defense, so I don’t see that happen, I only see him getting better.”

    However, questions do still surround the Shawnee, Kansas native. Carder has been blessed with some amazing talent at the wide receiver position during his first two seasons as the Broncos starting QB. But gone from last year’s team are the Broncos top three wide receivers Jordan White, Chleb Ravenell and Robert Arnheim.  The trio combined for 269 receptions, 3452 yards and 30 touchdowns. Eric Monette, Josh Shaffer, and JuCo transfer Darrin Duncan most likely will be the top three receivers on the 2012 team, but they have nowhere near the talent as White, Ravenell and Arnheim. 

    Carder also had issues last year where he would make throws that left you scratching your head as to what was he thinking, especially when it came to closing out games. He made poor decisions in losses against Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Toledo and in the Little Caesar’s Bowl against Purdue that potentially cost the team victories.

    So the main question will be is Carder this good or was he the product of having great wide receivers? Only time will tell. However, if Carder does struggle the Broncos have a potential future star in waiting.

    Junior Tyler VanTubbergen almost transferred after his freshman year and how could you blame him? He knew that unless Carder got injured his chances of seeing the playing field would be limited to garbage time at the end of games. After speaking with Coach Bill Cubit VanTubbergen decided to stick around Kalamazoo and wait for his opportunity. And in the final regular season game of the year his chance finally came.

    Not only did VanTubbergen complete 19 of 21 passes, he also threw for six touchdown passes as the Broncos crushed Akron 68-19. Not too bad for a guy who had only attempted 28 passes in two seasons prior.

    While it’s easy to look at the numbers VanTubbergen put up against Akron and be very impressed, don’t get it confused, there is no QB controversy at WMU.

    “Unless Alex gets hurt or really screws up he’s the starter, but we know we have a great breakup (VanTubbergen) that could play for a lot of teams”, Coach Cubit said.

    Behind Carder and VanTubbergen on the depth chart there are some more young impressive arms. Redshirt junior Zach Wynn will most likely be the 3rd QB and incoming freshmen Anthony Maddie and Zach Terrell will be redshirted.

    “Maddie and Terrell have ability”, Cubit said. “They can do a lot of different things. Zach looked really comfortable out there on during the first day of practice. Anthony’s talent is a little bit different. If we played Anthony we would be a lot of different things.”  

  • Broncos kick off 2012 season with first practice

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    Kalamazoo, MI (WKZO) -- Monday was the official start of the 2012 football season for the Western Michigan University Football team as the Broncos held their first team practice. Head coach Bill Cubit enters his 8th season with the Broncos. Last year WMU finished 7-6 and went to their first bowl game since 2008. This year the Broncos are led by senior quarterback Alex Carder, who broke the WMU record for most passing yards during the 2011 campaign. WMU opens the season Sept 1st at Illinois. This upcoming week we will break down each position. On Tuesday quarterbacks and special teams will be the focus. Check out the Broncos Sports First blog on WKZO.com for coverage of the 2012 Broncos Football Team.