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KALAMAZOO (WQLR) – Three days removed from retaining the Cannon Trophy in Mt. Pleasant, the Western Michigan University football team is still letting the magnitude of the win settle in.
“It’s the best feeling I’ve ever had as a coach,” WMU head football coach Bill Cubit said of the Broncos’ 42-31 win over rival Central Michigan at the weekly press luncheon Tuesday. “It was great watching the kids be so excited, and for good reason. They accomplished something not a lot of football teams have here and that’s a big deal.” Cubit added.
The last time a WMU football team won in Mt. Pleasant was 2002, and 1973 before that. The amount of pressure that comes with that kind of history in a rivalry as heated as this one is not lost on the team.
“I feel like a weight has been lifted off of the season,” junior running back Dareyon Chance said, “It was special anyway, but being able to beat them on their turf made it that much sweeter.”
Leading by four with 2:26 to go in the game, Chance broke loose for a career-long 42-yard touchdown run, sealing the win for Western Michigan.
“On third and five, I begged Tyler to get me the ball,” Chance said breaking down how the final scoring play developed. “I knew I could get a first down, but then I had a lot more space to work with so I took it all the way.”
With two games remaining on the schedule, the Broncos need to win both in order to become bowl eligible. They turn around for a road trip to Buffalo to meet a Bulls team that hasn’t seen much success against Western Michigan since joining the MAC. Western Michigan holds a perfect 5-0 record over Buffalo, but still come with challenges for the Broncos.
“Defensively they’re quick, and they throw a lot of things at you,” Cubit said, “We have to execute our offense to our game plan or they can sneak up on you.”
Buffalo features a dynamic running back in junior Branden Oliver. Oliver rushed for 199 yards last week against Miami, and he’s on the radar of the Bronco defense.
“Oliver is a quick guy, and a great back,” Cubit said, “Our defense has to stay on their assignments to stop him.”
“I’m not worried about our team having trouble getting up for this game,” Cubit commented on the potential of a letdown after the big game last week. “This team has been down, and that’s not a place they’re going back to. This was the ultimate high and I think that’s where they want to stay.”
Kick off for Saturday’s game in Buffalo is 3:30 pm. Join Robin Hook and John Creek on 96.5 FM WKZO starting at 2:30.