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Bronco football faces tough test at home in Northern Illinois


For WMU football score updates, text BRONCOS to 80373

KALAMAZOO (1660 THE FAN) – Recapping a second straight road loss at the weekly press luncheon Tuesday, head coach Bill Cubit said, “We battled, but you can’t turn the ball over that many times and expect to come out on top.” 

Six turnovers wrote the story in the Broncos’ 41-24 loss to the Kent State Golden Flashes.

“We’ve got to regroup, and we just got to rally because we have a tough opponent waiting for us.”

Western Michigan returns to Waldo Stadium this weekend to welcome Northern Illinois. The Huskies topped the Broncos 51-22 in last year’s game in DeKalb. The Huskies rushed for 494 yards last year, but with another year of experience, this Bronco defense is up to the task.

“We just weren’t equipped to handle what they gave us last year,” Cubit said. “Our defense can’t wear down Saturday, they have to stick to their assignments and be aggressive to stop their guys.

After a pair of road losses, the Broncos are ready to be back at home where they lead Northern Illinois in the overall series 13-6.

“Our guys are sick and tired of losing, so hopefully we have a mad football team Saturday that’s ready to finish the job.” Cubit added.

The other half of the equation in last weekend’s loss was the dropped passes. With the emergence of the rushing attack this season, a lot of the focus shifted away from the young receiving corps. Aside from Eric Monette and Josh Schaffer, the bulk of the receivers that will line up are sophomores or freshmen.

“We’ve got a lot of guys banged up, and you’ve got to play guys that might not be ready in this stage of their career, but that’s what has to happen.” Cubit commented on the youth of his group of receivers.

Junior Josh Schaffer has risen as the primary target for Tyler VanTubbergen. The pair hooked up for an 81-yard score last weekend, and Schaffer set personal records in passes caught (9) and receiving yards (151).

"We take responsibility for dropping those balls," Schaffer said, "We want to pick up our quarterback and get it right next time so he can continue to trust us." 

“We’re working with the younger guys getting them up to speed with drills in practice. They’ll be ready to step up and make the play when we need them.”

Game time Saturday is 12 pm. Join Robin Hook and John Creek 96.5 FM WKZO beginning at 11 am.