WMU News

Broncos announce 2001 football schedule

March 15, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan begins defense of its Mid-American Conference West Division crown on Sept. 22 when Ball State visits Waldo Stadium. The contest is one of five home games on WMU's 2001 schedule.

The two-time MAC West Champion Broncos travel to Eastern Michigan (Sept. 29), Northern Illinois (Oct. 20) and Toledo (Nov. 6) in divisional showdowns prior to hosting arch-rival Central Michigan on Nov. 17.

WMU plays divisional crossover games against Akron (Oct. 6) and Bowling Green (Oct. 13) at Waldo Stadium before meeting Miami in a Peace Pipe Trophy game on Oct. 27 in Oxford, Ohio. The Broncos and RedHawks last met on the gridiron in 1994.

Western Michigan opens its 2001 campaign on Thursday, Aug. 30, against Illinois State with the popular CommUniverCity night contest. Road trips to Virginia Tech (Sept. 8) and Michigan (Sept. 15) continue a trend that has seen the Broncos take on nationally-recognized teams. In four prior seasons under Darnell, WMU has traveled to No. 4 Wisconsin (2000), No. 4 Florida (1999), Missouri (1999), Indiana (1998), Iowa (2000) and Michigan State (1997).

"This is one of the most challenging schedules in school history," said coach Gary Darnell. "If we want to continue to be a high profile program, we have to play teams of a national caliber."

Thurs., Aug. 30 7:30 p.m. Illinois State (CommUniverCity)
Sat., Sept. 8 1 p.m. at Virginia Tech
Sat., Sept. 15 TBA at Michigan
Sat., Sept. 22 6 p.m. Ball State* (Southwest Fest)
Sat., Sept. 29 6 p.m. at Eastern Michigan*
Sat., Oct. 6 TBA Akron* (Family Fest)
Sat., Oct. 13 1 p.m. Bowling Green* (Homecoming)
Sat., Oct. 20 1 p.m. at Northern Illinois*
Sat., Oct. 27 2 p.m. at Miami*
Tues., Nov. 6 8 p.m. at Toledo* (ESPN TV)
Sat., Nov. 17 1 p.m. Central Michigan* (Hall of Fame Day)

Asterisks are MAC contests. Schedules subject to change. Times are local starting time.

Schedule Notes

  • The Nov. 6 contest at Toledo will be played on a Tuesday night to accomodate ESPN television coverage of the game. The Broncos will attempt to end a six-game losing streak at Toledo, dating to 1988.
  • WMU and Michigan will square off for the first time since the 1943 season and just the third time ever.
  • WMU has never faced Virginia Tech.
  • Western Michigan has won12 of its last 13 games at Waldo Stadium. The Broncos are 17-3 at home in four seasons under coach Gary Darnell.
  • CommUniverCity Night has produced five of the 10 largest crowds in Waldo Stadium history, and the largest crowd in MAC history.

Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 616 387-4122, daniel.jankowski@wmich.edu

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