Broncos Sports First Blog

  • Tyler VanTubbergen Named MAC Player Of The Week By Rivals.com

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO) – Rivals.com has named Broncos backup quarterback Tyler VanTubbergen MAC Player Of The Week after his 7 touchdown performance during the Broncos 68-19 victory over Akron last week.

    VanTubbergen made his first career start in place of Alex Carder, who was out with a separated should, and made the most of the opportunity, passing for 6 touchdowns on 19 of 21 and 252 yards. He also scored a rushing touchdown and ran for 60 yards. Before Friday’s game against Akron, the red shirt sophomore had thrown only 28 in limited action over the last two years.

    It was also announced on Monday that Broncos senior kick John Potter has been awarded the MAC West Special Teams Player Of The Week for the 4th time this season and 6th time in his career. Potter was successful on all 9 of his PATs, extending his consecutive PAT streak to a MAC record 126. For the season Potter has 99 points, the most ever by a kicker in Bronco history.

  • 5 Keys, Western Michigan Football Vs. Akron

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO) – Today at 1pm, the Western Michigan Football Team hosts the Akron Zips (1-10, 0-7 MAC), in the regular season finale for both teams. The Broncos look for their 7th win of the season and boost their resume in attempts to be being invited to a postseason bowl game.  A win against Akron would also give the Broncos a perfect 5-0 home record and would the 1th team in school history the team went undefeated at Waldo Stadium. Today is also senior day, as 20 seniors will be honored for their accomplishments during their time as Bronco Football Players.

    5 Keys:

    1. Take Akron Seriously – Despite their horrible record, the Broncos cannot overlook the Zips. Akron posts a 2-21 record over the last two years, including a 56-10 loss last season against Western. The Zips would like nothing more than to ruin the Broncos chances of attending a bowl game and a loss today would severely hinder that opportunity.

    2. Carder To White, Per Usual – In last year’s matchup against Akron, Carder threw for 372 yards in 5 touchdowns, including 168 yards to White and 2 touchdowns. It was announced earlier this week Jordan White was not named a Biletnikoff Award Finalist, despite leading the nation in receptions and receiving yards. Expect White to show voters today that they made a mistake leaving him off the finalist list.

    3. Continue To Get Pressure On The Quarterback – Last week against Miami (OH), the Broncos defense had 7 sacks. While I don’t expect the Zips offense to score many points, continued pressure on Akron’s quarterback Clayton Moore, will only make it more difficult for them to put points on the board

    4. Involve The Running Game – Akron is allowing 217 yards per game on the ground to opponents. We’ve seen all season that when Tevin Drake is given the opportunity to run the ball, he is successful. Drake has only 1 game of over 100 yards rushing and today is a perfect chance for him to get his 2nd 100 yard game of the season.

    5. Finish Strong – With only a handful of college football games scheduled Friday, bowl selection committees will be focused on what the Broncos will do today. A loss will all but eliminate the Broncos from post season consideration, but a blowout win would show why this team deserves to be in a bowl game.

    Prediction: WMU 56, Akron 10 

  • Two Bronco Football Players Suspended After Fight

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO) – After a fight broke out Tuesday Night outside Blaze Hookah Lounge in Kalamazoo, two Western Michigan Football players have been suspended for today’s matchup against Akron.

    4th year junior tight end Blake Hammond and redshirt freshman fullback Craig Smith were involved in the altercation and will not suit up for the Broncos regular season finale.

    ”I have spoken with those involved and suspended Calvin Smith and Blake Hammond for this week’s game versus Akron for violating team rules,” Cubit said. “As a football team and as a university, we look to our student-athletes to serve as role models. We will continue to gather information related to this incident and will follow up as needed, pending our review.”

    Two other Broncos, Paul Hazel and T.J. Lynch, were involved but not suspended because according to  Director of Athletic Media Relations Mat Kanan  “They (Hammond and Smith) were involved to a greater extent based on the facts we have.”

    According to Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley stated Wednesday the fight appears to have been over a young woman at the scene.

    “It sounds like the fight was between her very recent ex-boyfriend and the other guy she was with that night,” Hadley.

    No arrests were made and charges are not planned on being made.

  • VIDEO: WMU Head Hockey Coach Andy Murray, After Broncos 3-2 Shootout Win Over Notre Dame

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO) -- The #12 Western Michigan Broncos upset the 2nd ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish 3-2 in a shootout Tuesday Night at Lawson Arena. Chase Balisy scored the game winning goal during the shootout. The win over the Irish, snapped a 4 game losing streak for the Broncos. After the game, Broncos Head Coach Andy Murray spoke to the media about the win. 

  • VIDEO: WMU Head Coach Bill Cubit During Weekly Press Luncheon, Akron Week

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO) -- With the Broncos 24-21 victory over Miami (OH) last week, Head Coach Bill Cubit is now tied with Gary Darnell with 46 wins as the Broncos Head Coach. The win also made the Broncos bowl eligible for the 2nd straight year and the 5th time in the last 7 years. During the weekly media luncheon hosted by Webster's, Coach Cubit spoke about the Broncos win, the upcoming game against Akron, and about Jordan White being snubbed for the Biletnikoff Award.

  • VIDEO: WMU DT Drew Nowak, MAC West Defensive Player Of The Week

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO) -- After recording 2.5 sacks against Miami (OH) during the Broncos 24-21, Western Michigan senior defensive tackle Drew Nowak was named MAC West Defensive Player Of The Week. For the season, Nowak ranks 3rd on the team in tackles (74) and first in sacks (6.5) and tackles for loss (15). This week during the weekly media luncheon hosted by Webster's, Nowak spoke with the media about his performance against Miami (OH) and what it will be like on Friday as he and 19 other seniors will wear Bronco Brown and Gold for the last time at Waldo Stadium. 

  • This Could Still Be The Greatest Bronco Football Team Ever

    Posted by Zeke

    KALAMAZOO, MI(WKZO)-- Sounds crazy huh? This team could still go down as the greatest football team in Western Michigan history? The up and down play of this year's team may make some think otherwise, but lets take a walk down memory lane.

    That defense that went missing for stretches on in this season? You mean the one that held Denard Robinson scoreless and Illinois to only 23 points? Or the one that clamped down when they needed to vs UConn, causing a game ending turnover and completely shutdown Central Michigan's offense, is that who you speak of?

    And what about the offense that couldn't score two touchdowns vs Eastern Michigan? You're talking about the one that has the number one receiver in the nation lining up for them with the 8th ranked passing attack behind him? Or the one that scored 63 vs Toledo and embarrased Central Michigan? Maybe you mean the one that won the coin toss, elected to receive and marched the ball down Michigan's throat on the opening drive of the season in the Big House. Correct?

    Oh, did you forget? Most people probably have. With bad losses to Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois, it'd be easy to forget how this team showed up and made the city of Kalamazoo proud with their efforts at Michigan or how this is the same team got that win we all wanted so bad vs Central Michigan University for the first time in years. Some may have even forgotten about the win vs defending Big East champion UConn, at UConn. I'm glad I could remind you.

    As far as where this team will rank in school history, lets look at the record books. Western Michigan's best single season records were 9-4(1988,2008) and 9-3(2000). Assuming that this year's team wins their last game vs Akron and they're expected bowl game vs whoever-it-may be, this team would finish at 8-5, one game behind the all time best records in school history.

    Keep in mind, of those 5 losses would include two to Big Ten teams on the road, one in which they lost by three to Illinois who was ranked 24th in the nation at the time. Three of their five losses were by a combined 10 points.

    Going 8-5 would mean coach Bill Cubit would have led WMU to three of it's first four bowl games. It would also mean Western Michigan has it's first bowl game victory in school history. Not even the teams with better records could say that.

    With how ugly things have seemed at times this year, it may be hard to think about but how could it be argued otherwise? How much better is a 9-4 season with no bowl game victory be than an 8-5 season with a bowl victory?

    Just something to think about.

  • Poor Start Dooms Broncos, Fall To Temple 69-55

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO (WKZO) – Temple scored the first 9 points of the game and after 10 minutes were up 23-6, as the Owls cruised over the Broncos to a 69-55 victory in the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

    Michael Eric led the Owls with a double-double, 12 points and 15 rebounds. His 15 rebounds were a career high.

    Broncos sophomore center Matt Stainbrook finished with 14 points after scoring a career high 32 during the Broncos last game against South Dakota State.  Stainbrook also had 12 rebounds. Flenard Whitfield added 11 points.

    Once again it was poor shooting that doomed the Broncos, as they shot only 34.5% percent from the field and 21.4% from behind the arc.

    The Owls went into halftime up 37-23.

    During the 2nd half the Broncos cut the lead to 12 at 46-34 with 13:33 left in the game, but back to back 3 pointers from Juan Fernandez built the Owls lead back up to 18, and led by as much as 22.

    With the loss the Broncos drop to 0-2 and will next face the loser of the Purdue/Ionia matchup on Friday at 3:30pm.

    GAME NOTES: Freshmen Austin Richie and Hayden Hoerdermann scored 5 and 3 points respectively…WMU outrebounded Temple 39-35…Demetrius Ward led the Broncos in assists with 4…Mike Douglas struggled from the floor, missing all 7 shots he attempted and scored only 1 point…Coach Steve Hawkins was called for a technical foul in the 2nd half, his second in as many games.

  • WMU Football: Now Is The Time To Put It All Together

    Posted by Zeke

    KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO) -- Coming off a a 66-63 loss to Toledo last week, the Western Michigan Broncos are looking to bounce back vs an equally inconsitant team in Miami of Ohio. Sitting at 5-5 with two games left, the Broncos have no more room for error. The fact that the last game of the season comes against MAC cellar dwellar, Akron, makes this a must win for the Broncos.

    Last week, all three facets of the team failed at one point or another. The offense stalled out at crucial times in the second half, the defense couldn't slow down Toledo's high powered offense, and the special teams missed a crucial field goal that would'vs made it a tie game. That means that today would be a great time for all three facets to play as one and be the team we thought they could be.

    The Redhawks are coming off a successful season last year but at the same time, their 4-6 record proves they are not last year's team. Long story short, this is a team that Western should beat and if they play the type of football they are capable of playing, they should beat this team convincingly.

    Western's passing game is ranked eigth in the nation, that alone should be enough to win this game but thats easier said than done. Miami only gives up an average of 23 points per game. Conversely, the Broncos are facing the worst rushing team they've faced in weeks, Miami only rushes for an average of roughly 77 yards a game which is a great thing for a defense thats had trouble stopping the run. The Redhawks are 21st in the nation in passing yards per game, averaging 280 a game which means this could turn into a shootout.

    Miami has beaten the teams they were supposed to and lost to the teams they were supposed to, Western on the other hand has lost some they should've won and vice versa. With this talented Bronco team one game away from being bowl eligible and playing on ESPN2 for the whole nation to see, this would be the perfect time for them to show what they can do.

    So far, the words "missed opportunities" could be used to describe this season. With two games left, and one of them being against Akron, this has to be looked at as the last opportunity for them to prove themselves and they'll have the national stage to do it on.

    The Broncos play Miami of Ohio on ESPN2 tonight at Yager Stadium at 8 pm.

  • Jordan White Named a Biletnikoff Semifinalist

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO) – Jordan White along with 9 other college wide receivers has been named to the semifinalist list for the 2011 Biletnikoff Award by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation. This is the second year in a row White has been named a semifinalist.  

    White has 1,402 receiving yards, and 111 receptions, tops in the nation.

    The other 2011 Biletnikoff Award Semifinalists are: Keenan Allen (California), Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma State), Ryan Broyles (Oklahoma), Patrick Edwards (Houston), Michael Floyd (Notre Dame), A.J. Jenkins (Illinois), Sammy Watkins (Clemson) Robert Woods (Southern Cal)and Kendall Wright (Baylor).

    The next vote for the three finalists will open November 16th and close on November 20th. 

    The presentation of the Biletnikoff Award will be featured on The Home Depot College Football Awards live on Thursday, Dec. 8, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.  The show, hosted by ESPN's Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard will feature the live presentation of nine player awards, along with the recipients of Disney's Spirit Award; The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award, the NCFAA (National College Football Awards Association) Contributions to College Football Award; and student-athletes selected to the Walter Camp All-America Team.  Fans can visit the show's dedicated Web site at www.espncollegefootballawards.com to find the latest college football awards news, including show details, previous winners, fan voting, a photo gallery and video highlights.

  • Three Broncos Named MAC POTW

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO) – Despite losing 66-63 to Toledo last Tuesday, three Western Michigan football players have been named to the MAC West Division Players of the Week. Alex Carder and Jordan White split the award for offense and John Potter won for special teams.

    Junior quarterback Alex Carder threw for a school record 548 yards and seven TDs and rushed for another. Carder threw TD passes to five different receivers, as he topped his previous record for passing yards in game by 69 yards and eclipsed the 400-yard mark in a game for the third time this season.  His passing total was the 2nd highest in MAC history and his 7 TDs were tied for the most in MAC history.  His 548 yards were the most thrown in a game in FBS this season.  This is the 2nd time Carder has been named MAC POTW

    Senior wide receiver Jordan White tied the Bronco record, along with Greg Jennings, with 16 receptions and recorded 238, receiving yards in a game.  White also became Western Michigan's career receiving yards leader (3,678) as well as single season record holder for receptions (111) and receiving yards (1,402).  It was the third time in program history a Western Michigan receiver had over 200 yards receiving in a game and the first since Greg Jennings accomplished the feat in five overtimes in 2005.  His 18th 100-yard receiving game is more than any other Bronco receiver in program history. White has now been named MAC POTW 5 times in 2011.

    At Toledo, senior kicker John Potter made a career high nine PATs, ranking second in a game in program history.  Potter became the MAC's record holder for consecutive PATs made in a career, passing Miami's John Scott (1995-98) and now holds the mark at 114.  His nine points gives him 81 points in 2011, the sixth most in a season in program history and ties Brad Selent (1997-2000) for the most points in a career in program history. Potter has been named MAC POTW 3 times in 2011.

  • Stainbrook's 32 Points Not Enough, Broncos Fall 82-76 To Jackrabbits.

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    Brookings, SD (WKZO) – Despite Matt Stainbrook scoring a career high 32 points, the Broncos couldn’t hold onto a halftime lead as they dropped their opening game of the season, to the South Dakota State Jackrabbits 82-76.

    Stainbrook scored 19 points in the first half, as he saw extended time on the court, as Flenard Whitfield got himself into early foul trouble. Stainbrook also had 7 rebounds as he topped his career high of 18, set last season against Northern Illinois.

    The Broncos took a 1 point lead into the half, 36-35, but the Jackrabbits pulled away down the stretch, eventually outscored the Broncos 37-23 over the last 12 minutes.

    “Against a team like South Dakota we weren’t tough enough,” Head Coach Steve Hawkins said following the game. “They are a very talent team. Make no mistake they were picked to finish as high as second in their league for a reason.”

    The Broncos missed key free throws, and went only 9-19 from the charity stripe in the 2nd half.

    “We just missed too many free throws,” Coach Hawkins said. “We had a chance to keep leads or catch up with free throws, just wasn’t our day from the free throw line, that’s for sure.”

    The struggles from the free throw line weren’t the Broncos only problem, as they failed to hit from downtown making only 2 from beyond the arc on 15 attempts.

    Demetrious Ward finished in double figures, adding 16 points and so did Mike Douglas with 14