After a week off, the Western Michigan University football team returns to the field this weekend against Eastern Michigan University in its quest for the Michigan MAC Trophy. The Broncos are eight years removed from its last Michigan MAC Trophy, a trophy awarded annually to the Michigan Mid-American Conference School who finishes with the best head-to-head record between the three Michigan directional MAC rivals. The Eagles have won the Michigan MAC trophy two years in a row, but recently fired its head coach Ron English, in midst of a 1-8 season. WMU holds the overall advantage over the Eagles 29-17-2, but have lost the last two matchups including last year’s 29-23 defeat at Waldo Stadium, Bill Cubit’s last game as Bronco head coach.
Five Keys to Victory
1. Limit turnovers – Not only will WMU be going for back-to-back road wins for the first time since 2007 but they will also be looking for consecutive games without committing a turnover. The only team with a worst turnover margin in the Mid-American Conference than the Eagles (-8) are the Broncos at -12.
2. Score early – WMU has yet to lead at halftime this season. The Eagles an NCAA worst 45.6 points per game, one of many reasons head coach Ron English was fired on Friday.
3. Cut Down the penalties – Too many times this season the Broncos have had drives stalled or had opponents drive’s continued due to ill-timed penalties. WMU is 12th in the MAC in penalties.
4. Run the Ball – The Eagles rank last in the MAC in stopping the run. Brian Fields and Dareyon Chance are combining for over 100 yards per game. That number should rise dramatically against an EMU defense that is allowing over 260 yards on the ground per game.
5. Rest vs. Rust – It has been two weeks since the Broncos last took the field and while the time off was needed, it also brings out the chance of a slow start against the Eagles as they shake off the rust of having a week off. The Broncos must start face and continue the pace for 60 minutes.