WMU Football Announces 2008 Gridiron Schedule

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Western Michigan football and the Mid-American

Conference announced the 2008 conference schedule this week and the

Broncos will play three of its West Division games in Waldo Stadium.

WMU will go back to an eight-game MAC schedule this upcoming season

with Ohio coming to Kalamazoo for Homecoming on Oct. 4 and Northern

Illinois opening the home slate on Sept. 6 for CommUniverCity Night.

WMU faces three postseason bowl participants in 2008, including

Illinois, which played USC in the Rose Bowl, and finished No. 20/18

in the Associated Press and USA Today/Coaches Polls, respectively.

As released earlier this year, Western Michigan will open 2008

playing its second Big 12 opponent in as many seasons when the

Broncos travel to Lincoln, Neb., to take on the Cornhuskers.

Nebraska was 6-6 during 2007, going 2-6 in the Big 12. WMU opens

the home and conference schedule with an early MAC West showdown

with Northern Illinois on CommUniverCity Night. The Brown & Gold

are 2-1 over the Huskies during head coach Bill Cubit’s time atWMU, including two-straight victories.

"We are excited about our 2008 schedule. The competition we will

face during the non-conference portion will prepare our team for an

always difficult MAC slate. Every team in the Mid-American

Conference brings something different each week and preparing for

that is our task as we head into the spring season and summer work

outs. Playing Illinois at Ford Field is also another great

opportunity to showcase our University to our fans and alumni all

across the state of Michigan," said Cubit.

Western Michigan follows its home opener with a game against Idaho

in Moscow, Idaho, on Sept. 13. It will be just the second meeting

ever between these teams from the MAC and the WAC (Western Athletic

Conference). The only other time was on Nov. 18, 1972, which

resulted in a 27-16 Bronco victory. After Idaho, WMU returns home

for a game against Tennessee Tech, a Division I FCS team out of the

Ohio Valley Conference. The Golden Eagles finished the regular

season 4-6 and lost, 38-24, Eastern Kentucky in the first round of

the 2007 OVC Playoffs. This and the NIU game will kick off at 7

p.m.

Temple is on the Broncos’ schedule for the third-straight season

with Western Michigan making its second trip to Lincoln Financial

Field. The game is scheduled for Sept. 27 and will be the team’s

first trip back to Philadelphia since the 2005 season when the

Broncos won on a late field goal, 19-16.

Ohio is the second team from the MAC East Division to appear on

WMU’s schedule in 2008 and is scheduled to be the Broncos’

Homecoming opponent. The Oct. 4 game will take place at 2 p.m. WMU

holds a slim 29-28-1 advantange in the all-time series against the

Bobcats, a team that advanced to the MAC Championship game in 2006

and its first bowl game since 1968 during the same season.

Western Michigan will alternate away and home games during the

first seven weeks of the upcoming season with the first back-to-back

away games coming during the second and third weeks of October when

the Broncos visiting Buffalo, the third and final MAC East opponent

on the schedule, on Oct. 11 and Central Michigan on Oct. 18. It

will be the first time WMU travels to Buffalo for a game since a

31-17 win in 2002. Eastern Michigan follows the Chippewas on Nov. 1

for Education Day presented by Educational Community Credit Union

(ECCU).

After WMU’s home game at Ford Field against Illinois on Nov. 8,

the Broncos will close out the 2008 regular season with a pair of

MAC West games. The home season finale takes place on Nov. 15 when

Toledo visits Waldo Stadium for Senior Day. The game, which kicks

off at 2 p.m., will also mark Western Michigan’s Salute to

Veterans ceremony. The Broncos are also 2-1 against the Rockets

under Cubit with wins coming during the past two seasons, including

a 42-28 victory in 2007, their first win in the Glass Bowl since

1988.

The Brown & Gold close out 2008 the same way it has six of the last

seven seasons, on the road. WMU will travel to Ball State on Nov.

25, two days before Thanksgiving. The Cardinals faced Rutgers in

the International Bowl this past season after the Broncos played in

the inaugural game in January of 2007.

The game against Illinois also marks a continued dedication to

competing against the Big Ten. Last season, WMU had its first Big

Ten team visit Waldo Stadium when Indiana was the opponent for the

home opener. The Broncos also traveled to Iowa in November, coming

away with a 28-19 victory. It will be the 10th time in as many

seasons that Western Michigan has faced a Big Ten opponent when the

Broncos take on Illinois at Ford Field.

"Western Michigan University and the Mid-American Conference have

worked very hard to put together a very attractive football schedule

for our fans, alumni and students in 2008," commented athletic

director Kathy Beauregard. "We are very excited to travel to

Nebraska for the first time in program history and we are equally

excited about the opportunity to work with Ford Field and the

University of Illinois for our game with the Illini on Nov. 8. As

always, we cannot be truly successful without our great fans and we

thank you for your loyal support of Western Michigan Athletics."

Western Michigan will announce the start time against Illinois at a

later date along with game times for all road contests. Game times

are subject to change so please visit www.wmubroncos.com for

updates. WMU football games to appear on television will also be

announced in the near future.

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