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2016 Western Michigan Broncos football team

The 2016 Western Michigan Broncos football team represented Western Michigan University (WMU) in the 2016 NCAA Division I FBS football season. They were led by fourth-year head coach P. J. Fleck and played their home games at Waldo Stadium as a member of the West Division of the Mid-American Conference (MAC). The Broncos completed their regular season undefeated and won the MAC West Division title. The Broncos finished conference play defeating the Ohio Bobcats 29–23 in the 2016 MAC Championship Game, winning the school's first MAC championship title since 1988. WMU received an invitation to the 2017 Cotton Bowl as the highest rated Group of Five team in the College Football Playoff (CFP). It was the first major-bowl appearance in school history (and second for a MAC team). The Broncos also won 10 games in a season for the first time in their 111-year football history. They lost to the No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers in the New Years Six bowl game, 24–16.

2016 Western Michigan Broncos football
Western Michigan Athletics wordmark.svg
MAC champion
MAC West Division champion
MAC Championship, W 29–23 vs. Ohio
ConferenceMid-American Conference
DivisionWest Division
Ranking
CoachesNo. 18
APNo. 15
2016 record13–1 (8–0 MAC)
Head coachP. J. Fleck (4th season)
Offensive coordinatorKirk Ciarrocca (4th season)
Defensive coordinatorEd Pinkham (4th season)
Home stadiumWaldo Stadium
(capacity: 30,200)
Seasons
← 2015
2017 →
2016 Mid-American Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
East Division
Ohio xy   6 2         8 6  
Miami x   6 2         6 7  
Akron   3 5         5 7  
Bowling Green   3 5         4 8  
Kent State   2 6         3 9  
Buffalo   1 7         2 10  
West Division
No. 15 Western Michigan xy$   8 0         13 1  
Toledo   6 2         9 4  
Northern Illinois   5 3         5 7  
Eastern Michigan   4 4         7 6  
Central Michigan   3 5         6 7  
Ball State   1 7         4 8  
Championship: Western Michigan 29, Ohio 23
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
  • y – Championship game participant
Rankings from AP Poll

WMU received its first national top 25 ranking after they beat rival Central Michigan and was No. 25 in the Coaches Poll. Following its first win over Northern Illinois since 2008, the Broncos were ranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time in school history at No. 24 in week seven.[1] The Broncos debuted in the CFP poll at No. 23. They finished the regular season ranked 18th in the Coaches Poll and 15th in the AP Poll.

Contents

Previous seasonEdit

In 2015, the Broncos finished the season 8–5 overall and 6–2 in MAC play to finish in a three-way tie for first in the West Division. Due to tiebreakers, they did not qualify for the conference championship game. They were invited to the Bahamas Bowl where they defeated Middle Tennessee.

ScheduleEdit

The following table lists WMU schedule.[2]

DateTimeOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
September 3Noonat Northwestern*ESPNUW 22–2130,635
September 107:00 pmNorth Carolina Central*ESPN3W 70–2123,727
September 174:00 pmat Illinois*ESPNewsW 34–1040,954
September 247:00 pmGeorgia Southern*
  • Waldo Stadium
  • Kalamazoo, MI
ESPN3W 49–3117,208[3]
October 17:00 pmat Central MichiganCBSSNW 49–1030,411[4]
October 86:30 pmNorthern Illinois 
  • Waldo Stadium
  • Kalamazoo, MI
CBSSNW 45–3028,042[5]
October 153:30 pmat AkronNo. 24CBSSNW 41–011,321[6]
October 223:30 pmEastern MichiganNo. 20
  • Waldo Stadium
  • Kalamazoo, MI (Michigan MAC Trophy)
ASNW 45–3123,721[7]
November 18:00 pmat Ball StateNo. 17ESPN2W 52–205,614
November 87:30 pmat Kent StateNo. 14ESPN2W 37–214,536
November 193:30 pmBuffaloNo. 14
ESPNUW 38–026,136
November 255:00 pmToledoNo. 14
  • Waldo Stadium
  • Kalamazoo, MI
ESPN2W 55–3524,191
December 27:00 pmvs. OhioNo. 13ESPN2W 29–2345,615
January 2, 20171:00 pmvs. No. 8 Wisconsin*No. 12ESPNL 16–2459,615
  • *Non-conference game
  •  Homecoming
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to game
  • All times are in Eastern time

Coaching staffEdit

The following table lists the team's coaching staff.[8]

Name Position Year at WMU Alma mater
P. J. Fleck Head coach 4th Northern Illinois (2004)
Kirk Ciarrocca Offensive coordinator 4th Temple (1990)
Ed Pinkham Defensive coordinator, defensive backs 4th Allegheny (1975)
Kenni Burns Running backs 1st Indiana (2006)
Brian Callahan Offensive line 4th Eastern Illinois (1992)
David Duggan Linebackers 1st New Hampshire (1986)
Bill Kenney Tight ends, offensive tackles 4th Norwich (1982)
Matt Simon Wide receivers 3rd Northern Illinois (2004)
Rob Wenger Special teams, defensive ends 4th Colgate (2008)
Jimmy Williams Defensive line 1st Nebraska (1982)

RosterEdit

2016 Western Michigan Broncos football

Quarterback

  •  1 Alex Mussat –   Freshman (6′2, 205)
  •  9 Brendan Tabone – Freshman (6′0, 186)
  • 11 Zach Terrell  Senior (6′2, 204)
  • 13 Tom Flacco – Sophomore (6′0, 199)
  • 15 Jon Wassink –   Freshman (6′2, 200)

Tailback

  •  3 Fabian Johnson – Senior (5′7, 204)
  •  5 Levante Bellamy – Sophomore (5′9, 185)
  • 22 Davon Tucker –   Freshman (5′8, 205)
  • 28 Matt Falcon – Freshman (6′1, 210)
  • 31 Jarvion Franklin – Junior (6′0, 228)
  • 32 Jamauri Bogan –   Sophomore (5′7, 187)
  • 33 Leo Ekwoge –   Sophomore (5′11, 210)

Wide receiver

  •  2 Anton Curtis –   Freshman (6′0, 185)
  •  7 D'Wayne Eskridge – Freshman (5′9, 190)
  • 10 Hunter Broersma – Freshman (6′1, 192)
  • 15 Carrington Thompson –   Senior (6′2, 176)
  • 19 Jason Russell – Freshman (5′11, 190)
  • 25 Trevor Sweeney – Senior (5′8, 175)
  • 29 Rodney Graves – Freshman (6′1, 171)
  • 35 Brandon Hinds – Freshman (5′11, 166)
  • 45 Jaret Curtis – Freshman (5′11, 190)
  • 80 Jake Spinek – Senior (5′10, 186)
  • 83 Michael Henry – Senior (5′11, 189)
  • 84 Corey DavisSenior (6′3, 213)
  • 86 Keishawn Watson –   Freshman (5′11, 180)
  • 87 Giovanni Ricci –   Freshman (6′3, 206)

Tight end

  • 12 Mitch Heimbuch – Freshman (6′3, 245)
  • 38 Odell Miller –   Sophomore (6′3, 261)
  • 85 Donnie ErnsbergerJunior (6′3, 255)
  • 88 Lucas Bezerra – Junior (6′4, 248)
  • 89 Brett Borske – Freshman (6′6, 250)
 

Offensive lineman

  • 51 Jordan Asbury – Freshman (6′3, 275)
  • 52 John Keenoy – Sophomore (6′3, 305)
  • 59 Luke Juriga – Sophomore (6′4, 289)
  • 60 Mark Brooks – Freshman (6′6, 270)
  • 61 Mike Caliendo – Freshman (6′4, 293)
  • 62 Alex Keys – Freshman (6′1, 295)
  • 63 Kristof Ifkovits –   Junior (6′4, 295)
  • 65 Jackson Day – Senior (6′3, 292)
  • 67 Curtis Doyle –   Sophomore (6′5, 308)
  • 70 Spencer Kanz – Freshman (6′6, 290)
  • 71 Jonathan Todd –   Freshman (6′6, 330)
  • 72 Taylor Moton  Senior (6′5, 328)
  • 75 Zach Novoselsky –   Sophomore (6′5, 299)
  • 77 Chukwuma OkoraforJunior (6′6, 333)
  • 78 Elliot Jordan –   Sophomore (6′6, 282)

Defensive lineman

  •  1 Keion Adams – DE – Senior (6′2, 245)
  •  5 Andre Turner – DE –   Junior (6′4, 266)
  • 33 Eric Assoua – Sophomore (6′2, 230)
  • 50 Daniel Jackson – Sophomore (6′2, 263)
  • 53 Nathan Braster – Junior (6′5, 272)
  • 55 Nick Matich – Junior (6′2, 288)
  • 58 Antonio Balabani –   Freshman (6′3, 218)
  • 66 Wesley French –   Freshman (6′5, 311)
  • 68 David Curle – Senior (6′3, 303)
  • 90 Ken Aguirre – Freshman (6′1, 300)
  • 91 Ken Finley – Sophomore (6′2, 298)
  • 92 Zack Taylor – Freshman (6′2, 295)
  • 95 Jaylon Moore – Freshman (6′5, 280)
  • 98 Kailen Guillory – Freshman (6′5, 262)

Kicker

  • 37 Butch Hampton – Freshman (6′0, 170)
  • 47 Keenan Erb – Sophomore (5′7, 170)
  • 93 Austin Regan –   Sophomore (6′1, 190)
  • 96 Jason Evans –   Sophomore (5′10, 184)
 

Linebacker

  •  6 Asantay Brown – Junior (6′0, 203)
  •  8 Caleb Bailey –   Junior (6′0, 236)
  • 10 Robert SpillaneJunior (6′2, 218)
  • 13 Jakevin Jackson – Senior (6′2, 221)
  • 20 Drake Spears – Freshman (6′1, 205)
  • 27 Paul Engram –   Freshman (5′10, 221)
  • 34 Alex Grace – Sophomore (6′1, 216)
  • 42 Jared Culp – Freshman (6′2, 225)
  • 46 Lucas Cherocci – Senior (5′11, 216)
  • 48 Joseph Miller – Freshman (5′9, 222)
  • 56 Kasey Carson –   Senior (5′11, 206)

Defensive back

  •  2 Justin Tranquill –   Freshman (5′11, 185)
  •  4 Darius Phillips – CB – Junior (5′10, 191)
  • 11 Stefan Claiborne – Freshman (6′2, 185)
  • 12 Emmanuel Jackson – Freshman (5′11, 170)
  • 17 Justin Ferguson – S –   Senior (6′1, 203)
  • 18 Sam BealSophomore (6′1, 177)
  • 21 Jeffery Johnson – S –   Senior (5′8, 195)
  • 22 Dontre Boyd – CB – Freshman (5′9, 155)
  • 23 Austin Guido – Senior (5′11, 202)
  • 24 Obbie Jackson –   Freshman (5′10, 155)
  • 26 Davontae GInwright –   Freshman (6′2, 191)
  • 30 Malik Rucker –   Junior (5′10, 174)
  • 31 Brad Tanner – Freshman (6′1, 190)
  • 36 Deshawn Foster – Sophomore (5′11, 224)
  • 41 Latrell Levanduski – Junior (5′9, 194)
  • 45 Bill Bonnano – Junior (5′8, 190)

Punter

  • 39 Derrick Mitchell – Sophomore (6′2, 207)
  • 57 James Coleman – Senior (6′2, 215)

Long snappers

  • 43 Wyatt Pfeifer – Junior (6′2, 239)
  • 99 Martin Diaz –   Sophomore (5′10, 196)

SeasonEdit

Home invasion arrestsEdit

During the week leading up to the opening game, two freshmen, Ron George and Bryson White, were arraigned on charges of "armed robbery, first-degree home invasion and larceny from a building." The police allege that they used a gun and a knife to rob a woman.[9]

White was already facing criminal charges in Ohio related to driving under the influence of marijuana and driving on a suspended license. A passenger in his car was charged with carrying a gun and White refused to cooperate when asked about it.[10]

The players were dismissed from the team.

All-AmericansEdit

Taylor Moton was named to the Football Writers' Association of America All-American second team.[11]

Corey Davis was named as a first team All-American by the Associated Press, the FWAA, and the American Football Coaches Association, earning him honors as the school's first "consensus" All-American.[12] He earned second team honors from The Sporting News and the Walter Camp Football Foundation.[12]

Campbell TrophyEdit

For his classroom exploits that include a 4.0 GPA in his Masters' program, quarterback Zach Terrell won the prestigious Campbell Trophy, known as the "academic Heisman."[13]

National Football FoundationEdit

Zach Terrell was chosen as a scholar athlete by the National Football Foundation as one of 12 athletes across all four (FBS, FCS, II, III) divisions of college football to receive an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship.[14]

Conference Players of the WeekEdit

Robert SpillaneEdit

Spillane was named MAC West Defensive Player of the Week for his week one performance in the team's 22–21 win at Northwestern in which he collected seven tackles and forced a fumble.[15] Spillane later earned Co-Defensive Player of the Week honors in the Broncos' week three win at Illinois in which he made 11 tackles and snagged his first career interception.[16] Spillane later earned DPOW honors with 14 tackles in the Broncos' 45–31 win over Eastern Michigan in week eight.[17] In the Broncos' 37–21 win over Kent State, Spillane recorded a crucial safety that resulted in week ten honors.[18]

Darius PhillipsEdit

Phillips was named MAC West Special Teams Player of the Week for his week two performance against North Carolina Central that included a 66-yard punt return touchdown.[19] Phillips' standout performance that included a 100-yard kick return touchdown in week four against Georgia Southern earned him STPOW honors in week five.[20]

Jamauri BoganEdit

Bogan earned honors as MAC West Co-Offensive Player of the Week for his 189 rushing yards and two touchdowns at Illinois in week three.[16]

Zach TerrellEdit

Terrell became the week four MAC West Offensive Player of the Week for his 270 yards passing and four touchdowns in the Broncos' 49–31 win over Georgia Southern.[20] Terrell would garner honors again for his 445-yard passing performance in the Broncos' 38–0 rout of Buffalo.[21]

Corey DavisEdit

Senior wide receiver Corey Davis had six receptions for 72 yards and two touchdowns against rival Central Michigan earned him week five MAC West Offensive Player of the Week honors as he passed former Bronco Jordan White for the conference record for career receiving yards.[22] Davis would snag honors again with a 12-reception, 272-yard receiving effort that included three touchdowns against Ball State.[23]

Jarvion FranklinEdit

The 2014 MAC Offensive Player of the Year and MAC Freshman of the Year[24] received honors as MAC West Offensive Player of the Week after the Broncos' 45–30 win over Northern Illinois in week six during which he tallied 249 all-purpose yards (169 rushing and 80 receiving) with a receiving touchdown and a rushing touchdown (both on fourth down plays)[25] to help buoy WMU's offensive efforts.[26] Later, in week seven at Akron, Franklin again earned MAC West honors as he set the school record for single game rushing with 281 yards on 33 attempts in the Broncos' 41–0 win over the Zips.[27]

Caleb BaileyEdit

Bailey collected seven tackles (including 2.5 tackles for loss) and an interception in the Broncos' 41–0 victory at Akron to earn week seven honors as MAC West Defensive Player of the Week.[27]

Asantay BrownEdit

Brown tallied six tackles, including one for loss, and an interception return for a touchdown in the Broncos' 55–35 rout of Toledo in week 13, earning him honors as MAC West Defensive Player of the Week.[28]

Scholar Athletes of the WeekEdit

Zach TerrellEdit

Terrell earned honors as Scholar Athlete of the Week for the week of Oct. 3–10 for his performance in the Broncos' 45–30 win over Northern Illinois on Oct. 8. He completed 18 of 24 passes for 327 yards and accounted for four touchdowns total (three passing, one rushing) in the first Western Michigan victory over the Huskies since 2008. Terrell boasted a 4.0 GPA in his Master's of Business Administration program and completed his undergraduate degree in finance earlier in 2016 with a GPA of 3.66.[29]

Taylor MotonEdit

Moton earned honors as Scholar Athlete of the Week for the week of Nov. 14–21 for his performance in the Broncos' 37–21 win over Kent State as he helped buoy an effort of 329 rushing yards against the Golden Flashes on national television.[30] Moton spent most of the year rated at No. 1 on the Schneider Scale, which is used to determine the Outland Trophy winner (best offensive lineman not playing center).

Distinguished Scholar AthletesEdit

On December 27, 2016, the Mid-American Conference named seven Broncos as Distinguished Scholar Athletes:[31]

  • Lucas Bezerra (TE) 3.71 GPA
  • Kasey Carson (LB) 3.58 GPA
  • John Keenoy (OL) 3.7 GPA
  • Taylor Moton (OL) 3.28 GPA
  • Trevor Sweeney (WR) 3.77 GPA
  • Zach Terrell (QB) 4.0 GPA
  • Justin Tranquill (DB) 3.85 GPA

Academic All-ConferenceEdit

Sixteen players from the team were named to the Academic All-Conference team: Lucas Bezzera, Kasey Carson, Lucas Cherocci, David Curle, Alex Grace, Austin Guido, Luke Juriga, John Keenoy, Odell Miller, Derek Mitchell, Taylor Moton, Zach Novoselsky, Giovanni Ricci, Trevor Sweeney, Zach Terrell and Justin Tranquill.[32]

RankingsEdit

After winning their first two games against Northwestern and North Carolina Central, WMU received 1 vote in the Coaches Poll.[33] Their road win against Illinois moved the Broncos to 3–0 where they received 6 votes in the AP Poll and 16 votes in the Coaches Poll.[34] WMU received their first Top 25 ranking in program history after they defeated rival Central Michigan and moved to 5–0.[35]

The table below shows the week-by-week status of WMU in the college football polls.

Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
NR = Not ranked. RV = Received votes. ( ) = First place votes.
Week
Poll Pre 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Final 
AP NR NR NR RV RV RV 24 20 20 17 14 14 14 13 12 15 
Coaches NR NR RV RV RV 25 23 20 21 18 21 21 18 14 14 18 
CFP Not released 23 21 21 21 17 15 Not released

Game summariesEdit

NorthwesternEdit

Source[36]

Western Michigan at Northwestern
1 234Total
• Broncos 0 6106 22
Wildcats 7 077 21
Series record Previous meeting Result
Tied 1–1 2013 NW, 38–17

Western Michigan withstood a three-touchdown effort from Northwestern running back Justin Jackson and used a late Jamauri Bogan touchdown to win its season opener in Evanston.[37] The Broncos recovered a fumble late in the game that was upheld on video review. It marked the Broncos' first win over a Big Ten school since 2008.

North Carolina CentralEdit

Source[38]

North Carolina Central at Western Michigan
1 234Total
Eagles 7 1400 21
• Broncos 28 141414 70
  • Date: September 10
  • Location:
    Waldo Stadium
    Kalamazoo, MI
  • Game start: 7:05 pm EDT
  • Elapsed time: 4:56
  • Game attendance: 23,727
  • Game weather: 66°F, wind: 17 MPH W, partly cloudy
  • Referee: Matt Gallagher
  • TV announcers (ESPN3): Dan Gutowsky (play-by-play), Marcus Ray (analyst)
Series record Previous meeting Result
WMU leads 1–0 N/A N/A

Seven different Western Michigan players scored touchdowns in the Broncos' home-opening 70–21 win over Division I FCS opponent North Carolina Central.[39]

IllinoisEdit

[40]

Western Michigan at Illinois
1 234Total
• Broncos 14 1037 34
Fighting Illini 0 730 10
  • Date: September 17
  • Location:
    Memorial Stadium
    Champaign, IL
  • Game start: 3:02 pm CDT
  • Elapsed time: 3:18
  • Game attendance: 40,954
  • Game weather: 78 F, Wind: WNW 7 MPH, Partly Cloudy
  • Referee: Jeff Servinski
  • TV announcers (ESPNews): Mike Couzens (play-by-play), Dan Hawkins (analyst)
Series record Previous meeting Result
ILL leads 4–2 2012 24–7, ILL

Running back Jamauri Bogan scored two rushing touchdowns and kicker Butch Hampton booted two field goals to lift the Broncos to victory over their second Big Ten opponent of the season.[41] It was the first win over Illinois since 2008.

Georgia SouthernEdit

Source[42]

Georgia Southern at Western Michigan
1 234Total
Eagles 7 1077 31
• Broncos 7 2877 49
  • Date: September 24
  • Location:
    Waldo Stadium
    Kalamazoo, MI
  • Game start: 7:04 pm EDT
  • Elapsed time: 3:15
  • Game attendance: 17,208
  • Game weather: Clear, 70º F
  • Referee: Greg Blum
  • Television network: ESPN3
Series record Previous meeting Result
Tied 1–1 2015 43–17, GASO

Darius Phillips' kickoff return touchdown and interception return touchdown helped stake the Broncos to a 42–17 lead as they eventually held on to win, 49–31, over non-conference opponent Georgia Southern.[43]

Central MichiganEdit

Source[44]

Western Michigan at Central Michigan
1 234Total
• Broncos 7 141414 49
Chippewas 3 070 10
Series record Previous meeting Result
WMU leads 48–37–2 2015 41–39, WMU

Western Michigan used a fast start that resulted in a 21–3 halftime lead to defeat the arch-rival Chippewas in Mount Pleasant, 49–10.[45] The victory gave the Broncos their third straight victory in the series, their fifth victory in the past six meetings, and their third consecutive victory in Mount Pleasant (2012, 2014, 2016) after only having won there in 1965, 1970, 1973, and 2002 since WMU went Division I in 1962.[46]

Northern IllinoisEdit

Source[47]

Northern Illinois at Western Michigan
1 234Total
Huskies 0 1767 30
• Broncos 14 71014 45
  • Date: October 8
  • Location:
    Waldo Stadium
    Kalamazoo, MI
  • Game start: 6:35 PM EDT
  • Elapsed time: 3:41
  • Game attendance: 28.042
  • Game weather: Clear, 56º F with 10 MPH wind
  • Referee: Larry Smith
  • TV announcers (CBSSN): Ben Holden (play-by-play), Jay Feely (analyst)
Series record Previous meeting Result
WMU leads 24–18 2015 27–18, NIU

Western Michigan beat Northern Illinois 45–30, to improve their record to 6–0 (2–0 MAC).[48] With the win, the Broncos had beaten all three Illinois FBS teams in the same season—Northwestern, Illinois, and Northern Illinois.

AkronEdit

Source[49]

Western Michigan at Akron
1 234Total
• No. 24 Broncos 14 1377 41
Zips 0 000 0
  • Date: October 15
  • Location:
    InfoCision Stadium
    Akron, OH
  • Game start: 3:32 PM EDT
  • Elapsed time: 3:33
  • Game attendance: 11,321
  • Game weather: Sunny, 74º F with 12 MPH wind
  • Referee: Curt Johnson
  • TV announcers (CBSSN): John Sadak (play-by-play), Randy Cross (analyst)
Series record Previous meeting Result
WMU leads 14–4 2011 68–19, WMU

Western Michigan's first match-up against the Zips since 2011 was again a one-sided contest as the Broncos raced out to a 27–0 halftime lead en route to a 41–0 win over the East Division-leading Akron Zips. Corey Davis caught two touchdown passes and Jarvion Franklin set the school record for single game rushing with 281 yards on 33 attempts. Franklin added an 18-yard pass reception, giving him 299 all-purpose yards in the victory.[27] Linebackers Caleb Bailey and Kasey Carson collected interceptions to help preserve the shutout.[49]

Eastern MichiganEdit

Source[50]

Eastern Michigan at Western Michigan
1 234Total
Eagles 7 1077 31
• No. 20 Broncos 7 17147 45
  • Date: October 22
  • Location:
    Waldo Stadium
    Kalamazoo, MI
  • Game start: 3:36 PM EDT
  • Elapsed time: 3:38
  • Game attendance: 23,721
  • Game weather: 56ºF with clouds and 11 MPH wind
  • Referee: Tim O'Dey
  • TV announcers (ASN/ESPN3): Mike Gleason (play-by-play), Brad Jackson (analyst)[51]
Series record Previous meeting Result
WMU leads 32–18 2015 58–28, WMU

Zach Terrell threw three touchdowns, two of them to Carrington Thompson, and for 398 yards as the Broncos held off a game Eastern Michigan team that would eventually qualify for its first bowl game since 1987.[7]

Ball StateEdit

Source[52]

Western Michigan at Ball State
1 234Total
• No. 17 Broncos 21 71410 52
Cardinals 7 337 20
  • Date: November 1
  • Location:
    Scheumann Stadium
    Muncie, IN
  • Game start: 8:04 PM EDT
  • Elapsed time: 3:29
  • Game attendance: 5,614
  • Game weather: Clear, 72º F with 10 MPH SSW wind
  • Referee: Greg Blum
  • Television network: ESPN2
Series record Previous meeting Result
WMU leads 23–19 2015 54–7, WMU

Corey Davis had a big game on national television with 12 receptions for 272 yards and three scores as the Broncos raced out to a 28–10 halftime lead and went on to win, 52–20.[53]

Kent StateEdit

Source[54]

Western Michigan at Kent State
1 234Total
• No. 14 Broncos 3 10816 37
Golden Flashes 14 007 21
  • Date: November 8
  • Location:
    Dix Stadium
    Kent, OH
  • Game start: 7:35 PM EST
  • Elapsed time: 3:23
  • Game attendance: 4,536
  • Game weather: Rain, 55º F with 8 MPH WSW wind
  • Referee: Ron Hudson
  • Television network: ESPN2
Series record Previous meeting Result
WMU leads 33–20–1 2013 32–14, KENT

Fabian Johnson rushed for a career-high 125 yards as the Broncos had to rally from a 14–0 deficit on the road to win, 37–21, at Dix Stadium, in a rainy Election Day contest on national television.[55]

BuffaloEdit

Source[56]

Buffalo at Western Michigan
1 234Total
Bulls 0 000 0
• No. 14 Broncos 0 141014 38
  • Date: November 19
  • Location:
    Waldo Stadium
    Kalamazoo, MI
  • Game start: 3:35 PM EDT
  • Elapsed time: 3:00
  • Game attendance: 26,136
  • Game weather: Snow, 33º F with 20 MPH wind
  • Referee: Curt Johnson
  • Television network: ESPNU
Series record Previous meeting Result
WMU leads 5–2 2013 33–0, BUFF

Zach Terrell was the hero again for the Broncos, as he shredded the Bulls' defense for 445 yards passing in a 38–0 rout that was preceded by a visit from College Gameday for the first time in school history.[57]

ToledoEdit

Source[58]

Toledo at Western Michigan
1 234Total
Rockets 7 7021 35
• No. 14 Broncos 14 102110 55
  • Date: November 25
  • Location:
    Waldo Stadium
    Kalamazoo, MI
  • Game start: 5:11 PM EST
  • Elapsed time: 3:39
  • Game attendance: 24,191
  • Game weather: Cloudy/rainy, 39ºF with 3 MPH SW wind
  • Referee: Mark Kluczynski
  • Television network: ESPN2
Series record Previous meeting Result
TOL leads 41–29 2015 35–30, WMU

Linebacker Asantay Brown scored on the game's first play from scrimmage with an interception return for a touchdown and Jamauri Bogan returned to form with 31 carries for 198 yards and a touchdown as the Broncos routed Toledo, 55–35, for the MAC West divisional title. Corey Davis also broke the Division I FBS career receiving yardage record in the win.[59]

Ohio (MAC Championship Game)Edit

Source[60]

Ohio vs Western Michigan
1 234Total
Bobcats 0 7133 23
• No. 13 Broncos 6 1733 29
  • Date: December 2
  • Location:
    Ford Field
    Detroit, MI
  • Game start: 7:02 PM EST
  • Elapsed time: 3:37
  • Game attendance: 45,615
  • Game weather: Indoors
  • Referee: Greg Sujack
  • TV announcers (ESPN2): Adam Amin (play-by-play), Mack Brown (analyst), Molly McGrath (sideline)
Series record Previous meeting Result
WMU leads 32–28–1 2015 49–14, WMU

Kicker Butch Hampton booted five field goals and linebacker Robert Spillane intercepted Ohio quarterback Greg Windham with 51 seconds remaining to deliver the first MAC championship to Kalamazoo since 1988.[61] The Broncos finished the regular season 13–0 for the first time in school history with the victory.

Wisconsin (81st Cotton Bowl Classic)Edit

Source[62]

Western Michigan vs Wisconsin
1 234Total
No. 12 Broncos 0 736 16
• No. 8 Badgers 14 307 24
  • Date: January 2, 2017
  • Location:
    AT&T Stadium
    Arlington, TX
  • Game start: 12:01 PM CST
  • Elapsed time: 3:04
  • Game attendance: 59,615
  • Game weather: Indoors
  • Referee: Riley Johnson
  • TV announcers (ESPN): Bob Wischusen (play-by-play), Brock Huard (analyst), Allison Williams (sideline reporter)
Series record Previous meeting Result
WISC leads 4–1 2000 19–7, WISC

The only blemish on Western Michigan's 2016 campaign came in the postseason as Dare Ogunbowale, Corey Clement, and Troy Fumagalli scored touchdowns for Wisconsin in a 24–16 defeat for the Broncos. Zach Terrell threw for a touchdown and ran for another in his final collegiate game. The touchdown pass went to Corey Davis, playing in his final collegiate game, as well.[63]

ReferencesEdit

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