Not only were the Broncos entering this game undefeated at 7-0, they were hosting their first game as a ranked team in program history – this got WMU fans to cram themselves into Waldo Stadium.
Some might say the MAC is whack. Western Michigan puts those thoughts to rest. True MACtion visits Kalamazoo – even when the Broncos are not at the top of their game, this fan base is relevant. The band was pumping, and Triumph the horse led the team out to a wild crowd.
However, they may have been surprised by the challenge that Eastern Michigan brought to the stadium. The Eagles have demonstrated hints of success this year, and they kept up with Western’s high powered offense. Bronco coach, P.J. Fleck, is one to welcome adversity. This was it.
Prior to the game, we spend some time at Waldo’s bar near the stadium. There was certainly a buzz of excitement with WMU being ranked and the understanding that their team was favored to finish the season undefeated. That’s a rare air of discussion in these parts and the anxious feeling spilled outside the doors of Waldo’s and into the tailgating lots.
Perhaps a little of the anxiety oozed into the players’ helmets. The Eagles didn’t appear daunted by their successful rival. They kept it close deep into the third. But, the Broncos kept pouring it on – 569 yards of offense is hard to overcome.
Despite the adversity, Western Michigan emerged 8-0 for the first time since 1941. How far could the Broncos gallop unblemished?