Dec. 1, 1999
KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan (7-4 overall, 6-2 MAC) sets its sights on the Mid-American Conference Championship and a berth in the Motor City Bowl when it encounters 12th-ranked Marshall (11-0 overall, 8-0 MAC) in the MAC Championship Game on Friday, Dec. 3, in Huntington, W. Va. (8 p.m., ESPN2).
WMU earned the right to play for the MAC Championship after clinching the West Division title on Oct. 30 in a 24-10 victory at Akron. The Broncos became the first league school to capture a division title in the month of October.
Western Michigan has won two MAC Championships and appeared
in two bowl games over the course of 93 seasons. The 1988 team
won the MAC title outright and played
Fresno State in the California Bowl. The 1966 squad earned a share of the MAC crown (but did not participate in postseason), while the 1961 Broncos, who finished second in
the MAC, met New Mexico in the only Aviation Bowl every held.
The significance of the MAC Championship Game is not lost on
the Bronco coaches or players: "It really all boils down
to this one game, winning the MAC Championship and
going to a bowl game all wrapped up in one," says WMU coach Gary Darnell.
Senior tight end Jake Moreland agrees: "We lost our focus the past few weeks but there is one game left to play for all the marbles. We have [had] two weeks to prepare."
Quarterback Tim Lester broke his own school record for passing yards in a season (3,357) and became just the sixth player to record 11,000 career passing yards (11,017) in Division I-A competition. Lester ranks seventh all-time on the NCAA Division I-A charts with 85 TD passes.
Steve Neal's 14 receptions at Toledo (Nov. 20) was the third-most in school history. He also became the first WMU player to register back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. Corey Alston has moved into a second place tie for career touchdown receptions at WMU (19).
MAC Championship Game tickets are available at the WMU Athletic Ticket Office at Waldo Stadium (1-888-4-WMU-TIX) or by calling 1-800-843-4373.
Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 616 387-4122; email@example.com
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