WMU News

Broncos' 2002 football schedule released

Feb. 22, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- A home game against national power Virginia Tech and Big Ten road encounters at Michigan and Purdue highlight the opening weeks of the 2002 Western Michigan University football schedule.

For the first time in school history, the Broncos will play 12 regular season games, four
non-conference dates and eight Mid-American Conference contests. The Broncos open on Thursday, Aug. 29, at home against Indiana State of the Gateway Conference on CommUniverCity Night. The remaining home schedule features Virginia Tech (Southwest Fest) on Sept. 28 and
Central Florida (Homecoming), the newest MAC football playing member on Oct. 12. Northern Illinois (Education Day/Family Fest), MAC West Division tri-champions last season, visits on Oct. 26 followed by Eastern Michigan (Salute to Veterans Day) on Nov. 9. MAC Champion Toledo (Hall of Fame/Senior Day) closes the home schedule on Nov. 16.

Gary Darnell's team faces a challenging road slate, starting with back-to-back contests against
Michigan on Sept. 7 and Purdue on Sept. 14. WMU will meet Michigan for the second straight year, but for only the fourth time ever. The Broncos last played the Boilermakers in 1993. WMU also makes its first visit to Buffalo on Oct. 5 before taking on two of the most improved MAC teams in Bowling Green on Oct. 19 and Ball State on Nov. 2. WMU concludes its regular season against arch-rival Central Michigan in Mount Pleasant on Nov. 23.

"Every year, our schedule has been strengthened from every aspect, from the quality of non-conference opponents to league opponents to the number of games we play," Darnell said. "This year's schedule without a doubt is challenging. It gives us a chance to not only win the MAC, but to become champions of the Big Ten, Big East and Gateway conferences with the quality of teams we are playing from those leagues."

"Playing Virginia Tech at home is a necessary step to take for us to be a top 25 program. It goes
beyond just playing the game the intent is to win."

The sixth MAC Championship Game will take place on Saturday, Dec. 7, at the site of the East
Division Champion. ESPN2 will carry the game live.

2002 WMU Football Schedule

Thu., Aug. 29   Indiana State, time TBA (CommUniverCity)
Sat., Sept. 7   at Michigan, TBA
Sat., Sept. 14  at Purdue, TBA
Sat., Sept. 28  Virginia Tech, TBA (Southwest Fest)
Sat., Oct. 5    at Buffalo*, TBA
Sat., Oct. 12   Central Florida*, 1 p.m. (Homecoming)
Sat., Oct. 19   at Bowling Green*, 6 p.m. 
Sat., Oct. 26   Northern Illinois*, 1 p.m. (Family Fest)
Sat., Nov. 2    at Ball State*, TBA
Sat., Nov. 9    Eastern Michigan*, 1 p.m. (Salute to Veterans)
Sat., Nov. 16   Toledo*, 1 p.m. (Hall of Fame)
Sat., Nov. 23   at Central Michigan*, 1 p.m.

*Mid-American Conference game
All times are local and subject to change.

Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 269 387-4138, daniel.jankowski@wmich.edu

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