Football Broncos suffer first loss of season in Cotton Bowl

Contact: Tonya Durlach
WMU 16, Wisconsin 24, Cotton Bowl 2017.

Graphic courtesy of WMU Intercollegiate Athletics

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The No. 15-ranked Western Michigan University football Broncos' record-breaking season came to an end Monday with a 16-24 loss to No. 8 Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium.

Under the direction of head coach P.J. Fleck, WMU was 13-0 going into the bowl game after beating Ohio University 29-23 in the Mid-American Conference Championship game Dec. 2.

WMU's Cotton Bowl appearance marked the second time in conference history that a MAC team was selected for a New Year's Six bowl game.

A season of firsts

The football Broncos achieved 73 program firsts this season, including beating two Big Ten teams and being nationally ranked in the Associated Press Top 25, USA Today Amway Coaches Poll and College Football Playoff ranking.

ESPN College GameDay came to campus Nov. 19 ahead of the Broncos' 38-0 win over Buffalo, making WMU the second MAC school ever to be featured as a host of the Emmy Award-winning pregame show.

Fans responded to the team's unprecedented success by setting a home attendance record of more than 143,000 at Waldo Stadium and a MAC Championship attendance record of more than 45,000 at Ford Field.

Looking ahead

WMU's 2017 season opener is Sept. 2 at University of Southern California.

WMU 2017 non-conference schedule

  • Sept. 2 at USC
  • Sept. 9 at Michigan State
  • Sept. 16 home versus Idaho
  • Sept. 23 home versus Wagner

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