Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

Miami football looks to start MAC slate 3-0 against Western Michigan

<p>Miami football moved to 4-1 in MAC play with a win over Akron Wednesday night.</p>

Miami football moved to 4-1 in MAC play with a win over Akron Wednesday night.

After a resounding 27-0 victory over Bowling Green State University at Yager Stadium last Saturday, Oct. 7, Miami University football is officially off to its best start since 2003. This week, the team hopes to start the Mid-American Conference (MAC) slate 3-0 for the first time since 2010.

The RedHawks travel to Western Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 14, and the game starts at 3:30 p.m. So far this year the Broncos are 2-4. Miami opened as 8.5 point favorites over WMU according to Action Network.

Miami head coach Chuck Martin said the Broncos’ record is misleading. They have been much better the last three weeks after losing by 40 to Syracuse Week 2 and by 30 at Iowa in Week 3.

Week 4, Western Michigan was beating Toledo, the odds-on favorite to win the MAC this year, in the fourth quarter before losing 49-31. After beating Ball State by two scores in Week 5, they went to Starkville and put up 28 points on Mississippi State last week.

The Broncos have a new head coach this season. Former coach Tim Lester, now an offensive analyst with the Green Bay Packers, was relieved after six middling seasons in Kalamazoo. The new head man is Lance Taylor, who was most recently the offensive coordinator at Louisville and the running backs coach at Notre Dame before that.

Still, Martin said he expects a lot of similar looks on defense from the Broncos, because the Broncos kept their same defensive coordinator.

“Western’s always been very salty on defense and got after you on defense,” Martin said. “They lost a lot of personnel on defense, so there’s a lot of new faces on defense. We’re sorting through those here, 24 hours a day.”

The RedHawks should see success on offense on Saturday. The Broncos have allowed 317 yards on the ground during their two MAC games so far. They’ve also allowed the most passing yards in the MAC so far across conference games.

“They’re very strong, but they’re not as big as the defensive lines we’ve seen,” said Kolby Borders, junior starting center. 

The Bronco offense has been good so far, going for 860 total yards in MAC games so far, second in the conference. Martin said that whenever a former running backs’ coach is hired as a head coach, you can expect that team to be good on the ground.

“That’s their baby,” Martin said.

And it’s true of Western Michigan. Their lead rusher Jalen Buckley is averaging 5.9 yards per carry (ypc) so far this year. He went for 196 yards and two touchdowns against Toledo and averaged 10.9 ypc against Syracuse earlier in the season. 

Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter

The RedHawks lost to a four-win Western Michigan squad last year, 16-10 at Yager Stadium. It wasn’t a good game for Miami.

“The first half is gonna be down their throat, try to show them that we’re not afraid of what they’re bringing,” Borders said. “Obviously they beat us last year. They’re gonna do the same stuff and try to beat us with it again.”

You can catch the game at 3:30 on Saturday on ESPN+ or on one of Miami’s game-day radio affiliates.