Today Northern Illinois lined up against the Broncos and ran right at them. The offensive line opened up gaping holes for the running backs and gave Chandler Harnish as much time as he wanted in the pocket, allowing him to execute multiple play-action passes.
Run the ball and stop the run. NIU out-gained WMU 255-73 yds on the ground and controlled the clock 36:53-23:07. Chad Spann ran the ball 22 times for 132 yds (6.0) and 3 TDs. He has a taste for the endzone that can never be satisfied. He may be the leading scorer in the nation at this point. Me'co Brown filled in nicely with 15 carries for 88 yds (5.9). Overall yard advantage was 390-251.
The Broncos went one-dimensional and Hiller threw 3 interceptions. Two of those interceptions went to defensive backs Patrick George and Kiaree Daniels and one went right in to the hands of former Marine-turned-Defensive End Jake Coffman as he returned it back 79 yards for a touchdown. Several tipped passes right at the line. A late fumble? Corporal Coffman yet again. A dream come true.
I was nervous for this game. Every fan was nervous for this game, as it was one of the most important games of the season. Last year, we weren't prepared for Western after only one game. After 4 non-conference games, we were ready to take down Western Michigan Broncos inside of Huskie Stadium in front of an intense homecoming crowd. The crowd was displaced a little because of the early cold weather, but the ones that stayed made for a great atmosphere.
Even special teams looked good. Tommy Davis returned one to the house, but a penalty erased it. Wilber boomed some punts and Salerno nailed some deep kickoffs.
Let it set in. Western Michigan was projected to finish 2nd in the MAC West and we beat them 38-3.
This bye week couldn't come at a better time. Like Coach Kill said in the post-game, this team needs to heal up. C Eddie Adamski played with a hurt ankle. DE Brandon Bice played with a turf toe. WR Willie Clark's still out with a bad back, etc, etc.
After we take on the bye week, the tide turns as we face the vaunted Toledo Rockets in Toledo. This gives me two weeks to take shots at my most favorite team to hate on in this conference. Excellent.