1997 Western Michigan Broncos football team

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1997 Western Michigan Broncos football
Western Michigan Broncos text logo.svg
Conference Mid-American Conference
1997 record 8–3 (6–2 MAC)
Head coach Gary Darnell (1st season)
MVP Tarrence McEvans
Seasons
← 1996
1998 →
1997 Mid-American Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
East Division
Marshall x$   7 1         10 3  
Miami   6 2         8 3  
Ohio   6 2         8 3  
Bowling Green   3 5         3 8  
Kent State   3 5         3 8  
Akron   2 7         2 9  
West Division
Toledo x   7 1         9 3  
Western Michigan   6 2         8 3  
Ball State   4 4         5 6  
Eastern Michigan   4 5         4 7  
Central Michigan   1 7         2 9  
Northern Illinois   0 8         0 11  
Championship: Marshall 34, Toledo 14
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1997 Western Michigan Broncos football team was an American football team that represented Western Michigan University during the 1997 NCAA Division I-A football season. In their first season under head coach Gary Darnell, the Broncos compiled an 8–3 record and finished in second place in the West Division of the Mid-American Conference (MAC). In non-conference games, they defeated Temple (34–14) and Louisiana–Monroe (32–19) and lost to Michigan State (42–10).[1]

The team's statistical leaders were Tim Lester with 2,160 passing yards, Robert Sanford with 1,033 rushing yards, and Corey Alston with 32 catches for 761 receiving yards.[2] Sanford was named the MAC freshman of the year.[3]

Gary Darnell was hired as Western's head football coach on December 14, 1996. He had been an assistant coach at Texas since 1992, including three years as defensive coordinator.[4]

Schedule[edit]

DateOpponentSiteResult
August 28TempleW 34–14
September 6at Michigan StateL 10–42
September 13at Northern IllinoisW 21–13
September 20Toledo
  • Waldo Stadium
  • Kalamazoo, MI
L 13–23
September 27at OhioL 7–31
October 4Ball State
  • Waldo Stadium
  • Kalamazoo, MI
W 21–13
October 11at Bowling GreenW 34–21
October 18Kent State
  • Waldo Stadium
  • Kalamazoo, MI
W 50–27
November 1at Eastern MichiganW 41–38
November 8Central Michigan (rivalry)
  • Waldo Stadium
  • Kalamazoo, MI
W 38–24
November 15at Northeast LouisianaW 32–19

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1997 Western Michigan Broncos Schedule and Results". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved December 30, 2015. 
  2. ^ "1997 Western Michigan Broncos Stats". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved December 30, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Football History: Conference Awards". Western Michigan University. Retrieved July 6, 2016. 
  4. ^ Don Vander Veen (December 15, 1996). "WMU tabs Darnell new head coach: Texas assistant was Broncos' first choice". Detroit Free Press. p. 3E.