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2003 PREVIEW: Western Michigan Broncos

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As bad as 2002 was for the Broncos, the team was extremely close to having a decent season. Out of the eight losses, WMU played tough losing 28-24, lost to UCF, and by a total of eleven points, and got blasted by everyone else. For a program that has been among the elite in the MAC, getting through a season only beating a D-IAA team,and dregs like , and isn't going to fly. This year, things need to turn back around.

Team Information
Head coach: Gary Darnell
7th season at WMU: 40-29
8th season overall: 43-34
Returning O Lettermen: 18
Returning D Lettermen: 18
Returning ST Lettermen: 2
Lettermen Lost: 22
Ten Best Players
1. DE , Sr.
2. RB , Sr.
3. WR/PR , Sr.
4. WS , Sr.
5. SS , Jr.
6. CB , Jr.
7. DT Hausia Faleofa, Sr.
8. WR , Sr.
9. QB Chad Munson, Sr.
10. RB , Soph.
2003 Schedule
8/30 at St
9/6 William & Mary
9/13
9/27 at
10/4 at Eastern Mich
10/11
10/18 at Northern Ill
10/25
11/1 at UConn
11/8
11/15 Central Mich
11/22 at
has an interesting mix of players. The talent is on a wide swing going from an All-American defensive end like and a top punt returner like to a linebacking corps and offensive line that doesn't have a lick of experience. Overall, the team has to cut down on mistakes, make more key plays, and get back to being the team that fought for MAC championships. The Schedule: It's not all that bad. As far as MAC non-conference schedules go, you can do worse than at , William & Mary, Virginia and at . Playing at and at won't help the attempt to win the MAC title. Getting Marshall from East is no picnic either. Best Defensive Player: Senior RB . Reed would go from good MAC player to all-star this year with his talent and experience, but he won't have the line to help him out. Best Defensive Player: Senior DE . The best pass rusher in the MAC and one of the best all-around linemen in the country, Babin made 15 sacks, 26 tackles for loss and made 72 solo tackles. He had more sacks than three MAC teams. He also blocked two kicks. Key player to a successful season: The entire offensive line. Last year's offensive line had some major problems in pass protection. This season's line has almost no experience and little depth, but it has to be exceptional for the offense to do much of anything. The season will be a success if: comes away with a winning season. There are way too many holes to win the MAC West title, but there's enough talent to come away with at least five wins. An upset over a couple of the stronger MAC teams would get the Broncos over the .500 mark. Key game: Oct. 11 vs. . The first two MAC games are on the road, but they're not killers going to Ohio and . The first home conference game is against . A win would most likely make the Broncos 3-0 in MAC play and get the team thinking about winning the MAC West. 2002 Fun Stats:
  • First quarter scoring; WMU 103 - Opponents 51
  • Second quarter scoring: Opponents 103 - WMU 58
  • Turnovers: WMU 35 - Opponents 23
    2003 Recruiting Class
    Star of the Class
    QB 6-3 215 Columbia, Mo. (Rutgers Univ.)

    Antwain Allen WR/DB 6-2 205 Chicago, Ill. (Kenwood Academy HS)
    DeRae Allen CB 5-11 181 Lovejoy, Ga. (Lovejoy HS)
    Chris Bartula OT 6-6 276 Carol Stream, Ill. (Glenbard North HS)
    James Blair DT 6-4 320 Detroit, Mich. (Pershing HS)
    Darrell Copeland S 6-1 198 Jonesboro, Ga. (Jonesboro HS)
    Jermaine Copeland WR 6-1 174 Lovejoy, Ga. (Lovejoy HS)
    Tyson DeVree TE 6-6 215 Hudsonville, Mich. (Hudsonville HS)
    OL 6-4 285 Joliet, Ill. (Catholic Academy)
    Dezmond Gray DL 6-4 288 Detroit, Mich. (Cass Technical HS)
    James Ellison S 6-1 202 Detroit, Mich. (Western International HS)
    Keith Hinton DB 5-11 195 Miami, Fla. (American Senior HS)
    Brian Jackson WR 6-4 180 Lansing, Mich. (Sexton HS)
    K 6-1 160 Miami Shores, Fla. (Monsignor Pace HS)
    Oseloka Keys QB 6-4 185 Ann Arbor, Mich. (Pioneer HS)
    Robbie Krutilla OL 6-3 295 Chicago, Ill. (Mount Carmel HS)
    Shawntey Lopez S 6-2 206 Fremont, Calif. (West Valley JC)
    Kelly Martin WR 6-4 175 Lafayette, Ind. (McCutcheon HS)
    Darryl McFadden LB 6-2 220 Detroit, Mich. (Pershing HS)
    Nic Saad RB 6-3 217 Remus, Mich. (Chippewa Valley HS)
    Dan Steinau LB 5-11 215 El Toro, Calif. (Orange Coast College)
    Derek Szafranski WR 6-2 200 Battle Creek, Mich. (Harper Creek Community HS)
    *Potential Instant Impact Players

  • Tagged: Virginia, Illinois, Purdue, Michigan State, Marshall, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Toledo, Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, Bowling Green, Ball State, Ohio, UTEP

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