Turnovers Hurt Western Michigan Against Northern Illinois


Only one word can explain Western Michigan Football’s 21-31 loss to Northern Illinois; turnovers. The Broncos had 6 turnovers total in the game in a must win game. With the loss the Broncos fall to 8-4 (6-2 MAC) as the season wraps up while Northern Illinois goes to 10-2 (7-1 MAC) heading into the Mid-American Conference championship against Bowling Green.

Western Michigan started the game again this week looking slow. The special teams accounted for two turnovers early. In the first 20 seconds of the game the Huskies scored on a 65 yard pass play and were up 7-0. The Broncos finally got it going and scored 21 unanswered points before allowing a field goal and taking a 21-10 lead into half time. With five minutes left in the 3rd quarter is when things got bad for the Broncos quickly.

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Northern Illinois moved the ball 90 yards in 2 minutes and scored making the gap between them and the Broncos 21-17. Early in the 4th the Huskies sophomore quarterback Drew Hare ran the ball in giving his team the lead 24-21. After getting the ball back, western only managed to run three plays giving up -4 yards before punting the ball away.

A missed field goal by the Huskies gave the Broncos a chance to regain the lead. Yet, like the title says, a fumble by sophomore quarterback Zach Terrell gave the ball back to Northern at the Western 43 yard line. Another short run for Hare gave the Huskies a 31-21 lead with under a minute to go in the game. Western gets the ball back, but an interception by Terrell ends the game and the Broncos chances of a MAC title.

While the loss is a heart breaker, especially after coming back and taking the lead, this season and even parts of this game isn’t something to be sad about. This season is a huge turnaround from the last and I say “is” because Western Michigan Football still has a bowl game to play. If you watched the team play you got to see some good football, and what looks to be a good future for the program. So yes the MAC Championship would have been nice to play in, the Broncos finally look to be a power in the MAC for the first time since 2011.