Pre-Season Peeks: Game 11-WMU

Game 11 will be the final regular season game for Marshall as a member of the Mid-American Conference. It means good friends Bob Pruett and Gary Darnell, the coach of the Western Michigan Broncos, send their teams at each other for what may be the final time. By this point in the season, the Herd hopes to have wrapped up a spot in the December 2 MAC championship, while the Broncos goals are much simpler: break a three-year streak of losing seasons since back-to-back title games with MU.

Game Eleven: Western Michigan Univ.-November 20, Huntington 4:30 p.m.
Nickname: Broncos
Colors: Brown, Gold and Black
Conference: Mid-American*
Last:at Kalamazoo, 10/25/03 MU-41 WMU-21
All-Time Series: Western Michigan 22-10
2003 Record: 5-7/4-4
Head Coach: Gary Darnell (48-40, seven years at WMU; career 51-69, 11 years); 1-3 vs. MU
Stadium:Waldo (seats-30,200; surface-artificial NeXturf)
Defensive Watch List (7 starters return):
Sr. DE Jack Gitler, 6-2, 255; 7 sacks in 2003, second to Houston Texan's first-round pick Jason Babin; third on team in tackles with 88; second on team with 12 tackles-for-loss; also recorded pass-broken-up and interception; 57 tackles and 3 sacks combined as true frosh and sophomore
Jr. FS Kevin Ford, 5-11, 200; second to Babin in tackles with 111; tied for team lead with 10 passes-broken-up; leading returning interceptor with three last season, which was second on 2003 team
Offensive Watch List (4 starters return):
Jr. WR Greg Jennings, 5-11, 190; leading receiver for yardage with 1,050 yards on 56 catches (18.8 ypc) and second on team in total catches; also led team in kickoff returns, with 31 for 669 yards (21.6 ypr); second team All-MAC; 10 catches in 2002 (13.8 ypc)
Jr. RG Mark Ottney, 6-5, 290; 12 starts last seasons, allowing only 3 sacks all year in 709 plays; played 5 games in 2002 as red-shirt frosh; pre-season All-MAC selection; OL cut sacks given up from 50 in 2002 to 39 last year
2004 Schedule: 9/2 UT-Martin (I-AA/Thursday); 9/11 @ VA Tech; 9/18 @ Illinois; 9/25 @ Ball State*; 10/2 OPEN; 10/9 Toledo*; 10/16 EMU* (HC); 10/23 Northern Illinois*; 10/30 @ CMU*; 11/6 @ Bowling Green; 11/13 Miami*; 11/20 @ Marshall*
Of Note: Western draws both a game at Marshall and Miami at home, favorites out of East Division, for games 10 & 11; Won the West Division in 1999 and 2000, but have won the MAC only once (1988) despite joining league in 1947, first year of MAC; 3 straight losing seasons have followed 4 winning seasons in a row from 1997 through 2000, although WMU has only 4 losing seasons since 1990; Darnell's WMU teams are 12-2 versus CMU and EMU, with the two losses by 6 points combined; may be make-or-break year for Gary Darnell, who signed 5-year contract extension after 2000 season


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