Western Michigan heading to the Big House

Posted at 11:10 PM, Sep 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-04 23:11:18-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- The last time Western Michigan faced Michigan was in 2011 in a rain-shortened match-up that went to the Wolverines.

This week the Broncos are headed back to play in front of the 100,000-plus fans at the Big House, a first for WMU head coach Tim Lester.

"I've never been there, so for me, I've played in a lot of places and coached at a bunch of places, so I'm looking forward to seeing (Michigan Stadium)," Lester said. "For the Michigan kids, this is a special time to go play in that place. Growing up in this state and having a chance to play in that stadium, I know our guys are excited about it."

Running back Levante Bellamy said the size of the crowd won't be a factor. "The crowd should never have an impact on the game. No matter who is there, you still have to show up an play. So whether there is one person in the stands or 100,000 or 500,000 you still have to put the pads on and play this game."

And while both teams lost in Week One of the college football season, Coach Lester said he knows how talented Michigan can be on defense and offense.

"We're going to have to find ways to keep (quarterback) Shea (Patterson) in the pocket," Lester notes. "We can't let him get out. We can't let him extend plays. It's a little bit like playing Sam Darnold last year and not letting him out of the pocket, because he was really good at extending plays and making things happen."

The Broncos, howeve,r have some talent on offense of their own, especially on the ground.

"You know we're gonna run the ball and use those guys out of the backfield," Lester said. "We're gonna use them all. And each one of them had a chance to make some plays, and all three of them were pretty good."

The game kicks off Saturday at Noon ET in Ann Arbor.