KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Western Michigan is the last unbeaten football team left in the state of Michigan and redshirt sophomore quarterback, Kaleb Eleby is a big reason why.
"I'm just proud of the way he's listened, learned and he's reaping the rewards, it's fun to watch," head coach Tim Lester says.
Eleby currently leads all of college football in passing efficiency, yards per completion and yards per pass attempt and is also fifth in the country in quarterback rating.
"That's some good company," Lester smiled seeing Eleby's name next to Justin Fields of Ohio State and Mac Jones of Alabama, "we do our best to not have to lean on him all the time. That's a lot of pressure to put on a young quarterback but you're going to have to be leaned on at some point if you're a quarterback."
Lester says the most impressive part of the hot start from Eleby has been his efficiency, with eleven touchdown passes to just one interception.
"Sometimes young guys are out there trying to make big plays but as a young quarterback, you need to get out there and learn how to not lose a game first," said Lester. "If you can be a quarterback that doesn't lose a game for a team, then your big plays will come and you'll be a stud."
Eleby saw action as a true freshman in 2018 after an injury to starting quarterback Jon Wassink, throwing for four touchdowns with three interceptions at the end of the season.
In 2019, Eleby didn't see the field due to Wassink's productivity and close games down the stretch but the redshirt season definitely benefitted him.
"The way it worked out for him I think is actually better," Lester added, "he got to take his lumps early on, he got a year to learn from him and watch Jon, then he got handed the keys this year and he's really earned that."
The hot start has certainly attracted a lot of attention. On Monday afternoon, the Davey O'Brien Award for the nation's top quarterback added Eleby's name to its 'Great 8' list.
"The one thing I would tell him [Kaleb] is let's do this for a full season then let's add another season to it, then we can really start talking," said Lester, "but what a great start, three really good games and we need him to keep that up."
The Broncos will host Northern Illinois on Saturday at Waldo Stadium for a Noon kickoff.