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Tyler Mullins (12) runs into the Ohio University 2022 Homecoming Football Game against the Akron Zips at Peden Stadium in Athens Ohio on Oct. 8, 2022.

Football: Everything to know about Western Michigan

Ohio is looking to play spoiler once again. 

The Bobcats will travel to Kalamazoo, Michigan Saturday to play the Broncos in each team’s third Mid-American Conference game. It will also be the second homecoming game Ohio has played in on the road this season. 

Home teams try to schedule a beatable opponent for their homecoming games, but after its first conference win last week, Ohio is looking a lot harder to beat. 

Here is everything to know about Western Michigan, Ohio’s opponent this weekend:

Head Coach 

Western Michigan head coach Tim Lester has a longstanding history with the team. He was the starting quarterback at Western Michigan from 1996-1999, and led it to a MAC Championship game his senior season.

Lester spent a couple of years playing in the Arena Football League before returning to Western Michigan as an assistant coach in 2005. Before he was hired as head coach in 2017, Lester also worked as the quarterback coach at Syracuse and Purdue. Since rejoining Western Michigan, he is 34-29 overall and 23-17 in the MAC. 


Four different players have taken snaps at quarterback this season for Western Michigan, with the most coming from redshirt freshman Jack Salopek. He’s thrown for 982 yards this season, the fourth fewest in the MAC. 

In Week 6 against Eastern Michigan, Salopek was 15-40, totaling 208 yards and two touchdowns. However, he was sacked seven times. Ohio currently has 13 sacks this season and will be looking to add to that on Saturday. 


Western Michigan has three receivers with over 100 yards this season: Corey Crooms, Jehlani Galloway and Anthony Sambucci. Crooms is Salopek’s favorite target, with 133 more yards and 11 more catches than the next leading receiver. His three receiving touchdowns are also the most on the team. 

Ohio currently has the worst passing defense in the MAC, and one of the worst in the Football Bowl Subdivision, but limiting receiving yards will most likely not be something Ohio has to emphasize this weekend. 


The Broncos’ rushing offense has fared slightly better than the Bobcats’ this season, with an average of 8.7 yards more per game. However, they put up only 91 rushing yards last week against the Eagles, their second-fewest in a game this season. 45 of those yards came from Sean Tyler, the Broncos' leading rusher this season with 335 yards. 

Western Michigan’s other top rusher is senior La’Darius Jefferson, who had three rushing touchdowns against Ball State and one in each game over the past two weeks.


One thing the Broncos will most likely rely on Saturday is their defense. They’ve allowed an average of 30.8 points per game, but have allowed the fourth fewest yards per game in the MAC. If the Broncos want to beat the Bobcats, they will need to stop Kurtis Rourke and the passing game, which may be difficult considering how well Rourke and the offense are doing. 

Ohio Notes 

Ohio’s next three games are pivotal if it wants to make a bowl game this season. All three are winnable and can’t be games that Ohio drops due to its own mistakes. 

Luckily for Ohio, it is coming off one of its best all-around games this season, which is a good position to be in heading into the third week of conference play. Ohio will attempt to use the energy from last week’s 55-34 win against Akron in its favor this week on the road and in the coming weeks as well. 


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