The Western Michigan football team has unveiled its 2021 football schedule alongside the Mid-American Conference. The Broncos will open the 2021 campaign on Saturday, Sept. 4, at Michigan, with MAC play opening on Saturday, Oct. 2 at Buffalo.
Head coach Tim Lester opens his fifth season at the helm of his alma mater. The Broncos have been bowl eligible in each of his first four years, including bowl appearances in 2018 and 2019. The abbreviated 2020 campaign saw WMU finish 4-2.
The Broncos are slated to return 19 of 22 offensive and defensive starters from a season ago. The group of returners includes 10 players who earned All-MAC honors in 2020, including first-team selections OL Mike Caliendo, DL Ralph Holley and S Bricen Garner. Also back are QB Kaleb Eleby (third team All-MAC), RB La’Darius Jefferson (second team), and receivers Skyy Moore (second team) and Jaylen Hall (third team).
- Saturday, Sept. 4 – at Michigan
- The Broncos will travel east to take on the Wolverines for the eighth time and first since 2018.
- Saturday, Sept. 11 – Illinois State
- The Broncos and Redbirds will meet for the ninth time, with WMU having won seven of eight meetings.
- Saturday, Sept. 18 – at Pitt
- WMU and Pitt play for the first time, with the contest marking the first Bronco game in a current NFL stadium since the Cotton Bowl at the conclusion of the 2016 season.
- Saturday, Sept. 25 – San Jose State
- WMU looks for its first-ever win over a team from the Mountain West (0-6) as the Broncos and Spartans meet for the first time.
- Saturday, Oct. 2 – at Buffalo
- The Broncos have won seven-of-nine games against the defending MAC East champions since the Bulls joined the league.
- Saturday, Oct. 9 – Ball State
- WMU will look to avenge last year’s season-ending loss to the Cardinals that decided the MAC West winner.
- Saturday, Oct. 16 – Kent State
- The Broncos and Golden Flashes will meet for the first time since 2017, a 48-20 WMU win at Waldo.
- Saturday, Oct. 23 – at Toledo
- The Broncos snapped a three-game losing streak to the Rockets in 2020 thanks to a 41-38 win at home.
- Wednesday, Nov. 3 – Central Michigan
- Weeknight #MACtion storms Waldo as the Broncos host rival Central Michigan. WMU won last year in Mt. Pleasant, 52-44. The 2020 victory was the 51st in the rivalry for WMU, which now holds a 51-38-2 edge.
- Tuesday, Nov. 9 – Akron
- WMU opened the abbreviated 2020 campaign in style, winning at Akron, 58-13, to improve to 15-5 all-time against the Zips.
- Tuesday, Nov 16 – at Eastern Michigan
- WMU will look to retain the Michigan MAC Trophy for the fourth straight year and avenge last season’s 53-42 setback to the Eagles.
- Tuesday, Nov. 23 – at Northern Illinois
- The Broncos have won three of the last five games against the Huskies, including last season’s 30-27 win at Waldo.
Kickoff Times & Television
The MAC will release an updated schedule later this spring with game times and television for the first three weeks of the regular season and its midweek MACtion schedule. All remaining game times and television will be announced 12 days prior to the scheduled game. Games will air on ESPN networks (ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU/ESPN+/ESPN3) and CBS Sports Network.
Road, non-conference games will be announced at a later date with the opponents’ respective conferences and broadcast partners.
MAC Championship Game
The MAC’s 75th Anniversary season will conclude with the 25th Rocket Mortgage MAC Football Championship game on Saturday, December 4 (Time TBA). This will mark the 18th MAC Football Championship game at Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions.