As Western Michigan continues to build themselves up as a steady program from the Group of 5, with that uphill climb comes some big challenges. They've done just that this season with back-to-back games against Southern California and Michigan State to open the season.
The mentality of scheduling such tough contests early on in the season is get tested right away, take away what you can from the premier programs and apply that to your own when league play comes around. While the Broncos could not corral a victory in either match-up against the Trojans or Spartans, don't be surprised if they make a bid at going unblemished in conference action later this season.
Western is preparing for a tilt at home this weekend against FCS foe Wagner, following a win at home against Idaho last weekend. However, the program made some noteworthy news off the field on Thursday as well, announcing a future game with a college football blue-blood program,
— Western Michigan Football (@WMU_Football) September 21, 2017
The 2020 scheduled game between Western Michigan and Notre Dame will be just the fourth meeting all-time between the two programs and the first since 2010. The two meetings head-to-head prior to that were back in 1919-20. The Irish have won all three contests against the Broncos thus far.
When the two hooked up back in 2010, it was the first time that Notre Dame had played a school affiliated with the Mid-American Conference since the league was first formed back in 1947. The Broncos are just the third full-time MAC member that the Irish have played in football (Akron – 1910, Miami (OH) – 1909).
Notre Dame did also play a game against the University of Massachusetts (at Amherst) back in 2015 when the Minutemen were briefly a member of the MAC as part of their transition to FBS.
A quick recap of what happened back in 2010 when the Broncos and Irish opposed one another:
- Both teams were tied 7-7 after one quarter of play. But the Irish gradually began to pull away after that. They led 27-17 at halftime and outscored Western 17-3 in the second half to earn a 44-20 victory.
- Broncos quarterback Alex Carder was 28/43 for 277 yards with no passing touchdowns and two interceptions thrown.
- Among those who caught passes for Notre Dame in that game were a pair of current members of the Detroit Lions – running back Theo Riddick and wide receiver/returner TJ Jones.
The future game will take place on September 19 in 2020. Western Michigan will be receiving a payout of $1.175 million from Notre Dame. Game time and broadcast information will be announced some time in the fall of that season.