Illini to play at Western Michigan

Illini to play at Western Michigan

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CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois football team is going to play another away game against Western Michigan. But this time, not in Detroit.

Illinois has scheduled a 2016 game at Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo, Mich. The teams are set to meet Sept. 3 that year at the 30,000-seat building.

Illinois played Western Michigan at Detroit's Ford Field in 2008, losing 23-17 in a game that cost the Illini a bowl bid. The Juice Williams-led team finished 5-7, one victory short of bowl eligibility a year after playing in the Rose Bowl.

For the 2016 game, Illinois will be paid $400,000, the same amount being paid Western Michigan for a Sept. 1, 2012 game at Memorial Stadium. The teams are also playing at Memorial Stadium during the 2011 season, with the Broncos serving as the final nonconference game for Ron Zook's team.

The 2016 game will use Big Ten officials. It will be the first game in Illinois history at a MAC school's home stadium.

Illinois has played against the MAC on a semi-regular basis, going 12-4 all time against current MAC members Akron, Ball State, Miami, Northern Illinois, Ohio and Western Michigan. The four losses came against Ohio (thrice) and Western Michigan.

Illinois coach Ron Zook knows all about the league, playing defensive back at Miami during the 1970s. His three teams went a combined 32-1-1, winning bowl games against Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. The lone loss came against Purdue.

Western Michigan isn't the only upcoming MAC game for the Illini. A 2015 game against Kent State also is scheduled.

Illinois has also added a 2015 game against Western Illinois at Memorial Stadium. It will be the second Champaign appearance for the Leathernecks, who lost to the 2007 Illini 21-0.

Categories (3):Illini Sports, Football, Sports

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toddalan1975 wrote on April 12, 2011 at 1:04 am

Why? Why? Why? Why would they schedule this team???? WE (ILLINOIS) has nothing to gain by playing a MAC school! They wouldnt be a quality win and they could win, which would hurt even more! I just dont get it and why play at their place? ugh!

Jam wrote on April 12, 2011 at 6:04 am

The answer I think is travel costs. The price of everything is going up, and eventually it is going to affect the leisure life of Americans.

ATLIllini wrote on April 12, 2011 at 7:04 am

Did Assistant Athletics Director for Sales & Marketing Chris Hanna (Western Michigan '94) ink this deal without Guenther's consent, too?

Illini1973 wrote on April 12, 2011 at 7:04 am
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It's a good thing we got out of that Missery game in StL and its $1M+ guaranteed. We just got to realize we're can't 'run with the big dogs.'

ehorton wrote on April 12, 2011 at 7:04 am

re: game at wmu, my prediction is that we will probably rip them apart. fortunately that is 5 years away. that will give extra time for the whiners to blog their negativity. whine away.

ed horton

jjohnson wrote on April 12, 2011 at 11:04 am

we have quite a few "illiniwhiney's" to join IlliniHimey

zyoungbl wrote on April 12, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Oh stop it. You know you'll all buy your season tickets and tune in for every game this year. Even if it is to whine some more afterwards.

geriatricillini wrote on April 12, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Think this is bad? Just wait until we read the comments after the article on the Illini basketball banquet is posted. My barn cats don't whine as much as some folks do on this site. Mmmeeeooowww!!!!!