KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — For the first time in school history, the Western Michigan Broncos are going to bowl games in back-to-back years.
The Broncos play the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders in the Bahamas Bowl at noon on Christmas Eve. They have one more practice in Kalamazoo on Saturday, and then fly to the Bahamas on Sunday.
Head coach P.J. Fleck said his team is making the most of the extra practice that a bowl game brings to a program.
“The energy is extremely high, which is the number one thing we want to make sure that during bowl practice you have,” he said.
Bowl games like this one have a lot of great activities planned for the players, and the Bahamas have some beautiful beaches. But Fleck says his Broncos will be focused on the real reason they’re making this trip: They have to be.
“We have players that truly get it,” Fleck said. “They know. They’re mature enough to understand it. Young guys on the trip, we’re educating them every single day. But one thing that we’ve really made important in the recruiting process is football has to be very, very, very important to you, or you cannot play at Western Michigan.”
“They all know how important this game is and how much a win really means to everyone on the team, the program, present and past Broncos,” WMU senior linebacker Grant DePalma said. “We’re there on a business trip and we’ll definitely have fun, I know we will, but we’re there to win a game.”
WMU has been to six bowl games, but has never won one.