The Western Michigan Broncos battled the mighty USC Trojans, who are ranked number #4 in the country. It wasn’t a flukey game where everything fell right into place for the Broncos. They just went toe to toe with the USC. Their defense played well against the mighty Trojans but in the end they proved too much for the Broncos. There is no shame in that.
The Broncos looked good on offense, establishing the run and establishing the Tim Lester era in the process. While they didn’t eventually win the game, the phrase “moral victory” certainly applies. I am generally not a fan of moral victories. I only award them in special circumstances. A simple David vs. Goliath isn’t enough.
The 2016 season was a roller coaster that ended with the departure of coach PJ Fleck to Minnesota. Coaches leave MAC programs all the time but this wasn’t just a simple coaching change. He was almost larger than the program, putting his stamp on every aspect of the culture. To say his loss was devastating would be a huge understatement. I was called nasty things for just putting his picture on a WMU article discussing life after Fleck.
The way the team battled tonight was huge in recovering from that loss. It doesn’t matter that USC pulled away in the closing minutes and used a long run and pick 6 of a QB in his first start to up the final score to 49-31. This moral victory isn’t about what the nation thinks of WMU. This is about what Western Michigan thinks of themselves, and I can’t help but believe this makes the team believe in Tim Lester and the next chapter of WMU football.
You can read a full recap of the game here.