Nov 3, 2023; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange quarterback Carlos Del Rio-Wilson (16) runs as Boston College Eagles linebacker Kam Arnold (5) chases during the second half at the JMA Wireless Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh, Syracuse limp into meeting at Yankee Stadium

Pitt and Syracuse have taken a beating in Atlantic Coast Conference play this season, leaving both teams longing for a victory Saturday when they meet at Yankee Stadium in New York City.

The Panthers (2-7, 1-4) have lost three straight games, including the last two by a combined margin of 82-14. They fell to Florida State 24-7 last weekend, although the game was tight until the Seminoles scored two touchdowns in the final four minutes of the third quarter.

Pitt ranks 110th in the nation in scoring with just 20.7 points a game, much to the dismay of coach Pat Narduzzi.

“We’ve got to get the ball to the right guy at the right time, and again, it’s always something you can do better,” Narduzzi said. “When you watch the tape, you look back (and think), ‘Hindsight, man, I wish we would have tried that.’ You don’t get a second chance.”

Syracuse (4-5, 0-5) is the only winless team in ACC play, as the offense has disappeared following a 4-0 start.

Carlos Del Rio-Wilson started last week’s 17-10 loss to Boston College in place of Garrett Shrader (undisclosed injury). Del Rio-Wilson battled through injuries of his own to go 7-for-17 for 37 yards, with four interceptions.

Syracuse coach Dino Babers has not made any decisions about Saturday’s starting quarterback, although he realizes the coaching staff and players need to take advantage of available opportunities.

“What we have to do is put those guys in a situation to make plays,” Babers said. “And then they have to be able to go out there and make the plays. Those kids, I thought, were in position to make plays. We just didn’t make enough plays to win the game.”

The Panthers have won 16 of the last 18 meetings between the teams, losing by only one point in 2012 and by three points in 2017.

Last season, Pitt held Del Rio-Wilson to 8-of-23 passing for 120 yards — and limited Syracuse to 145 total yards — in a 19-9 Panthers triumph.

–Field Level Media

Oct 14, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Christian Veilleux (11) warms up before the game against the Louisville Cardinals at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt rides momentum from upset win into matchup with Wake

Pitt made a quarterback change and it worked out, at least for the short term.

Wake Forest might go down that path.

The teams meet Saturday at Winston-Salem, N.C., looking for upticks as they begin the second half of their schedules.

Pitt (2-4, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) has tried something new, and that could be a winning formula after a dismal opening month of the season.

“We talk about playing together and staying together,” Panthers coach Pat Narduzzi said. “That’s who our guys are. Gave us a little fuel for the second half of the season.”

Christian Veilleux is the new first-string quarterback and he threw for two touchdowns as the Panthers beat then-No. 14 Louisville 38-21 on Saturday. The victory snapped Pitt’s four-game skid.

Veilleux, a transfer from Penn State, completed 12 of 26 passes for 200 yards in his first career start.

“He made plays when needed to. Our receivers made plays,” Narduzzi said. “Our offensive line did a great job, did a good job protecting him.”

Wake Forest (3-3, 0-3) will try to avoid its first four-game losing streak in a single season since 2015.

“I know our locker room and I know our team,” Wake Forest receiver Taylor Morin said. “We’re going to fight.”

That could come with a new starting quarterback, though more on that topic probably won’t be clear until later in the week.

Wake Forest starting QB Mitch Griffis was pulled during the Demon Deacons’ 30-13 loss to Virginia Tech last week. Michael Kern, who left late in the game with an injury, came in and didn’t generate much more success, but coach Dave Clawson believed the Demon Deacons needed a spark.

“We’re going to take a hard look at what we’re doing and who we’re doing it with and give our guys a better chance of competing,” Clawson said.

Pitt won the last meeting, beating Wake Forest 45-21 in the ACC championship game in 2021. The Panthers also beat the Demon Deacons 34-13 in Winston-Salem in 2018 in the only other previous matchup.

In the past four seasons, Wake Forest has lost just three games in October — and two of those setbacks have come this year.

The teams have something in common — both have lost road games to Virginia Tech this season. The Panthers are 0-2 in road games.

–Field Level Media

Oct 7, 2023; Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Louisville Cardinals running back Jawhar Jordan (25) runs the ball to score a touchdown against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the second half at L&N Federal Credit Union Stadium. Louisville defeated Notre Dame 33-20. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

No. 14 Louisville aims to extend Pitt’s losing streak

Minutes after Louisville finished a 33-20 upset of then-No. 10 Notre Dame last weekend, first-year Cardinals coach Jeff Brohm sounded a warning.

“Once you win a game like that, the bar goes from here up to here,” he said. “Every week in college football, if you don’t come ready to play, you are not going to win.”

Complacency might pose a bigger danger for the 14th-ranked Cardinals than host Pitt for Saturday’s Atlantic Coast Conference matchup.

While Louisville (6-0, 3-0) is undefeated and jumped 11 spots in the AP poll this week, the Panthers (1-4, 0-2) are licking a plethora of wounds that come with a four-game losing streak and the benching of a quarterback.

Former Boston College starter Phil Jurkovec, who threw for 5,184 yards and 35 touchdowns in three years with the Eagles, completed just 50.9 percent of his passes before Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi pulled the plug days after a 38-21 loss on Sept. 30 at Virginia Tech.

Penn State transfer Christian Veilleux, who’s completed 12 of 27 passes for 145 yards in two games this year, will get the call against Louisville. Narduzzi hopes Veilleux can provide a spark for an offense that has been held under 300 yards in three of the last four games.

“Christian will be the guy lined up there,” Narduzzi said, “and we expect to have a good week this week. Nobody in our program is happy with where we are right now. It goes to everybody that sits in this room on a normal day here to get it done. Coaches coach and players play. So nobody’s happy.”

Not that lack of production on offense is the sole reason for Pitt’s skid. The Panthers allowed 79 points in ACC losses to North Carolina and Virginia Tech.

“We’ve got to play championship defense,” Narduzzi said. “We’ve got to get better. We’ve got to make more plays. We need to get off the field and give the ball back to our offense.”

That might be easier said than done against the Cardinals. Brohm has put together a balanced offense that pairs the passing of Cal transfer Jack Plummer with the explosive running of Jawhar Jordan.

In the win over Notre Dame, Jordan rushed 21 times for 143 yards, scoring on 45- and 21-yard runs in the second half after Louisville fell behind 10-7. Plummer was an efficient 17 of 24 for 145 yards and a 9-yard touchdown to Jamari Thrash in the first quarter.

Thrash has 30 catches for 519 yards and six scores, while Jordan has rushed for 653 yards and eight touchdowns. Plummer has 1,551 yards in the air with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions. In other words, the Cardinals are on pace to have a 1,000-yard receiver, 1,000-yard rusher and 3,000-yard passer halfway through the season.

The Panthers own a 10-9 edge in the all-time series, although Louisville won last year’s matchup 24-10 at home.

–Field Level Media

Nov 26, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers linebacker Tylar Wiltz (10) tackles Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Colbie Young (88) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Jared Wayne’s 3 receiving TDs lead Pitt’s rout of Miami

Jared Wayne caught 11 passes for 199 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Pittsburgh Panthers to a 42-16 win over the host Miami Hurricanes in an Atlantic Coast Conference game on Saturday night.

Israel Abanikanda, who started the day leading the ACC in rushing, ran for 111 yards on 15 carries — an average of 7.4 yards per carry — and two touchdowns as Pitt (8-4, 5-3 ACC) won its fourth straight game.

Kedon Slovis completed 18 of 28 passes for 256 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for the Panthers, who ended a four-game losing streak in their annual series against the Hurricanes.

Despite the win, the Panthers are 2-12 in their 14 most recent trips to Miami.

Pitt defensive tackle Calijah Kancey, who started the week tied for second in the ACC with 7 1/2, missed the game due to a left shoulder injury.

The Hurricanes (5-7, 3-5), who could’ve gone to a bowl game with a win, finished their season with their worst overall record since 2007.

Miami lost two quarterbacks to injury. Starter Tyler Van Dyke, who suffered a right-shoulder injury against Duke on Oct. 22, tried to make a comeback but lasted just one series against Pitt.

Backup Jacurri Brown was injured in the third quarter.

Jake Garcia finished the game for Miami, completing 17-of-28 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns. He was not intercepted.

Standouts for Miami included tight end Will Mallory, who caught nine passes for 103 yards and one score, and running back Jaylan Knighton, who ran seven times for 72 yards.

Mallory’s touchdown catch was the 14th of his career, which set a Miami record for a tight end.

Pitt led 14-0 after the first quarter and 28-0 at halftime.

On the game’s first possession, Miami drove to Pitt’s 11-yard line. But a Pitt blitz led to Van Dyke throwing an interception right at linebacker SirVocea Dennis, who returned the pick 67 yards to the Miami 30. That led to Abanikanda’s 2-yard TD run.

Wayne then scored on a 66-yard pass play.

The second quarter featured two more Pitt touchdowns: Abanikanda’s 11-yard run and Wayne’s 26-yard reception.

Miami finally got on the board on Andres Borregales’ 25-yard field goal in the third quarter.

Wayne followed that with his third scoring reception, this one from 7 yards, giving Pitt a 35-3 lead.

Mallory got his record-setting touchdown with 11:52 left in the fourth, catching a 4-yard toss from Garcia.

–Field Level Media

Nov 19, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Duke Blue Devils wide receiver Jalon Calhoun (5) catches a touchdown pass behind Pittsburgh Panthers defensive back Erick Hallett II (31) during the first quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt takes advantage of Duke miscues, missed chances in win

Pitt feasted on a pair of costly Duke turnovers and running back Israel Abanikanda had another strong game as the host Panthers prevailed 28-26 by stopping a two-point conversion in the final minute Saturday afternoon.

Duke was in Pitt territory with less than four minutes remaining, but couldn’t convert on third- and fourth-and-5 plays. Then the Blue Devils took over at the Pittsburgh 22 after the Panthers botched a punt play, scoring on a fourth-and-18 play on Riley Leonard’s 19-yard pass to Jaylen Coleman with 47 seconds left. It was followed by the second failed conversion in the final 10 minutes for Duke (7-4, 4-3).

Pitt scored its first touchdown on a 6-year run by Abanikanda and its final one on a defensive score on Brandon Hill’s return of a fumble in the fourth quarter.

The Panthers (7-4, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) held on to win the matchup that might determine second place in the ACC’s Coastal Division.

Duke quarterback Riley Leonard threw for three touchdowns and ran for another. He was 24-for-45 for 290 yards, but Duke’s rushing attack was limited to 63 yards.

Quarterback Kedon Slovis of Pitt was 15-for-32 for 190 yards with a touchdown throw and two interceptions. Ben Sauls kicked field goals of 47 and 51 yards in the first half for the Panthers.

Abanikanda rushed for 113 yards on 17 carries with a touchdown and two-point conversion run.

Pitt’s first touchdown came one play after a punt hit Duke return man Jalon Calhoun and the Panthers had the ball at the Duke 6-yard line. Abanikanda ran for the score.

The Panthers went ahead 10 seconds before halftime when Slovis connected with Jared Wayne on a 15-yard play.

The score remained 20-14 through a scoreless third quarter before Hill’s touchdown while on defense and Abanikanda’s two-point conversion run. Down 28-14, Duke was quick to respond, with Leonard’s 49-yard pass play to Jordan Moore.

Duke’s first touchdown was set up by a blocked punt and came on Leonard’s 28-yard hookup with Calhoun in the first quarter. The Blue Devils were up 14-13 on Leonard’s 1-yard run with 3:01 left in the first half.

–Field Level Media

Nov 5, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Syracuse Orange defensive back Ja'Had Carter (1) defends a pass intended for Pittsburgh Panthers wide receiver Jared Wayne (5) during the second quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt hands No. 20 Syracuse third straight loss, 19-9

Rodney Hammond Jr. ran for 124 yards and a touchdown and C’Bo Flemister also rushed for a score Saturday as Pitt snapped a two-game skid with a 19-9 home victory over No. 20 Syracuse.

The Panthers (5-4, 2-3 ACC) overcame nine penalties for 73 yards and two interceptions — one by quarterback Kedon Slovis (16 of 23, 178 yards) and one by wideout Jared Wayne on his only pass attempt.

Standout tailback Sean Tucker ran for just 19 yards on 10 carries for Syracuse (6-3, 3-2), which lost its third straight game. The Orange played without quarterback Garrett Shrader (concussion), with Carlos Del Rio-Wilson going 8 of 23 for 120 yards in his place.

Syracuse dented the scoreboard first, shortly after Ja’Had Carter intercepted Slovis in the end zone. The Orange methodically drove down the field and took a 3-0 lead on Andre Szmyt’s 23-yard field goal — the 12th play of the drive — with 26 seconds left in the first quarter.

Pitt answered back with a touchdown on its next possession as Hammond found the end zone on a 6-yard rush.

The teams then exchanged punts before the Orange got within 7-6 on Szmyt’s 48-yard field goal with 3:44 remaining until intermission. However, the Panthers squeezed in a field goal of their own before halftime, with Ben Sauls booting a 43-yarder in the waning seconds.

Flemister accounted for the only scoring of the third quarter when he registered a 1-yard TD run in the final two minutes of the period. The big play of the possession for the Panthers was a 23-yard pass from Slovis to Wayne (six catches, 102 yards) that set up the hosts with a first-and-goal at the 1.

Szmyt missed a 46-yard field goal early in the fourth, although he did drain a 49-yarder with 4:52 to play to get the visitors within 17-9.

With under two minutes left, Pitt punter Sam Vander Haar pinned Syracuse at its own 1. On the next play, Deslin Alexandre sacked Del Rio-Wilson for the game-clinching safety.

–Field Level Media

Oct 8, 2022; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Brock Domann (19) passes the ball as Virginia Cavaliers linebacker Nick Jackson (6) chases during the second quarter at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville, Pittsburgh meet coming off of successful stretches

Pittsburgh and host Louisville bring plenty of momentum into play when they square off on Saturday evening.

Both the Panthers (4-2, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) and the Cardinals (3-3, 1-3) had last weekend off after producing solid wins on Oct. 8. Pittsburgh last visited Louisville in 2011 when the teams played in the Big East. The Panthers won that contest 21-14.

Pittsburgh was the talk of the conference after a 45-29 win at home over hapless Virginia Tech two weeks ago. Israel Abanikanda led that chatter after rushing for 320 yards and scoring six touchdowns, including an 80-yard TD run in the fourth quarter to ice the game.

Abanikanda’s performance broke the program’s single-game rushing record set by Tony Dorsett in 1975 and tied the school and ACC records for touchdowns in a contest. Abanikanda leads the FBS with an average of 186.2 all-purpose yards per game.

Pittsburgh’s two losses, in OT at now-No. 3 Tennessee and to Georgia Tech, are by a combined 12 points.

“Probably the best 60 minutes we’ve put together as a team,” Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said after the win over Virginia Tech. “I just love the way our kids hang in there, continue to fight and believe. … We’ve got more ACC games to go, and we’ve got to take them one at a time.”

Louisville heads home after ambushing Virginia 34-17 in Charlottesville, Va., in the Cardinals’ most recent outing. Junior Brock Domann made his first career start for the Cardinals, throwing for 275 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 71 yards and another score, racking up his first career passing and rushing TDs.

The Cardinals trailed 10-0 eight minutes into the game but answered with the ensuing 20 points. The Louisville defense shrugged off a ragged start and held Virginia to just 6 rushing yards.

“Our guys settled down in the second quarter, we started making some plays,” Louisville coach Scott Satterfield said. You can’t say enough about the resiliency of our guys, and I’m really proud of them and the way they came out and finished this game.”

Quarterback Malik Cunningham was held out of the Virginia game because of “concussion-like symptoms.” Cunningham’s availability for the Pitt game is to be determined.

–Field Level Media

Oct 8, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Panthers running back Israel Abanikanda (2) runs to score a touchdown against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the first quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Israel Abanikanda ties school record as Pittsburgh beats Va. Tech

Israel Abanikanda tied a school record with six rushing touchdowns and broke Tony Dorsett’s school record with 320 rushing yards as Pittsburgh beat visiting Virginia Tech 45-29 on Saturday.

Abanikanda joined Norman Bill Budd as the only Panther with six rushing touchdowns. Budd achieved the feat in 1910 against Ohio as a quarterback.

Abanikanda also broke Dorsett’s previous mark of 303 rushing yards set Nov. 15, 1975 at home against Notre Dame and became the seventh player in ACC history to run for more than 300 yards. He also tied the ACC record for rushing touchdowns set by Kelvin Bryant in 1981 for North Carolina.

The junior broke Dorsett’s mark on a six-yard gain with 5:35 remaining. His final run was a 16-yard gain on the next play after surpassing Dorsett when he was shaken up and appeared to slightly limp off the field.

Before breaking Dorsett’s record, Abanikanda scored twice in the first half, including the go-ahead 17-yard run with 7:14 left that gave Pittsburgh a 16-14 lead. He added TD runs of 29 yards and five yards in the third quarter to help the Panthers to a 31-16 lead and then scored twice in a span of 2:44 to give Pittsburgh a 45-29 lead after the Hokies cut the deficit to 31-29.

Abanikanda, whose previous career high was four TDs against Rhode Island, finished it off with an 80-yard run with 7:56 left after Virginia Tech kicker William Ross missed a 38-yard field goal.

Abanikanda’s big day helped the Panthers rebound from last week’s disappointing loss to Georgia Tech when he exited in the first half with a shoulder that had him in a sling and put his status against Virginia Tech in doubt.

Kedon Slovis completed 15 of 27 passes for 170 yards as the Panthers (4-2, 1-1 ACC) beat the Hokies for the third straight time.

Grant Wells completed 25 of 47 passes for 277 yards as Virginia Tech (2-3, 1-2) dropped its second straight. Kaleb Smith had nine receptions for 152 yards but was in the medical tent late in the fourth quarter.

Abanikanda reached 177 yards by halftime after Pittsburgh erased an early 16-7 deficit and held a 17-16 lead. He scored his final two touchdowns after Da’Wain Lofton had a 43-yard TD reception with 30 seconds left in the third and Virginia Tech blocked a punt with 13:25 left in the fourth.

–Field Level Media

Sep 24, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Kedon Slovis (9) scrambles with the ball against the Rhode Island Rams during the second quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Israel Abanikanda’s four TDs lead No. 24 Pitt past Rhode Island

Israel Abanikanda rushed for 177 yards and four touchdowns on 19 carries as No. 24 Pitt beat visiting Rhode Island 45-24 on Saturday.

Abanikanda, who scored in each quarter, is Pitt’s first rusher with three straight 100-yard games and four touchdowns in a game since Darrin Hall in 2017.

The Panthers (3-1) totaled 460 yards of offense, including 241 in the first half.

With an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter, M.J. Devonshire became the first Panther to return an interception and a punt for a TD in one season since Darrelle Revis in 2006.

Pitt’s Kedon Slovis returned from injury and was 20-for-27 passing for 189 passing yards.

Pitt improved to 8-0 against FCS opponents under coach Pat Narduzzi, a Rhode Island alum. On Saturday, the Panthers played without five starters and lost tight end Gavin Bartholomew (undisclosed) during the game.

For Rhode Island (2-2), Marques DeShields ran for 82 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.

Kasim Hill was 17-of-30 for 223 yards, helping the Rams average 13.1 yards per completion compared with Pitt’s 9.5. Hill connected with Darius Savedge for a 15-yard score in the fourth quarter.

Jake Fire recorded a game-high 13 tackles for Rhode Island.

After a pair of penalties ended the Rams’ first drive, the Panthers scored on Devonshire’s return before their offense touched the ball.

Pitt made the score 14-0 just two plays into its second series when Abanikanda rushed through a seam for a 67-yard score. But the Rams’ DeShields responded with a 63-yard touchdown run less than a minute later.

In the second quarter, Abanikanda’s 12-yard TD run highlighted a 16-play, 82-yard drive that lasted 7:35. Adding to Pitt’s lead, Ben Sauls booted a 31-yard field goal with 3:39 left.

Two penalties helped the Rams extend a 75-yard drive and score on a 1-yard DeShields run in the final minute of the half.

Rhode Island ate up 8:16 of the third-quarter clock during an 18-play drive that ended with Harrison Leonard nailing his first career field goal, from 34 yards with 56 seconds to play.

In the final quarter, Abanikanda ran in from 13 yards, and Vincent Davis added an 18-yard TD run with 1:11 left.

–Field Level Media

Sep 10, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Kedon Slovis (9) passes under pressure from Tennessee Volunteers defensive lineman Roman Harrison (30) during the second quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

No. 23 Pitt’s QB situation a mystery for trip to WMU

Coming off a tough overtime home loss to now-15th ranked Tennessee, No. 23 Pittsburgh will try to rebound as well as gain a measure of revenge Saturday night when the Panthers play at Western Michigan in a nonconference tilt in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Last season, the Broncos stunned the Panthers in Pittsburgh, 44-41, which one of just three losses for Pitt — giving this relatively unusual Power Five at Group of Five contest a little extra juice.

Pittsburgh (1-1) will travel with hopes of earning some payback and keeping its status as a ranked team.

“They do a lot of similar things to us, so it will be some carryover from what our offense sees every day in practice with what they do coverage-wise and front-wise,” Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi said.

Pittsburgh enters 1-1 after a 38-31 win over West Virginia to start the year and the 34-27 overtime loss to Tennessee, when the Panthers squandered a 10-0 lead but then rallied to tie the game late to force overtime.

The big concern for the Panthers this week is the status of starting quarterback Kedon Slovis, who had gotten off to a good start replacing Heisman Trophy finalist Kenny Pickett.

Slovis, a highly touted transfer from USC, had completed 30 of 48 passes for 503 yards on the season before an undisclosed injury caused him to miss the second half and overtime against Tennessee.

Backup Nick Patti came and produced 9-of-20 passing for 79 yards and a touchdown for the Panthers. But even Patti appeared to injure his leg early in the fourth quarter, limping noticeably between plays but throwing the tying touchdown pass with 2:23 remaining.

Narduzzi provided no update Monday on the status of Slovis or Patti and said the third-string quarterback remains “unsettled.”

“I’m not talking personnel,” Narduzzi said. “We all know what we know. I know nothing. How about that?”

On the other side, the starting quarterback for Western Michigan will be a familiar face to Pittsburgh fans: Jack Salopek. He is a redshirt freshman who was a record-setting passer at Norwin High School, 20 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

In two games this season, Salopek has completed 46 of 79 passes for 423 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Western Michigan (1-1) opened the season with a 35-13 loss at now-No. 11 Michigan State and a 37-30 victory at Ball State on Saturday.

The Broncos trailed 23-14 with 8:34 remaining in the third quarter before rallying.

“They just kept swinging,” Western Michigan head coach Tim Lester said. “That’s our motto on offense, ‘Keep swinging.’

“We’ve got a new offensive coordinator (Jeff Thorne), we’ve got a new quarterback, we’ve got three new (offensive) linemen, we’ve got new wideouts and it’s going to take time. But we don’t have time. We need it now and they just need to keep swinging and trust the process.”

This will be Western Michigan’s first home game against a Power Five school since 2018, when the Broncos lost to Syracuse, 55-42.

–Field Level Media