Over the course of the 2008 season, the Broncos received votes in the AP Poll and the USA Today Coaches Poll, culminating with a top 30 ranking and 9-2 record in week 13. The Broncos no longer received votes after dropping their final two games.
WMU was picked to finish third in the West Division, according to the MAC News Media Association. The Broncos also earned two first place votes and one vote to win the MAC Championship Game. Rival Central Michigan was picked to win the West Division. Bowling Green was selected to win the East Division.
Nebraska jumped out to a 17–0 lead in the second quarter that Western Michigan could not recover from.
WMU quarterback Tim Hiller was 30 of 49 for 342 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Branden Ledbetter caught nine balls for 123 yards and a touchdown. The Broncos were held to eight rushing yards for the game.
In the Mid-American Conference opening game for both teams, WMU overcame a 19–14 fourth quarter NIU lead with two Tim Hiller touchdown passes in the span of three minutes and six seconds. Hiller completed 21 of 30 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns for the game and running back Brandon West carried the ball 25 times for 175 yards.
NIU was playing without its freshman starting quarterback Chandler Harnish who left the game in the first quarter due to an injury. NIU outgained WMU 439 to 384 in total yards and had possession of the ball for 34:20 opposed to WMU's 25:40 time of possession.
After Idaho scored early in the third quarter to tie the game at 14–14, WMU outscored the Vandals 37–14 to cruise to a 51–28 win over the Western Athletic Conference member. WMU quarterback Tim Hiller completed 23 of 31 passes for 241 yards and four touchdowns. Wide receiver Jamarko Simmons caught six passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns.
Despite outgaining WMU 455 yards to 416 yards, Idaho could not stop WMU from scoring 23 points in 4:32 during the third quarter to put the game away.
Led by quarterbackTim Hiller's five touchdown passes, Western Michigan defeated Football Championship Subdivision opponent Tennessee Tech 41–7. The Broncos outgained Tennessee Tech 633 yards to 251 and gained 30 first downs compared to 13. Hiller completed 27 of 31 passes for 333 yards and running back Brandon West carried the ball for 133 yards and a touchdown on 14 rushes. Wide receiver Jamarko Simmons led all receivers with 10 catches for 115 yards and a touchdown.