2012 Western Michigan Preview – Offense

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted May 29, 2012


CollegeFootballNews.com 2012 Preview - Western Michigan Bronco Offense


Western Michigan Broncos

Preview 2012 - Offense

- 2012 Western Michigan Preview | 2012 Western Michigan Offense
- 2012 Western Michigan Defense | 2012 Western Michigan Depth Chart

What You Need To Know: The offense was unbelievable at times thanks to quarterback Alex Carder, a good leader and playmaker who directed one of college football’s deadliest passing games. He’s back but all of his top targets are gone including Jordan White, who caught 140 passes for 1,911 yards and 17 scores. The receiving corps will be a question mark, but the stable of running backs is deep and experienced. The line might not have any all-stars, but it’s versatile and full of good veterans. The pieces are all there for another big season, but it’ll all be up to Carder and how he can make everyone around him shine. He’ll have to make the receiving corps better.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Alex Carder
330-552, 3,873 yds, 31 TD, 14 INT
Rushing: Tevin Drake
105 carries, 586 yds, 5 TD
Receiving: Eric Monette
29 catches, 306 yds, 1 TD

Star of the offense: Senior QB Alex Carder
Player who has to step up and be a star: Redshirt freshman WR Kendrick Roberts
Unsung star on the rise: Roberts
Best pro prospect: Carder
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Carder, 2) OT Dann O’Neill, 3) Roberts
Strength of the offense: Passing Game, Veteran Line
Weakness of the offense: Sure-Thing Receivers, Running Game

Quarterbacks

Senior Alex Carder came up with an All-America season but didn’t get enough recognition for his great numbers and terrific performance. There were inklings of what was to come with a 3,334-yard, 30-score sophomore campaign and then last season he dominated completing 66% of his throws for 3,873 yards and 31 touchdowns with 14 picks. More than just a passer, he finished third on the team with 270 yards and four scores. The mobility is there and the arm is next-level good, but he’s not huge at 6-2 and 221 pounds and he throws too many picks. The four he gave up against Purdue in the bowl loss were a problem and he tossed three against Ball State, but those were the only two games of the year with multiple interceptions. Even so, that’s not too bad considering he threw 502 times chucking it 59, 57 and 57 times in his final three games. This year, with two years of starting experience, he should be even better despite a slew of new receivers in the mix.

Serving as Carder’s understudy is junior Tyler Van Tubbergen, a 6-3, 198-pound talent who stepped in when needed late in the year against a bad Akron team and completed 19-of-21 passes for 252 yards and six scores to go along with 60 rushing yards and a touchdown. A good runner and a better short-to-midrange passer, he’s next in 2013 to lead the attack, and he’s more than ready to step in and produce this year, too.

6-1, 209-pound true freshman Zach Terrell will be groomed to be the main man for down the road. He’s not all that tall, but he’s a good runner and a nice athlete with a live arm. He’ll know what he’s doing by the time it’s his turn at bat.

Watch Out For … Carder’s numbers to be down, including the interceptions. He’ll still bomb away as usual, but he’s losing his top three receivers including Jordan White. However, he’ll do a good job of keeping the mistakes to a minimum.
Strength: The offense. The passing game wings it all around the yard and the quarterbacks are in place to produce. Carder is the No. 1 while Van Tubbergen is a strong two and Terrell and Anthony Maddie are nice prospects to develop. There’s a good pecking order.
Weakness: Jordan White, Chleb Ravenell and Robert Arnheim. The three combined for 269 of the team’s 369 catches and they’ll be sorely missed. It was a talented trio that will make Carder work harder.
Outlook: Carder has MAC Player of the Year potential with the ability and potential to lead the Broncos to the title game on his arm. He has to keep the picks down – WMU is 1-5 over the last few years when he threw multiple interceptions – but if he stays healthy he’ll be a threat for 4,000 yards.
Unit Rating: 8.5

Running Backs

The Bronco running game is always along for the ride, but it has enough talent back to do more. 5-8, 196-pound junior Brian Fields got three starts and finished second on the team with just 278 yards and two scores. A decent receiver with 13 catches for 111 yards, he’s shifty and multi-talented. While he’ll never be a workhorse, he was a top recruit three years ago, he was a Delaware high school all-star with tremendous quickness and burst.

6-0, 215-pound junior Tevin Drake turned out to be the team’s leading rusher with 586 yards and four scores averaging 5.6 yards per pop. More powerful than the other backs, he has been able to crank out big yards when he gets his chances including a 112-yard day against Bowling Green. However, he has to prove he can stay healthy.

Junior Antoin Scriven isn’t necessarily a power back considering he’s 5-11 and 205 pounds, but he can get inside and get the hard yards scoring four times despite running for just 62 yards and came up with another score on a catch. He’ll see time in the rotation with 5-5, 161-pound speed back Dareyon Chance, a junior who ran for just 31 yards in a limited role. With his wheels he could be used in a variety of ways.

Watch Out For … a rotation. The Broncos have too much experience and too many decent veterans to not generate a decent rotation of backs. They won’t be used too much in this attack, but everyone will be fresh.
Strength: Experience. Four backs with starting time return including the 1-2 punch of Drake and Fields. Scriven can handle the workload if needed, too.
Weakness: The offense. There isn’t much of a workload to be had. The Broncos only ran 391 times and the quarterbacks had a lot to do with that. Alex Carder led the team with 128 carries.
Outlook: With the big losses at receiver the running backs should get more work … maybe. It’s still the Western Michigan offense and it’ll still rely on the passing game, but the veterans are in place to do more on the ground. Drake and Fields will carry most of the load, but they’ll get plenty of help.
Unit Rating: 5

Receivers

The Broncos have to replace their top three receivers including Jordan White, and now it’ll be up to Kendrick Roberts to try to pick up the slack. White came up with 140 catches at the T, and while the 6-2, 205-pound Roberts isn’t the same player, he’s bigger and has good upside. A big-time recruit, the redshirt freshman is smart, big and very, very promising. He’ll also work a bit as a deep threat at the X.

6-6, 195-pound fifth-year senior Eric Monette is the team’s leading returning receiver making 29 catches for 306 yards and a score. He got four starts in four and five-wide sets coming up with a steady year. The former walk-on won’t be a star at the X, and while he’s not necessarily a field stretcher he’s a good veteran.

Junior Josh Schaffer made 19 tackles for 291 yards and two scores highlighted by a 114-yard, one-score day against Toledo and followed up by a seven-catch, 94-yard outing against Miami. A good prospect when he came in, he has yet to produce. However, the tools are there to come up with a breakout season at the inside X position.

6-1, 201-pound redshirt freshman Timmy Keith is a smart, versatile target who’ll mainly work on the inside behind Schaffer but could see time at the T. He has good size and nice quickness.

6-3, 230-pound junior Clark Mussman is a receiver working at tight end. He’ll block a little bit, but his main use will be as more of a receiver after catching six passes for 31 yards and two scores. He has the speed to stretch the field, and now he’ll get his chances. 6-5, 241-pound senior Blake Hammond is more of a blocker with 11 starts under his belt. The former high school quarterback is smart and can run decent routes, but he only caught three passes for 34 yards.

Watch Out For … Roberts. The size and talent are there to be the team’s leading receiver and the team’s new statistical superstar. He’ll get time to work into the system over the next four years and he should be a No. 1 target.
Strength: Alex Carder. The young receiving corps has a veteran bomber who can make all the right decisions and direct the show. All the receivers have to do is run the right routes and they’ll get the ball.
Weakness: The lost production. The new guys might be good, but Jordan White caught 140 passes for 1,911 yards and 17 scores. Chleb Ravenell caught 67 passes for 839 yards and nine scores and Robert Arnheim made 62 grabs for 702 yards and four touchdowns.
Outlook: The Western Michigan passing game will be just fine. It might take a little bit of time and there’s no replacing White, but Monette and Schaffer know what they’re doing and Roberts is a good one to build around. The production will be better than the talent.
Unit Rating: 6

Offensive Line

The Broncos did a nice job in pass protection considering all the attempts, and now the front five should be even stronger with a veteran crew returning. 6-6, 297-pound junior Terry Davisson started the first four games last year at center and then worked the rest of the way at right guard. Now he’ll move over to left tackle to replace longtime mainstay Anthony Parker. Davisson is a good athlete who should be fine with a little bit of seasoning.

With Davisson moving over, 6-6, 347-pound junior Deon Cammock will take over after starting the first four games at right guard and the bowl game on the left side. The massive blocker from Brooklyn’s ASA College is a pounder for the ground game, but he doesn’t exactly fly around. He should be a rock, while 6-2, 306-pound senior Kasimili Uitalia is back after starting 12 games on the left side. The transfer from Los Angeles Valley College was steady and athletic, and now he should be even more consistent.

6-8, 308-pound senior Dann O’Neill started out his career at Michigan before turning into a 23-game starter for the Broncos. A superstar recruit, he was ranked as high as No. 4 in the nation among tackle recruits and has grown into an anchor for the line. Tall and tough to get around, he’s great in pass protection. He’s a right tackle but he can move to guard if needed.

6-3, 300-pound Kevin Galeher is a smart, veteran fifth-year senior who knows how to quarterback a line. The former defensive tackle started a few games in the middle a few years ago before moving to offensive tackle. With strength and experience, he’s a mauler who should be in for a good final year.

6-7, 295-pound senior Tim Maka transferred over from Mount San Antonio JC and saw a little time as a backup. He can play either tackle spot will but will start out backing up O’Neill at right tackle, while 6-6, 298-pound junior Josh Hadel will be groomed for the starting job at center after seeing a little bit of time over the last few years. A good guard recruit, he can play anywhere in the interior.

Watch Out For … Davisson. Is he a left tackle a guard or a center? He can do a little of everything, but the goal is for him to hold down the all-important left tackle job for the next two seasons.
Strength: Experience. The returning starters have moved around where needed and are versatile enough to see time in different spots, but there’s a chance the veteran front five keeps the same lineup on a regular basis. The projected starting five have 69 games of starting experience.
Weakness: The running game. It’s a good line in pass protection but it hasn’t been able to blast away too much for a ground attack that averaged a mere four yards per run.
Outlook: The line has improved after a rough 2010 and should be coming into its own after a decent 2011. With so much size, experience and versatility this should be one of the MAC’s most consistent lines. There aren’t any sure-thing all-stars – but O’Neill has a shot – but it should be solid as the year goes on.
Unit Rating: 5
 
- 2012 Western Michigan Preview | 2012 Western Michigan Offense
- 2012 Western Michigan Defense | 2012 Western Michigan Depth Chart