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CFN Take: WMU Gets Run Over By Lynch, NIU

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 28, 2013


Western Michigan Broncos 2013 ... Head Coach: Bill Cubit


Western Michigan Broncos

2013 Record: 1-11
8/31 at Michigan St L 26-13
9/7 Nicholls State L 27-23
9/14 at Northwestern L 38-17
9/21 at Iowa L 59-3
9/28 Kent State L 32-14
10/5 at Toledo L 47-20
10/12 Buffalo L 33-0
10/19 Ball State L 38-17
10/26 at UMass W 31-30
11/2 OPEN DATE
11/9 at Eastern Mich L 35-32
11/16 Central Mich L 35-32
11/23 OPEN DATE
11/26 at No Illinois W 33-14
at Northern Illinois 33, Western Michigan 14
Basically … Jordan Lynch set the NCAA record for the most rushing yards in a game by a quarterback with 321, scoring from 29, 36 and 37 yards away as part of a 27 point run to break the game open. Lynch found Juwan Brescacin for a ten-yard touchdown late in the first quarter, but Western Michigan answered with a one-yard Dareyon Chance run. The Broncos didn’t get back on the board until late in the fourth on a one-yard Antoin Scriven run.
- Northern Illinois QB Jordan Lynch completed 5-of-17 passes for 39 yards with a score, and he ran 27 times for 321 yards and three touchdowns.
- Western Michigan RB Dareyon Chance led the team with 34 rushing yards on 13 carries with a score.
- Northern Illinois averaged 7.9 yards per run, Western Michigan averaged 2.7
- Western Illinois averaged 5.1 yards per pass, Northern Illinois averaged 2.3

at Eastern Michigan 35, Western Michigan 32 OT
Basically … Under interim head coach Stan Parrish, Eastern Michigan came up with its second win of the season as the Eagle offense answered a Western Michigan field goal with a Ryan Brumfield four-yard touchdown in overtime. Brumfield ran for two touchdowns, but it was Brogan Roback who came up with the key plays hitting Dustin Creel for a ten-yard touchdown with 51 seconds to play, and then connecting with Brumfield for the two-point conversion and overtime. WMU bombed away Corey Davis catching a 70-yard touchdown pass and getting six Andrew Haldeman field goals, and Brian Fields added a seven-yard touchdown run.
- Eastern Michigan RB Ryan Brumfield ran 15 times for 148 yards and two scores and caught a pass for 15 yards. Bronson Hill ran 24 times for 111 yards and a score.
- Western Michigan QB Zach Terrell completed 24-of-39 passes for 348 yards and a touchdown with a pick.
- Western Michigan WR Corey Davis caught six passes for 112 yards and a score.
- Eastern Michigan QB Brian Roback completed 9-of-22 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown with a pick, and he ran for ten yards and a touchdown.

Buffalo 33, at Western Michigan 0
Basically … Buffalo got up 6-0 in the first half on a one-yard Devin Campbell run, but it wasn’t until the third quarter when everything kicked in. The Bulls got three touchdown passes from Joe Licata, and Patrick Clarke nailed field goals from 51 and 36 yards out on the way to the easy win. Western Michigan only managed 202 yards of total offense and turned the ball over four times.
- Break up the Bulls? Not only are they on a four game winning streak, but they’re blowing teams out with Joe Licata and the offense rolling without a problem. The defense is turning dominant, stuffing WMU for just 38 yards while forcing four turnovers. Branden Oliver ran for 128 yards as a steadying force, but it was Licata’s three touchdown passes that made the game a blowout.
- What’s working for Western Michigan? The offense isn’t getting any sort of a push for the ground game, and the line didn’t give Zach Terrell any time to work. He’s only a freshman and he needs others to help pick up the slack, but it’s not happening. There were a few decent pass plays, but the four turnovers from the offense, and the defensive problems coming up with a stop, led to another disastrous loss.

at Toledo 47, Western Michigan 20
Basically … Toledo’s David Fluellen dominated with 220 yards and touchdown runs from 7, 6, 66 and 2 yards out in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score. The Rockets got up 23-0 helped by two of Fluellen’s scoring runs and a 40-yard Bernard Reedy touchdown catch, and Trent Voss scored on a fumble return on the way to a 47-7 lead before WMU scored 13 fourth quarter points.
- David Fluellen had to carry the Toledo offense because the passing game wasn’t getting the job done. Considering the Rockets were winning with ease, it should’ve been a stronger game for Terrance Owens, who completed just 11-of-25 passes for 149 yards and a score. With 360 rushing yards, Toledo had the game well in hand.
- At the very least, Western Michigan was supposed to be able to keep up the pace in games like this. The run defense couldn’t contain David Fluellen, but the bigger problem was an offense that sputtered and coughed with four turnovers and just 87 yards on the ground.

at Iowa 59, Western Michigan 3
Basically … Everything clicked for Iowa with Jake Rudock making two touchdown passes and Kevonte Martin-Manley returning punts for second quarter touchdowns from 83 and 63 yards out. The defense also got into the act with two interception returns for scores from B.J. Lowery. Western Michigan only managed a 23-yard Andrew Haldeman field goal in the second quarter.
- Western Michigan isn’t playing well, but it seems like a long, long time since Iowa dominated a game like this. The offense ran without a problem, Jake Rudock was great, and the defense and special teams made it an ugly blowout. It was an almost perfect total team effort.
- San Diego State is in the running, but is Western Michigan the nation’s most disappointing non-BCS team? The offense is a disaster, the defense can’t stop anyone, and the team that looked like it had enough talent to make a big push in the MAC, now just needs to find something positive.
- The nice part for Iowa was being able to rest Mark Weisman. After carrying the load against Iowa State, he was only needed ten times for 43 yards and a touchdown.
- The Broncos have to find something they can rely on offensively on a consistent basis. Tyler Van Tubbergen is a veteran quarterback who isn’t having any luck or production. He only completed 14-of-32 passes for 114yards and two interceptions returned for scores.

at Northwestern 38, Western Michigan 17, Sept. 14
Basically … Northwestern overcame a sluggish start to roll up 24 second quarter points and a 31-10 lead helped by a four-yard Kain Colter touchdown run and a four-yard scoring pass to Christian Jones. Western Michigan hit on a few big plays, getting a 75-yard touchdown catch from Cory Davis and a 25-yarder from Josh Schaffer, but two Treyvon Green touchdown runs, including a 42-yarder in the fourth, put it away.
- Northwestern was sleeping and it still won easily. Kain Colter completed 6-of-7 passes for 40 yards and a touchdown, but his one misfire was a pick. He looked as healthy as he has all year, running 15 times for 106 yards and a score.
- Western Michigan can’t find any rhythm on offense. Tyler Van Tubbergen kept pressing, and he came up with a few big throws, but 100 of the team’s 345 yards of total offense came on two plays, and there wasn’t any ground game to help him out.
- With Venric Mark still out, Treyvon Green has picked up the slack for the Wildcat running game, running 20 times for 158 yards and two scores.
- So far, the Broncos have been a major, major disappointment in the early part of the P.J. Fleck era. The team needs to create a few breaks, and it needs an identity on offense. It has to find one thing it can do at a high level.

Nicholls State 27, at Western Michigan 23, Sept. 7
Basically … Down four, Western Michigan had a shot to pull out the win in the final seconds, but a Tyler Van Tubbergen passes was picked off near the end zone by Josh Dewey in the final seconds. Down 21-9, the Broncos rallied with two third quarter touchdown runs from Brian Fields to take a two point lead, but Nicholls State got two Andrew Dolan field goals in the fourth quarter, including a 28-yarder with just under two minutes to play for the winning points.
- On the plus side, Tyler Van Tubbergen marched the team down the field in the final moments to get into a position to win, but he couldn’t pull it out. WMU doesn’t have a deep ball in the arsenal; there’s a lot of dinking and dunking.
- The defense stiffened up in a big way in the second half. Nicholls State could’ve put the game away earlier, but WMU held tough deep in its own end forcing field goals. The offense, though, couldn’t put points on the board in the fourth.
- It was a fun and wild game, but it was also sloppy with 17 combined penalties and five turnovers.

at Michigan State 26, Western Michigan 13, Aug. 30
Basically … A long weather delay and a struggling Michigan State offense made it a sloppy game, but the Spartan D was terrific allowing just 11 rushing yards and coming up with a 21-yard Kurtis Drummond pick six and a 16-yard fumble return for a score from Shilique Calhoun. Western Michigan kept it close and came up with a 14-yard Clark Mussman touchdown catch, but MSU pit it away with 19 straight points.
- The Michigan State quarterback situation didn’t exactly become any clearer. Andrew Maxwell completed 11-of-21 passes for 74 yards, while Connor Cook only completed 6-of-16 throws and averaged 2.6 yards per pop.
- Jeremy Langford did a decent job running the ball as the new MSU main man, carrying it 20 times for 94 yards and a score.
-WMU’s Tyler Van Tubbergen only completed 6-of 20 passes with two picks before giving way to Zach Terrell. The Broncos didn’t get any help from the running game. There wasn’t any room to move.
- Kurtis Drummond might have come up with the pick six for the Spartans, but the two interceptions from Ed Davis were more impressive. Max Bullough was Max Bullough leading the team with nine tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss.

Spring Analysis

Why To Be Excited ... Is this the year the defense finally turns into a killer? The Broncos have had some dangerous and aggressive defenses over the years, and experience hasn’t always translated into production, but this year should be different with nine starters returning to a group that had some nice moments. It was consistently mediocre, and was disastrous against Kent State and Northern Illinois, but with the entire back eight returning, and only losing ends Deauntay Legrier and Freddie Bishop, the potential is there to go from decent to fantastic.

Why To Be Grouchy ... The offense might have Tyler Van Tubbergen in place for quarterback Alex Carder, but six starters are gone with the line a big problem losing four starters including tackle Dann O’Neill. The attack didn’t blow up like it was supposed to, and now there should be a bit of a rebuilding period. Van Tubbergen isn’t going to fly around, and the line needs to be able to protect him. Top target Jaime Wilson is back, but outside playmaker Eric Monette and veteran tight end Blake Hammond are done.

What Needs Working On ...Last year’s 4-8 team lost four games that could’ve easily swung the other way. To get those wins, he Broncos have to improve in turnover margin. The quarterbacks came up with a steady stream of picks, giving away 21, to go along with the team’s ten fumbles including three against Eastern Illinois and three more in the loss to Kent State. The bigger issue was a defense that failed to come up with enough big plays with no interceptions over the final four games and just eight on the year, while recovering a mere nine of the 23 opposition fumbles.

Non-Conference Games: at Michigan State, Nicholls State, at Northwestern, at Iowa
Games Against The East: Buffalo, Kent State, at UMass
Realistic Best Case Record: 8-4
Worst Case Record: 5-7
Likely Finish: 7-5

Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Nicholls State, Kent State, Buffalo, Ball State, at UMass, at Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan

Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Michigan State, at Northwestern, at Iowa, at Toledo, at Northern Illinois

Schedule Analysis: The Broncos spend most of the first month on the road against Big Ten teams going to Michigan State, Northwestern and Iowa before dealing with Kent State. The showdown against the Golden Flashes is the only home game in a four game stretch before going to Toledo, and then things ease up in a big way with Buffalo, Ball State, at UMass at Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan to potentially go on a roll before closing out with the showdown at Northern Illinois.

Team Concerns For 2013: The Broncos have to be better at hanging on to the ball. Miserable in the turnover margin, WMU gave it up 31 times on the season while the defense came up with a mere 17 takeaways. That wasn't the only reason for losing five of the final six games, but it didn't help. Seven starters are gone on offense including quarterback Alex Carder and four starters up front to a decent line that struggled to get the running game going. The punting game that averaged an abysmal 33.65 yards per try needs more out of J. Schroeder.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Offensive linemen, especially guard. The Broncos might have a future star in outside linebacker Caleb Bailey, and end Andre Turner is a terrific pass rushing prospect, but the offense got the biggest boost with two terrific guards - Shakier Carr and Josh Bass - to go along with a few other options. Receivers Corey Davis and Darius Phillips should be among the MAC's best new pass catchers. Daryl Chestnut out of Miami will one day lead the team in rushing, and it'll help to have this class of linemen.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 98. That Class Was Heavy On ... Wide receivers. Lots and lots of wide receivers. The Broncos have spent years on the line, and now it’s time for the pass protection to shine while giving Alex Carder time to work to all the new options. The receiving corps loses a ton of talent, and it’ll be a must for JUCO transfers Justin Collins and Darrin Duncan, among others, to become ready to play right off the bus.  

22011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 103. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offensive linemen. The last few classes have mostly addressed the offense, but outside of three-star receiver Kendrick Roberts, this class is mostly trying to load up on the offensive front. While there might not be any ready-made starters, 6-10, 290-pound Ben Davidson is an extremely intriguing tackle option and 6-5, 260-pound versatile guard Dustin Pringle has excellent upside. 6-5, 220-pound outside linebacker Jarrell McKinney could quickly grow into a whale of a pass rushing end.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 81. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offensive potential. The Broncos beefed up the line with last year's class creating the foundation for this year's haul of skill players to potentially roll. Mike Perish and Zack Wynn will battle it out for the starting quarterback spot sooner than later, while running backs Dareyon Chance, Tevin Drake, and Weston Ross all provide something difference and should all the offense to be more ground oriented than in the past.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 86. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offensive linemen. Ben Samson has the potential to be an anchor at one tackle spot, while the guard prospects, particularly Mark Zielinski and Josh Hadel, have big-time potential. The defense didn’t get a whole bunch of help.