Preview 2019: Previewing and looking ahead to the Western Michigan Broncos season with what you need to know.
2018 Record: 7-6 overall, 5-3 in MAC
Head Coach: Tim Lester, 3rd year, 13-12
5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE WESTERN MICHIGAN OFFENSE
– The offense gets its main man back. The Broncos weren’t bad offensively – averaging 437 yards and 32 points per game – but lost QB Jon Wassink in late October for the season with a foot injury. He’s back with his efficient passing skills and good nose for the goal line when he takes off, and sophomore Kaleb Eleby returns as a veteran No. 2 guy to rely on. But …
– All of a sudden, the WMU receiving corps went from amazing to concerning. It was bad enough when fourth-leading yardage guy Keishawn Watson left for Appalachian State, and it didn’t help when leading receiver Jayden Reed decided to transfer out after leading the way with 56 catches for 797 yards and eight scores.
Second-leading receiver D’Wayne Eskridge moved to defensive back, but he could return to the offensive side, TE Giovanni Ricci it s a solid pass catcher, and there’s good young talent to get excited about.
– The transfer bug hit the running backs, too, with third-leading man Chase Brown entering the portal. 16-touchdown back Jamauri Bogan is done, but 5-9, 185-pound speedster LeVante Bellamy is back after averaging six yards per carry with a team-leading 1,228 yards and six touchdowns. However, it’s a really, really thin group of running backs.
– The O line loses two starters, but all-star OG Luke Juriga is back on the right side, and the left side should be solid with the return of OT Jaylen Moore and OG Mike Caliendo. It’s not a huge front five, but it can move.