Western Michigan Broncos College Football Preview 2021: Keys To The Season
Western Michigan Broncos Biggest Key: Offense
To nitpick, it would be nice to be a bit more consistent on third down conversions. The two Bronco losses came even though the offense seemed like it converted on every big chance – 14-of-25 on third downs against Eastern Michigan and Ball State – but there were issues in two of the four games.
The Northern Illinois game should’ve been a layup, but WMU only converted on one of the nine third down tries and came up with just 2-of-10 against Toledo.
The offense was at 50% or over in the other four games.
Again, nitpicking, but the offense is so strong, so explosive, and so balanced that just about everything else is in place.
Western Michigan Broncos Biggest Key: Defense
Where are the takeaways? The Western Michigan defense needs to be a whole lot better in the red zone – it only came away once without allowing points and gave up touchdowns almost 70% of the time – but coming up with a few turnovers would be a huge plus.
Three. That’s what the Broncos produced. One fumble recovery and one interception in the opener against Akron, one interception the following week against Toledo, and that was it for the season.
It’s not like the program doesn’t know how to do this – it came up with 22 in 2019 and 20 or more in each of the previous four years – but now the big plays and key stops have to come.
Western Michigan Broncos Key Player To A Successful Season
PK Thiago Kapps, Sr.
Or Gavin Peddle. The placekicking has to be stronger overall considering how many close games the team was in and should be again.
The two kickers combined to hit 5-of-9 field goals, Kapps missed three extra points, and Peddle made all eight of his tries.
There was a missed 43-yarder in the loss to Eastern Michigan, a misfire on a 29-yard try in the 30-27 loss to Ball State, and this year with this team, a key miss might be the difference between a MAC Championship and just a very, very good season.
Western Michigan Broncos Key Game To The 2021 Season
at Toledo, Oct. 23
It was one of the wildest, wackiest, and most fun games of last year – a 41-38 Western Michigan win off a fake spike play for a touchdown – and this time around it should be an even bigger deal in the MAC Championship race.
Ball State might be the defending champion, and avenging last year’s 30-27 loss at home in early October matters, but Toledo should be the MAC West’s big star and the biggest barrier to getting to Detroit.
2020 Western Michigan Broncos Fun Stats
– Average yards per catch: WMU 17.2 – Opponents 11.5
– Fumbles: WMU 10 (lost 4) – Opponents 8 (lost 1)
– Sacks: WMU 19 for 111 yards – Opponents 7 for 46 yards