Friday, August 20, 2010
MAC 2010-Western Michigan Broncos
2009 Record: 5-7 (4-4)
Head Coach: Bill Cubit (6th season, 34-27...68-45-1 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Mike Grant (6th season) and Cubit
Defensive Coordinator: Dave Cohen (1st season)
2009 Bowl Game: A very disappointing no
Offense: Tim Hiller, who was one of the best QBs in the country the last 4 seasons, is gone. Alex Carder, a fireball of a personality, is the new starter as a sophomore. Aaron Winchester and Brian Fields will be sharing the load at RB, but neither was the starter last season. Robert Arnheim had 59 cathces last season, and will lead the receiving corps, but Juan Nunez and Jordan White return as well. 3 starters return on the line, but both new starters (C Kevin Galeher and RT Dann O'Neill) are sophomores.
Defense: This group ranked 101st in the nation last season, and is changing their philosophy. DT Weston Peiffer is the lone returnee on the line at DT. All 3 LBs return in Mitch Zajac, Deantay Legrier, Chris Prom. This group was not as aggressive as one would have liked last season, and Dave Cohen is pushing them hard this season. 3 starters return in the secondary, with safeties Jamall Berry and Doug Wiggins, and CB Deshon Lawrence coming back. Damond Smith looks to be the new starter at CB.
Special Teams: John Potter was better at PATs than FGs last season by a good deal, but will be unchallenged this season at PK. Ben Armer returns as the punter, but he is going to need a stronger leg, as he failed to average 40 yards per punt in 2009.
Wins: 9/11 Nicholls State, 10/9 @ Ball State, 10/23 Akron, 11/13 Eastern Michigan
Toss Up Games: 9/18 Toledo, 10/2 Idaho, 11/26 @ Bowling Green, 11/20 Kent State
Losses: 9/4 @ Michigan State, 10/16 @ Notre Dame, 10/30 Northern Illinois, 11/5 @ Central Michigan
Good things are possible if the Broncos navigate the toss box well. WMU must win three of those games just to qualify for a bowl bid, and I think that may be a bit too much to ask for in 2010.
Outlook: Last season was a complete gut punch, as most people felt that WMU could have competed with CMU in the division. Not only did Western not compete with Central, they were barely passable at all. The defense was a wreck, and the offense failed miserably at times to capatilize on the arm of Hiller. The defense must improve, and Carder had better mature quickly.