The way Western Michigan has been playing, little if any cautionary messages seem necessary. Still, anybody looking at last week’s MAC action might be tempted to say, “Wow!”
It’s the kind of wow that serves as its own cautionary statement. All four MAC favorites lost last week, kicking off a chaotic MACtion schedule. Undefeated Western Michigan would seem to be above such turmoil, but the MAC West has been the scene of some unexpected outcomes in recent years.
The Broncos seemed . . .
Really, at this point, the Broncos are likely focused on not only reaching the MAC championship game, but also maximizing their bowl game opportunities. In other words, they are on a mission.
Western Michigan has scored at least 41 points in every MAC contest this year. That will win a lot of games. The Broncos are first in scoring offense (44.4 ppg) and rushing offense (252.8 ypg). They are also sixth in passing offense (249.2 ypg) and second in pass efficiency.
Individually, Jarvion Franklin is second among MAC running backs in rushing (113.6 ypg), and the Broncos have depth at the position. Quarterback Zach Terrell, meanwhile, is second in passing efficiency (183.1 ypg). It’s a team that has diversity and depth to produce regardless of what a defense may try to take away.
As if all that offense isn’t enough, WMU is also first in scoring defense (19.2 ppg).
Ball State, meanwhile, has struggled, winning just one of the last four games. That was a 31-21 victory at Buffalo back on Oct. 15.
The Cardinals were up 17-7 last week at Ball State. Akron then scored three straight TDs and four of the last five tallies.
Ryan Neal completed 23 of 34 passes for 187 yards with one TD and one interception for BSU. Sophomore James Gilbert led BSU with 24 catches for 133 yards, while Neal added 76 yards and a score on his 13 trips. Gilbert is leading the MAC in rushing yardage with 123.4 ypg.. He also tops the conference in TDs (11).
Ball State ranks eighth in scoring offense (28.0 ppg) and fourth in scoring defense (25.4 ppg).