What on earth is going on with Western Michigan’s offense?
Evan Ertel: After putting up 35 points in Week 1, WMU was not been able to reach that mark again until hanging 42 on Ball State just last Saturday. Did the Broncos finally figure something out with the offense or is Ball State just a bad football team?
Steve Helwick: The answer to both questions appears to be yes. Western Michigan has been extremely one-dimensional all season long, relying on workhorse tailback Jalen Buckley to deliver monster performance after monster performance while the pass game struggles to generate yardage. Buckley’s 196 yards against Toledo kept the Broncos in that game for a while, but playing from behind in the second half was difficult due to the inability to thrive through the air. In the Ball State game, two things looked significantly different which allowed the passing game to finally shine. One, Bourguet was able to extend plays with his legs without getting sacked, providing more time for his receivers to get open, and two, the receivers — particularly Anthony Sambucci — simply got wide open 10+ yards downfield.
But Ball State’s secondary has not been in stellar shape this year. The Cardinals lost an NFL Draft pick in cornerback Nic Jones this offseason, and the team currently ranks 14th-to-last in passing yards allowed per game at 275. Every FBS opponent has posted at least 40 points on this 1-4 Ball State team, but regardless, it was promising for Western Michigan to finally develop a presence through the air.