Western Michigan is annually selected as a team that will compete for the west and typically they tend to fall short of that. In part because the Western side of the MAC is a much more competitive division. But under Bill Cubit has also had a bad run of luck.
Take this season for example. Against UConn, in what could have been a signature win to propel the Bronco's into conference play, Western Michigan lost Alex Carder. When you lose a player like Carder those close games, like the ones played against Ball State and Northern Illinois, become that much harder.
The brace is off of Carders hand and he could be back any week. Western Michigan sits at 4-6, with games against Buffalo and EMU. Without Carder these are winnable games, with him they could roll into a bowl as an underestimated 6-6 team.
Buffalo on the other hand is playing for next year. After Toledo handed UB their seventh loss of the season Buffalo finally got their act together against Miami. While their last second win over the RedHawks is too little too late for 2012 the performance of UB's back up Quarterback, Joe Licata, may foreshadow an interesting off season competition.
|9||80||135.89||Pass Eff Defense||132.47||66||6|
|4||52||6||Tackles For Loss||5.6||62||5|
Whoever lines up behind center the Bulls will depend on Branden Oliver to fire up the offense. If it's Licata that means using the run to set up play action passes. If Alex Zordich is back that means more read options.
Oliver missed four and a half games this season and is still well positioned to run for a thousand yards. In full games played Oliver averages 162 yards on the ground and 5.8 yards per carry. While Devin Campbell did an adequate job it just was not the same offense without Oliver.
Western Michigan needs Alex Carder back if they want to have any post season success. Like Buffalo's Campbell the Bronco's backup Tyler Van Tubbergen has played pretty well but he is trying to fill a set of shoes for someone who is about the best the conference has to offer.
|13||55.67||Alex Zordich||Rushing||Dareyon Chance||83||52||11|
|16||41||Devin Campbell||Brian Fields||35.9||18|
|12||109.15||Alex Zordich||Passing Eff||Tyler VanTubbergen||130.19||66||8|
|8||85||195||Alex Zordich||Total Offense||Tyler VanTubbergen||192.2||88||9|
|8||T-63||5.12||Alex Neutz||Receptions PG||Jaime Wilson||6.67||T-21||T-3|
|25||3.14||Devon Hughes||Josh Schaffer||4.2||T-14|
|4||26||88.38||Alex Neutz||Receiving Yards PG||Jaime Wilson||79.78||42||6|
|T-24||0.14||Adam Redden||Interceptions||Lewis Toler||0.3||T-67||5|
|12||90||34.39||Tyler Grassman||Punting||J. Schroeder||42.17||40||3|
|Punt Returns||Jaime Wilson||13.6||13||1|
|Kickoff Returns||Brian Fields||22.35||62||8|
|8||T-71||0.89||Patrick Clarke||Field Goals||Andrew Haldeman||0.6||100||11|
|T-12||6.75||Alex Neutz||Scoring||Andrew Haldeman||5.5||18|
|20||88.38||Alex Neutz||All-Purpose Runners||Jaime Wilson||102.67||92||14|
|24||75.11||Devin Campbell||Dareyon Chance||97.6||17|
|7||T-58||0.56||Khalil Mack||Sacks||Deauntay Legrier||0.45||T-99||12|
|T-9||T-78||0.5||Colby Way||Desmond Bozeman||0.4||T-14|
|13||0.44||Lee Skinner||Paul Hazel||0.4||T-14|
|16||0.39||Steven Means||Freddie Bishop||0.3||20|
|13||79||8.12||Khalil Mack||Tackles||Johnnie Simon||8.8||54||9|
|T-21||7||Lee Skinner||Justin Currie||8.4||70||12|
|2||T-9||1.75||Khalil Mack||Tackles For Loss||Travonte Boles||0.8||13|
|12||0.83||Colby Way||Freddie Bishop||0.75||T-17|
Buffalo did not play Western Michigan until UB joined the MAC in 1999. And since then it's been a very one way series but the Bronco's have needed overtime to top the Bulls durint the last two contests.
|10/24/2009||@ Western Michigan||31||34|
|10/11/2008||vs. Western Michigan||28||34|
|10/1/2005||@ Western Michigan||21||31|
|10/5/2002||vs. Western Michigan||17||31|
|10/16/1999||@ Western Michigan||17||45|