Western Michigan is more two-dimensional than Miami, but they definitely depend on the pass. UB Stadium has proven inhospitable to the pass during this home stand. It is going to be cold, and it may rain, I'm giving Buffalo's improved secondary the edge here. They've been put through the fire and have grown from inexperienced to experienced.
Western Michigan is average against the run, average against the pass. They have 8 interceptions. When they played a young QB against UConn, they dialed up the pressure, racking up 6 sacks. Other than that, their defense hasn't been especially vicious.
Their numbers are good against the run, but bad against dominant runners. Toledo's Fluellen and Kent's Durham combined for 380 carries and 1931 yards in their games excluding their matchup with WMU, a 5.1 average gain per carry.
Against WMU, those backs combined for 40 carries and 337 yards. 8.4 yards per carry. WMU lost both games by an average of 18.5 points. Branden Oliver is the best back in the MAC. If he can break down WMU's defense, UB will win.
4) NFL Team
Buffalo Bills 3-5
Detroit Lions 4-4
Advantage: Western Michigan
5) Key Player:
Lewis Toler: The Junior corner has 3 interceptions. The WMU secondary is young but they have played well. Like UB however, they've allowed WR's to have career days against them:
Minnesota's Barker: 5 receptions for 101 yards and 3 TDs. NIU's Moore: 7 receptions for 120 yards. UConn's Davis: 9 receptions for 123 yards and 1 TD. Ball State's Snead: 9 receptions for 147 yards. and last week, CMU's Davis: 10 receptions for 208 yards and 1 TD.
Alex Neutz: WMU's DBs are 5'11 189, 5'11 183 and 5'10 157. I think the steak I had yesterday was 5'10 157. Neutz is 6'4 209. He should be all over these little corners. his best game against FBS this year was 6 receptions for 135 yards and a TD against Toledo. He could double that today.
House Protection Index: 0 go join the Sun Belt Conference.
Players from New York: 37
Players from Michigan: 7
House Protection Index: 81
9) Key Quarter: 2nd Quarter
WMU on defense allows 7 ponts per quarter on average. The Buffalo defense should be able to consistently move the ball. On offense, WMU starts slowly, then explodes in the 2nd quarter, 34% of their points come in the 2nd. Once they get hot, they don't cool off in the 2nd half. Buffalo will have to control the clock with BO to keep WMU cold and out of rhythm.
10) Fun fact: 0-5
Buffalo is 0-5 against WMU but has improved each time.
In 1999 WMU beat UB by 28. In 2002 WMU beat UB by 14. In 2005 WMU beat UB by 10. In 2008 WMU beat UB by 6 in OT In 2009 WMU beat UB by 3 in OT.
Keep chopping that wood, I see a UB win by 3 in OT.