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Western Michigan Broncos 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart

Western Michigan Broncos 2017 Preview

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The 2017 Western Michigan Broncos have a new coach in Tim Lester who has some holes to fill if another MAC title is to become reality.

Overview: The Western Michigan Broncos were able to do everything well last season on the way to a 13-1 record and a conference crown. Head coach PJ Fleck  left for Minnesota and former quarterback Tim Lester takes over a program that is expected to contend for the MAC title behind a strong rushing attack and a solid defense.

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Western Michigan Broncos 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart

USA TODAY Sports

Offense: The Western Michigan Broncos were one of the top mid-major squads in the game in 2017 but with quarterback Zach Terrell gone along with the three top receivers, the passing game becomes a huge question mark. Tom Flacco (Brother of Joe Flacco) is supposed to give the Broncos stability under center but most of excitement centers around his ability to run and that might be a plus with the receiving corps returning D’Wayne Eskridge and tight end Donnie Ernsberger and their combined 19 receptions.  Rodney Graves, Anton Curtis and Hunter Broersma along with a few freshman will be given a chance to impress in the Broncos passing attack but experience is an issue. WMU does return Jarvion Franklin and Jamauri Bogan in the run game along with All MAC linemen John Keenoy and Chukwuma Okorafor.

Defense: The Broncos have pieces on the defensive side of the football which is a good thing especially if the offense falters or is slow to find the groove. Defensive ends Nathan Braster and Eric Assoua gave Western Michigan 13.5 TFL but Andre Turner is the only tackle with decent experience so the interior of the line is an area to watch unless somebody steps up. The WMU linebacking unit is on solid ground behind the twosome of Caleb Bailey and Asantay Brown while several highly rated recruits are coming in. The Broncos appear to be set in the secondary with corners Obbie Jackson, Sam Beal and Darius Phillips bringing back 21 passes defended along with five picks while Justin Tranquill and Davontae Ginwright anchor the safety position.

Special Teams: The Western Michigan special teams loses their placekicker and punter with Butch Hampton and James Coleman gone so  replacements are needed while Darius Phillips is slated to handle all return duties.

Outlook: The Broncos won’t be as good as last season but they are loaded in the running game and the defense should be able to hold their own. I see WMU competing for another conference championship and going to another Bowl so Lester still has high expectations staring him in the face.

Schedule:

9-2 @ USC

9-9  @ Michigan State

9-16 vs. Idaho

9-23 vs. Wagner

9-30 vs. Ball State

10-7 @ Buffalo

10-14 vs. Akron

10-21 @ Eastern Michigan

11-1  vs. Central Michigan

11-8 vs. Kent State

11-15 @  Northern Illinois

11-24 @ Toledo

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