Monday, November 10, 2008

Still Smiling





This weekend we saw several milestones and records set. WMU made this the first time ever that the MAC had 4 victories over Big Ten Schools in one season. This is the third consecutive season with a victory over a BCS team for the Broncos. And Simmons and West broke records for career receptions and all purpose yards respectively. By the waythe former owner on these records...none other than the Green Bay Packers' Greg Jennings! Also Mr. W, hit the big 3 - 0.




My fellow Alums and I garthered in Motown in the midst of a frigid Detroit morning for, of all things, a few cold frothy beverages, and a heartful rendition of happy birthday dedicated to yours truly, before heading into the game to support the team dearest to our hearts... WMU. We new heading into the game, that as glorious as this season has been, we may be walking out of that stadium like most people do on Sunday's after a Lions'; game disappointed with a loss but not surprised. Well fortunately neither of those two things happened. We walked out chanting "LETS GO BRONCOS!!!" in unison with 10,000 other Bronco fans. Western came away with a win, but not just a win, this was a win that saw three last minute plays from inside the 15 yard line, broken up by the WMU defenders to preserve the victory.




Western came away with some injuries on both sides of the ball. With that in mind, Western is heading into their last home game next Saturday against the Rockets of Toledo. They need to get healthy, bring the intensity to this game as well, and focus to keep the victories coming and have a full head of steam heading into Ball State .




In conclusion what a great weekend Western wins, the Wolverines win too, and Mr. W started the next decade of his life with his wonderful wife and friends by his side (I'll give you a minute to wipe the tear).




Thanks to everyone!!!!




GO BRONCOS!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I Don't Have a Buzz...Yet

Let's Go Broncos!
By
MR. W

We are half way through Western/Central week, both teams are undefeated in the conference, and they are in the better division of the conference, and by better I mean the division that includes last years Conference Champion, a 7-0 team ranked at No.24 in the AP, another team that came away from the “Big House” victorious and a 6-1 Bronco team that is atop the conference at 4-0 in conference play. So can you feel the excitement, the buzz, the rumbling of the Bronco stampede heading for an invasion of Kelly Shorts stadium? No? Me neither. I have only seen one campus paper article this week on the game, another article that referenced the rivalry while promoting a blood drive competition and that is about it. When you look at this game the lack of enthusiasm is baffling...so if you are oblivious to the implications of this weekend's contest take a look below at some of things I will be focusing on.

First off this is the best Western (not a reference to the hotel chain) squad I have seen since 2000. More importantly this game is extremely monumental... it sets up the Ball State match up for both of these teams as being the precursor to the MAC championship. This weekend victor is 4 games from being crowned MAC champs. If you are reading this you are most likely one of the faithful Broncos, like me, that take heed in this game because it brings validity to the program and it has historical and future implications. Three of the last four meetings have been great games with the winning margin being 7 points or less. Coach Cubit needs to best his biggest in state foe and begin the process of gaining the upper hand in this annual matchup. This is also a great opportunity to pile on to some personal stats for some of the Broncos. Quarterback Tim Hiller, for example, is averaging almost 300 yards a game, and he is eyeing LeFevour’s 3000 yard mark of last year. And finally the Kelly Shorts Stadium curse must be squashed.


I haven’t been this proud to be a Bronco in a while and I can't wait for this weekend’s game! GO BRONCOS!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008


In the stable:
Tackling woes nearly bite Western Michigan's football team
by Graham Couch Kalamazoo Gazette

Monday September 08, 2008, 2:49 AM

KALAMAZOOAfter suffering through so many Sundays during the 2007 season, Bill Cubit will take a victory no matter how it's packaged.

However, Western Michigan University's football coach also made it clear Sunday that the positive feeling from Saturday night's 29-26 victory over Northern Illinois will be fleeting if his team doesn't tackle better.

The Broncos' inability to wrap-up made the situation a bit dicey in the final minute against NIU, which attempted an onside kick that would have given it the ball back with about 30 seconds to play, trailing by three

Cubit said Northern Illinois' 80-yard touchdown drive, which began with 2:28 remaining, wasn't a result of a prevent defense, but of poor defensive execution.
"We missed way too many tackles," Cubit said. "That was our biggest problem on defense. We didn't get off the field real well."

The result: WMU's offense ran only 62 plays, far short of its goal of 75.
Some of the issue may have been NIU's personnel, including tough-to-bring down freshman running back Me'co Brown (13 carries, 54 yards), who was featured much more than starter Justin Anderson, and fleet-footed third-string quarterback DeMarcus Grady (seven carries, 43 yards), who wasn't expected to play.
"They did have good athletes," said WMU junior linebacker Austin Pritchard (four tackles Saturday), part of a veteran defense that isn't known for this problem. "But, to be real honest, there's no excuse for missing tackles. If you get your hands on them, you should be able to get them down."
Cure for Thompson's fumbling: More hittingThe knock on Glenis Thompson early in his career at WMU was that he couldn't hang on to the football -- a serious problem if your role is that of a bruising running back.
Saturday, on his only carry, Thompson coughed up the ball again just across midfield with WMU leading 14-10 early in the third quarter.
Cubit said part of the junior running back's problem is he simply doesn't get hit enough. In practice, in an effort to keep the running backs fresh, the defense runs up to them or past them, rather than tacklingthem.
And Thompson doesn't get enough carries in games (he has four in two games) to get used to the pounding.
Cubit said late in fall camp that Thompson would play a big role in the offense, though his propensity to turn the ball over may limit that.
"We're going to have to make people come up and hit him more, rather than just running past him," Cubit said of practice. "We've got to get him used to getting hit. In the spring, we hit a little more and he didn't have this problem."
Cubit praises students, school presidentCubit called the atmosphere and turnout in the student section at Waldo Stadium Saturday night "the best ever" in his time at WMU, including his three years as an assistant during the late 1990s, when the program was winning consistently.
"They stayed and enjoyed themselves and it was a big, big help to us," Cubit said of a section that used to be known for checking out at halftime in favor of other nightlife activities. " ... I'm really happy with how they were."
Cubit said he's spoken to the freshman class the last three years, and graduate assistant and former linebacker Matt Ludeman addressed them, as well, letting the freshmen know how much they were needed.
"You've got to give them a reason to get there," Cubit said, adding that how his team handles itself on campus and in the community is important. "Once they get there and have a good time, it's 'Hey, this is the thing to do.'
"The university as a whole has done a nice job promoting school spirit. ... (WMU President) Dr. (John) Dunn is out there having lunch with students. He's out there and they relate to him. I think he promotes a lot more pride in the university than we've had in the past."
To read what students have to say on this matter, visit the WMU weblog at blog.mlive.com/broncosinsider.
Preparing for the Kibbie DomeThe University of Idaho plays in the 16,000-seat Kibbie Dome, the smallest Division I college football venue.
"You don't see them too much," Cubit said of the smallish dome. "There's a difference in the air. The great thing is we have the indoor (Seelye Center). I think that'll help. You can't make that big a deal out of it. Just go out there and just play."
Cubit said he'll likely use the Seelye Center for at least one practice this week.
Eastern Time in IdahoCubit said he'll keep the Broncos on Eastern Time when they make the trip to Moscow, Idaho, which is in the Pacific Time Zone.
"It's the first time I've ever had to go over the (upcoming) itinerary with the staff on a Sunday," Cubit said.

Broncos Win in Front of Home Crowd

Hiller/ West combine for Big Offense

by MR. W.

The Broncos Get their first win at the home opener and everyone stayed to watch. The reports from Kalamazoo Saturday state that the student section stayed filled, and active, until the end of the 29-26 win over NIU.

Western utilized key turnovers and cool and level headed Tim Hiller to fend off the Huskies. With Brandon West racking up 175 yards rushing and Hiller avoiding a INT the offense put together a great night. The defense had a few issues but they will continue to gel and need to lean on their experience to live up to their expectations.

Heading into Moscow, not that Moscow, next week the Broncos will be facing a team with the same 1-1 record in the smallest Division I stadium with a capacity of 16,000 in the dome. To the students and fans keep up the good work way to push your team over the hump.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Graham Couch, Lincoln Nebraska


Disadvantages pile up for Western Michigan University in football
'mecca'
by Graham Couch
Kalamazoo Gazette column
Sunday August 31, 2008, 12:26 AM


LINCOLN, Neb.Less than 24 hours before Saturday night's game, Western Michigan University's football equipment sat in a modest rental truck on a dark side street just outside Memorial Stadium.
A day earlier, Broncos coach Bill Cubit couldn't help but poke fun at the situation as student managers loaded their "Two Men and a Truck" from Waldo Stadium.
"Wonder what they'll think (at Nebraska) when we pull up with that?" Cubit joked.
At the Nebraskas of the college football world, of course, the equipment trucks are owned, not rented, and have fancy team logos on their sides.
The lack of financial equality between WMU and Nebraska, it shouldn't be forgotten, is why the Broncos found themselves on hostile turf at Memorial Stadium Saturday night -- forced to open up against a program that hasn't lost its opener since 1985.
Technically, Nebraska won, 47-24. Really, the final score should read: Nebraska 1-0, WMU $800,000.
Because for all the hopes of fans and hype provided by members of the media, Saturday was about a payday for the university -- a football program doing its duty for the sake of the athletic department.
47-24 -- that's what happens when mid-level programs, no matter their experience and perceived talent, walk into one of the "meccas" of college football, as Cubit called it.
Played on a random 100-yard patch of grass anywhere outside of the Big Red state, maybe, on the right day, WMU vs. Nebraska is a game worth watching in the fourth quarter.
But that's not how this works. The Cornhuskers won't be returning this one to Waldo Stadium next year (They don't even take to the road this year until Oct. 11).
The Broncos didn't play their best game Saturday. They needed an uneventful first quarter as much as they needed a quick start.
Instead, behind bad field position, shaky early play from quarterback Tim Hiller, an unlikely turnover by running back Brandon West and a defense that -- aside from a few whacks by Louis Delmas -- looked out of its league, they found themselves behind 17-0 10 seconds into the second quarter.
WMU made a bevy of first-half mistakes -- from off-target passes, to shallow punts and kickoffs, to failing to wrap up Nebraska quarterback Joe Ganz when, at rare times, he was with in its grasp.
Those things can't happen, no matter how unfair the circumstance and venue, if you hope to be Boise State of 2006 or Hawaii of 2007.
Nebraska was simply better than its billing -- its quarterback and defense more formidable than realized.
Still, there's good news for Western Michigan of 2008.
Unlike a year ago, when Saturday would have only been the beginning of a death-march nonleague stretch, a league game at home against Northern Illinois is next.
The Broncos' only other BCS foe, Illinois, is two months away and the game's at Ford Field -- in what the college football higher-ups tout as a home game for the little guy, even if it's 140 miles from the little guy's home.
Most importantly, Saturday's result doesn't count in the Mid-American Conference standings.
"The tough part about this is for the fourth straight year you go into an environment that is a little bit hard," Cubit said after the loss. "The kids get all geeked up and ready to go, and we didn't handle it well (as we could have)."
WMU did show a bit of gumption Saturday, fighting back close enough to challenge the two-touchdown spread in the fourth quarter.
And, after playing in front of more than 84,000 rabid Cornhuskers, the Broncos can afford to gas up their equipment truck for the ride home.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Get to the Game




Monday, August 25, 2008

One Week Prior Prediction

What Could and Should be for WMU
by
Mr. W

8/25/08 9:54 PM

There are 6 days left until kickoff of the first Saturday of College Football and the wires are filled with predictions, must sees, and sure bets. It is nice to see the MAC get some well deserved coverage, even if everyone says CMU already has the MAC championship wrapped up. All signs point to Ball State being the only challenger for the CMU. We will see. WMU leads up to Central with a pretty light schedule bar the Nebraska game. Other than the Huskers, the biggest challenge will be Ohio on home coming weekend. Prior to this game the Broncos face a the bottom of last years WAC conference in Idaho and also a lowly Tennessee Tech team before heading into their conference play against perennial MAC bottom feeders Buffalo and Temple. However, both of these teams have made strides in the past two seasons under the helm of new head coaches and may be poised to bring more than expected to the grid iron this year.

Western Michigan starts the season against a team with a storied past and grand football tradition in Nebraska. Yet this is also a Nebraska team that escaped embarrassment last year in their first contest against another MAC foe narrowly beating Ball State 41- 40. There is a chance for quite a momentum builder For the Broncos by taking this first game of the season. Another great opportunity will be when facing the Big Ten’s Illinois who will be coming off a bye week on which they may have spent more time preparing for the next weeks opponent, Ohio State. This forward looking may cause the Illini to underestimate the Broncos, especially if the run defense returns to its former self. If at this point in the season the Broncos are doing as well as they should be, they will face a Ball State team coming off a hard fought game against the Chippewas and WMU could be poised for yet another victory helped by circumstance and their own momentum.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thoughts from Thursday's WMU football scrimmage: A few new playmakers in the mix
Posted by Graham Couch Kalamazoo Gazette blog August 14, 2008 23:27PM
Categories:
Broncos Football


KALAMAZOO -- Preseason scrimmages aren't very useful for getting a feel for a team as a whole. That's not the point of them, at least under Western Michigan coach Bill Cubit.
I mean, we all know what Jamarko Simmons is capable of doing. Same goes for Brandon West and Louis Delmas, etc.
What was learned at Thursday's scrimmage is that WMU has a few playmakers it didn't a year ago.
First, freshman running backs Jamie Simpson and Aaron Winchester are ready to contribute. Simpson, down from 237 in high school to about 220, is strong, fast enough and a fluid runner. He finished with eight carries for 31 yards and a 7-yard touchdown and seems to have a knack for finding the crease and adding to it.
Winchester is very quick and has good instincts in the open field. He's also a more powerful runner than his 5-foot-6, 190-pound frame would suggest (he's not even close to 5-9, as he's listed). He rushed five times for 41 yards and, like Simpson, looks ready for this level. Both players have been solid in pass protection, Cubit said, which is usually an issue for freshman running backs. In practice, I've seen Winchester stick pass rushers with quite a bit of oomph.
Winchester was wrapped up by reserve safety Vernon Stewart while trying to juke Stewart on the outside. He'll learn that he can't dance as much in Division I as he could in high school.
Dervon Wallace also looked good -- and fast. His wheel-around and sprint to the end zone on a 36-yard TD catch showed a knack for the big play. And with Deshon Lawrence yet to take control of the fifth receiver position, the former defensive back (he made the move this week) may be the guy, if he can master enough of the offense in the next two weeks.
Former linebacker Anthony Williams appears to be a find at tight end -- look for a feature on Williams in the Gazette and at mlive.com/broncos in the next few days.
Williams had two catches for 16 yards Thursday, including a 12-yard gain on third-and-12 where he didn't give up on the play even as quarterback Robert Arnheim had to step up from the pocket. Williams is going to play a ton and WMU is fortunate that this has worked out so well. After Branden Ledbetter and Matt Stevens, the Broncos were in search of another productive tight end.
As for the quarterbacks, and the battle for the backup job, that's addressed in this story.
To me, both did what they do well: Drew Burdi has the better arm and the best deep ball of any of the QBs; Robert Arnheim makes things happen when things break down.
We might know more after next Tuesday's scrimmage.
Lastly, redshirt freshman punter Ben Armer is a weapon. This kid booted kicks of 50, 58, 24, 52, 42 and 46 yards Tuesday.
As for kicker John Potter (I finally saw him kick Wednesday -- and Thursday), the leg is there and so's the accuracy from short range. And, I think once he settles in, he'll be consistent from 40 and beyond, too. He's already an upgrade from last season in all facets.
Tags: Aaron Winchester, Anthony Williams, Dervon Wallace, Drew Burdi, Jamie Simpson, Robert Arnheim
A More Reserved Second Scrimmage for WMU Football

Courtesy: Mat Kanan, director of athletic media relations

Release: 08/19/2008

Michigan football held its second and final scrimmage of the preseason on Tuesday afternoon with most of the reserves handling most of the snaps. The defense pinned backs its ears for most of the afternoon, accounting for 8.0 sacks and a interception return for a touchdown off a tipped pass.
Tim Hiller worked very lightly during Tuesday afternoon's scrimmage. He led an opening drive for a score when he found tight end Chad Baliko in the back of the end zone. Later in scoring zone drills, Hiller connected with Deshon Lawrence for an 18-yard score on fourth down.
Robert Arnheim and Alex Carder worked most of the afternoon with ARnheim completing 5-of-11 passes for 17 yards and Carder making good on half of his attempts for 65 yards and a touchdown. His scoring toss lofted over the defender and into the arms of Patrick Lefere in the corner of the end zone 37 yards later.
WMU's defense acted, well like WMU's defense. Six different defenders account for at least half of a sack with Greg Marshall registering 2.5 sacks and Zach Davidson accounting to 2.0 sacks of his own. Also joining in were Matt Pickens, Justin Braska and Shaun Vernon with a sack apiece and Fernand Kashama with a half a sack.
Londen Fryar scored on a pick screen when fellow senior Nick Varcadipane tipped an attempted screen pass right to the waiting cornerback.
During field goal drills, John Potter made good on his first two attempts but the line broke through on the third for a block. Harrison Porter recovered the fumble and looked to be heading down the sideline for a score. Potter cleaned up by finishing the play with a text book tackle, much to the delight of the fans in attendance.
Western Michigan will have one more two-a-day session on Wednesday followed by a night practice under the lights on Thursday and a morning practice on Friday before breaking camp. Preparation for Nebraska officially begins on Sunday, Aug. 24 as game week is upon us.
Coach Cubit's first press luncheon of the season will be available to all Bronco Insider subscribers on Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 26). A transcript of the press conference will be available on www.wmubroncos.com on Tuesday afternoon as well.
A More Reserved Second Scrimmage for WMU Football

Courtesy: Mat Kanan, director of athletic media relations

Release: 08/19/2008

Michigan football held its second and final scrimmage of the preseason on Tuesday afternoon with most of the reserves handling most of the snaps. The defense pinned backs its ears for most of the afternoon, accounting for 8.0 sacks and a interception return for a touchdown off a tipped pass.
Tim Hiller worked very lightly during Tuesday afternoon's scrimmage. He led an opening drive for a score when he found tight end Chad Baliko in the back of the end zone. Later in scoring zone drills, Hiller connected with Deshon Lawrence for an 18-yard score on fourth down.
Robert Arnheim and Alex Carder worked most of the afternoon with ARnheim completing 5-of-11 passes for 17 yards and Carder making good on half of his attempts for 65 yards and a touchdown. His scoring toss lofted over the defender and into the arms of Patrick Lefere in the corner of the end zone 37 yards later.
WMU's defense acted, well like WMU's defense. Six different defenders account for at least half of a sack with Greg Marshall registering 2.5 sacks and Zach Davidson accounting to 2.0 sacks of his own. Also joining in were Matt Pickens, Justin Braska and Shaun Vernon with a sack apiece and Fernand Kashama with a half a sack.
Londen Fryar scored on a pick screen when fellow senior Nick Varcadipane tipped an attempted screen pass right to the waiting cornerback.
During field goal drills, John Potter made good on his first two attempts but the line broke through on the third for a block. Harrison Porter recovered the fumble and looked to be heading down the sideline for a score. Potter cleaned up by finishing the play with a text book tackle, much to the delight of the fans in attendance.
Western Michigan will have one more two-a-day session on Wednesday followed by a night practice under the lights on Thursday and a morning practice on Friday before breaking camp. Preparation for Nebraska officially begins on Sunday, Aug. 24 as game week is upon us.
Coach Cubit's first press luncheon of the season will be available to all Bronco Insider subscribers on Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 26). A transcript of the press conference will be available on www.wmubroncos.com on Tuesday afternoon as well.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

W. M. U. Football - 2008 Schedule

Date/ Opponent /Location /Time (EST)/ TV

Sat, Aug 30 /Nebraska at Lincoln, Neb./ 7 p.m. /FSN Pay-Per-View


Sat, Sep 06 /Northern Illinois, /at Kalamazoo/ 7 p.m.


Sat, Sep 13/ Idaho,/ at Moscow, Idaho /5 p.m.


Sat, Sep 20 /Tennessee Tech, /at Kalamazoo /7 p.m.


Sat, Sep 27 /Temple,/ at Philadelphia /2 p.m.


Sat, Oct 04 /Ohio, /at Kalamazoo /2 p.m.


Sat, Oct 11 /Buffalo,/ at Buffalo, N.Y./ 3:30 p.m./ Time Warner Cable SportsNet


Sat, Oct 18 /Central Michigan, /at Mt. Pleasant /12 p.m. /ESPN+


Sat, Nov 01 /Eastern Michigan, /at Kalamazoo /2 p.m.

Sat, Nov 08 /Illinois /at Detroit,(Ford Field) /12 p.m. /ESPN+


Sat, Nov 15/ Toledo, /at Kalamazoo, /2 p.m.



Tue, Nov 25 Ball State/ at Muncie, Ind. /6 p.m. /ESPN360



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday, August 18, 2008

Of Interest

Other Places to check out.

http://thequad.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/23/the-quad-countdown-no-67-western-michigan/#comment-40361

http://westernmichigan.rivals.com/default.asp

http://mgoblog.com/

http://www.autumnthunder.blogspot.com/





AP Rankings Released

by Mr. W

The college rankings have come out and the AP poll has 5 SEC teams in the top 10. The SEC is getting a big boost as a conference due to the fact that the have the winningest group of head coaches in the country. However, with regard to the rest of the rankings I have a hard time putting too much weight behind this initial poll. First of all pre season ranking has always been a little suspect in my eyes. With only several practices and inter squad scrimmages under their belts the evaluation process is based highly on hype and returning players. Second of all after last years rendition of musical chairs with the top 5 spots the idea that any prediction this far out will be totally accurate is far fetched. The perennial USC, Ohio State, Florida and LSU are of course lurking around the top. Not astonishing, these teams have proven track records and are legacy programs with several returning experienced players. The teams I am interested in seeing if they can actually hold up to the hype are Missouri ranked at its highest preseason ranking, at No. 6. Pittsburgh breaking the Top 25, who I predict, will most likely drop out of the ranks in the first few weeks of conference play. Finally, it will be interesting to see if No. 8 West Virginia and new head coach Bill Stewart can ride in the wake of Rich Rodriguez and keep the team playing at the recent year’s level.

I won’t deny that I am a little bitter at the fact the Michigan received nearly 50 less points than No. 25 Pittsburgh, but I do agree that this team will need to prove itself. With a walk on QB accompanying a true freshman in the backfield, combined with a new offense for the entire team to learn, the road schedule, not to mention the conference schedule could eat these guys up.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fall Favorites and a Slight Prediction











by Mr. W

College football is a mere two weeks away. And I am feigning for all things NCAAF. Game Day, Thursday Night Games, Coaches poll debates, Homecomings all stir up excitement within any fan. But for me the thing that takes the cake is just Saturdays in the fall; as those crisp, sunny, limitless blue sky days of Autumn quickly approach, it reinforces that soon the rituals of Saturday will begin. Whether you are going to be spending your day tailgating and in you team's stadium, at a buddies man cave, at the local watering hole, or at home on your couch with your 15 year old lucky sweatshirt from your alma mater, you have to agree Fall Saturday’s are different. As soon as you wake up, there is that feeling that something is going to happen that day.
If you are like me, you have one or two teams you are emotionally connected to, be it your or your spouse's alma mater, the school you applied to but never got accepted by, or just the home town team that you grew up watching. This adds to the anticipation as you prep for the main game of the day. You hang flags in the front yard, you don team colors and head to the stadium parking lot to relive your younger years, or meet up with fellow fans to cheer your team on for the afternoon. Is there anything better than this? I think not.

This year will be memorable for me as Michigan fan. With the era of new coach, Rich Rodriguez beginning and a road trip to the Purdue game in midst of being planned I am definitely looking forward to the start of the season. I am also excited for my alma mater WMU’s season. They were overrated last year and definitely did not live up to their projected success. However they ended the season on high note by trouncing the Iowa Hawkeyes in the last game of the season. With a vast amount of returning players on defense and a strong Reciving core plus some great TEs I am predicting a surprisingly successful season this fall.


Go Broncos! Go BLUE!

Mr. W.

Western Gearing Up


The inaugural post of this blog is the motivation behind the it. I couldn't find any good blogger conversations regarding Bronco Footbal. Comments welcome what are your predictions for the Broncos in Fall 2008?


WMU Football Holds First Preseason Scrimmage
Courtesy: Mat Kanan, director of athletic media relations

Release: 08/14/2008

Courtesy: WMUhttp://www.wmubroncos.com/?ATCLID=1554624&SPSID=24299&SPID=1922&DB_OEM_ID=4600
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - On a day when most of the first team saw limited repetitions, the Western Michigan football showcased the talents of guys working for position on the depth chart. Included in this group were newcomers Aaron Winchester and Jamie Simpson who each ran the ball well on Thursday afternoon.
The diminutive Winchester took on all would-be tacklers, rushing the ball 10 times for 45 yards and a pair of first downs. On the other end of the size spectrum, Simpson rumbled through the defense for 35 yards on eight carries, scoring the scrimmage lone rushing touchdown from seven yards out.
Tim Hiller began the scrimmage as the first team offense worked against the second defense. This was the theme of Thursday's scrimmage as the first team defense worked primarily against the second team offense. Hiller went 5-for-7 for 41 yards and four first downs. He connected with tight end Matt Stevens on the first play for a gain of 12 yards and followed with completetions to Jamarko Simmons for two and 13 yards, respectively, Branden Ledbetter for 13 yards and Schneider Julien for nine yards.
Back ups Drew Burdi and Robert Arnheim also worked with members of the first team offense throughout the afternoon. Burdi's highlight came on a 50-yard completion down the sideline to sophomore wideout Juan Nunez. Burdi completed four passes on eight attempts for 61 yards. Arnheim through the lone scoring strike of the day, connecting with Dervon Wallace, who spun after the catch and turned upfield for a 36-yard score. Arnheim completed 4-of-10 passes for 48 yards. Freshman Alex Carder worked with the second and third team offense, completing 6-of-7 passes for 57 yards and two first downs.
Wallace was the leading receiver in yards with 43, while freshman walk-on E.J. Riley hauled in three catches late for 25 yards. Only Riley, Wallace, Chris Prom and Anthony Williams recorded multiple receptions.
Glenis Thompson worked most of the time with the first offense, carrying the ball eight times for 23 yards and a pair of first downs.
Defensively, E.J. Biggers made his presence known, either knocking away passes or separating the intended receiver from the ball for three pass break ups. The Bronco defense registered seven PBUs and five sacks (despite not being able to actually bring the quarterback down). Defensive end Greg Marshall was in one one sack, while Dan Krasinski, Cory Flom, Chris Pyant and freshman Weston Peiffer recorded the others.
John Potter made good on a pair of field goals within 30 yards, came up short on a 46-yard attempt into the wind and pushed a 52-yard attempt just left near the end of the scrimmage. A second 52-yard attempt was blocked. Chris Kelly made good on 1-of-2 attempts, while Brooks Bunbury and Caleb Morris each failed on their lone attempts of the afternoon.
Western Michigan will resume practice on Friday with a two-a-day session with another two-a-day on Monday sandwiched around an afternoon session on Saturday. The Broncos next and final team scrimmage will take place Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 19.