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GBMWolverine: Coach’s Corner — Michigan Football — Western Michigan at Michigan — Preview


Posted at 6:00am — 8/28/2011

GBMWolverine: Coach’s Corner — Michigan Football — Western Michigan at Michigan — Preview

It is now time to put everything about the past aside and turn all attention to the opener. There will be several parts to this preview; today’s part will be a general summary. Later on the Bronco offense and defense will be discussed. Finally, our usual look at what may happen and what to expect.

The Broncos have a long and proud history in the MAC Conference and during the 1950’s and 1960’s had a very good overall athletic program. The WMU and Ohio University baseball series in that era was on of the tops nationwide, and the football matches were good as well.

Last year the Broncos finished 6-6 and faced the usual MAC rejection of going to a bowl game with a qualifying program, as did the 8-4 Temple Owls. The results were considered disappointing. A new, young quarterback, junior Alex Carder, took awhile to get into full swing early in the year and the defense played many very young players. In addition the line was a little undersized and had to rely on moving the ball mostly through the air. Like Michigan, moving the ball on short yardage situations was difficult. The offense was like many MAC offenses in that points could be piled up, but the defense is also like a typical MAC team in that a good number of points could go south.

This is a new year and most on the Western Front are expecting more than 6 wins and a shot at the bowl picture. Western’s line, like Michigan’s, has become bigger and supposedly stronger. Western Michigan, like Michigan, wants to run the ball better and be more offensively complete. Michigan, like Western Michigan, has a very skilled athlete playing quarterback. Both Alex Carder and Denard Robinson are on the national quarterback watch lists.

Western Michigan’s depth on the offensive line is a concern, with several medicals and three players hurt during preseason. One, Kevin Galeher, will probably miss the opening, the status of the other two are unknown at this time.

There are similarities between the two teams; one difference is program continuity. Coach Bill Cubit, a former offensive coordinator with the Bronco’s during some late 1990’s Bronco glory years, is entering his seventh year as head coach. He uses a sophisticated offense that, like Michigan, attempts to do many things from many formations. He has been very successful with quarterbacks and Alex Carder may put up ridiculous numbers the next two years (assuming no early jump). Before Carder there was quarterback Tim Hiller who lit up the record books. In summary, offense has never been a problem for Coach Cubit teams.

Carder is not the only skilled athlete as WMU returns Jordan White, one of two 1,000-yard receivers from last year’s team. Paul Hazel of Western is a player similar to Craig Roh, tall, fast, good pass rusher, and susceptible to the run. The running backs are skilled according to Coach Cubit, have more experience, and fit Western’s pass happy offense very well. Aaron Winchester has taken his skills from the offensive backfield to the defensive backfield. There are enough quality backs on offense and his arrival helps the defensive backfield upgrade athleticism.

This game should be interesting and entertaining. Do not think for one minute the outcome is a lock. WMU has beaten BCS teams and loves to play on the big stage. They buy into the Boise State mantra of anywhere, anyplace, anytime. Both offensive coordinators will work to exploit match-ups and both defensive coordinators know they have their hands full. At the end of the day plenty of yards should be racked up.

This offense (WMU) is good and Carder is really good. Next on the board, as promised, will be the Bronco offense and defense.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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