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Better Know: Western Michigan

As this season progresses, every game embodies all the hyperbole that us pesky bloggers like to throw around about the magnitude of football contests. So to say the Cards’ contest at Western Michigan is big is not only to be expected, it’s also surprisingly true. At the dawn of the season, WMU was thought to be a contender for the MAC West and a darkhorse pick to win the league, especially after rattling off a 4-2 record and beating the Big East’s Connecticut.

That luster has since worn off a bit, as the Broncos have two consecutive weeks in MAC play to Northern Illinois and against Eastern Michigan. It’s easy to point to those losses as a sign of a downward trend in Kalamazoo, but that would be overlooking a couple of key factors. This team’s early season losses were against Michigan and Illinois, certainly no slouches, and before both those teams began their trend of disappointing results. Additionally, WMU has yet to lose at home in 2011, but the Cardinals are hoping that streaks are  made to be broken.

The long and the short of it is with five games remaining for the Cardinals and with a hope of being a contender for the MAC West, a loss on Saturday would mean the Cardinals would no longer be in control of their own destiny. For the Cardinals to stake a claim to Detroit and the MAC Championship, simply winning out after a loss may not be enough, and that isn’t the best position to be in. With a win on Saturday, the Cardinals would still be in control of their own destiny with contests against Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, and Toledo still to come. We’re staring straight at Toledo’s ass  in the standings and close the season with the Rockets. For that game to matter (assuming the Rockets beat NIU next Tuesday), the others have to be Ws, and that starts on Saturday at 2pm. Time to better know the Broncos…

Team: Western Michigan Broncos
Record: 4-4 (2-2 MAC)
Ranking: Unranked
Head Coach: Bill Cubit
Series: WMU leads 20-17
Last Meeting: Western Michigan defeated the Cards 45-16 in 2010

Western Michigan Coach Bill Cubit…
… is in his seventh season as the head coach at Western Michigan
… He owns a 44-37 career coaching mark, including a 31-20 record in MAC play.

WMU Stats & Randomness…
… Western Michigan is averaging 126.9 rushing yards and 270.9 passing yards per game, while allowing 215.8 rushing yards and 181.2 passing yards a contest
… Alex Carder has completed 196-of-288 passes with 2,053 yards and 16 touchdowns and six interceptions
… Jordan White has 86 catches for 992 yards with seven TDs

WMU News & Trends…
… Western Michigan fell to 4-4 overall and 2-2 in Mid-American Conference games after suffering a 14-10 loss at Eastern Michigan
… The Broncos are 3-0 in home games, including a 2-0 mark in MAC home games — Central Michigan (44-14) and Bowling Green (45-21).

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