2016-17 Football Previews – (MAC) – Broncos
Looking for 2016 Western Michigan Chippewas predictions? The Broncos have played second banana to the Northern Illinois Huskies in the MAC West division for a couple of seasons now, but they are looking to flip that script in 2016, and upon analysis it looks like they’ve got a great shot to do it.
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2016-17 College Football Preview – Western Michigan Broncos
Head Coach: P.J. Fleck
2015 Record: 8-5
Western Michigan Broncos Odds to win 2017 FBS Championship: +50000
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This season should be the time for Western Michigan to take a step up, perhaps to double-digit win territory and maybe even a New Year’s Day bowl game.
2016 Western Michigan Broncos Predictions: Team Strengths
Since being a redshirt freshman, Zach Terrell has fought off all comers for Western Michigan’s starting QB job, and he’s been as steady as they come.
He’s now a senior and he should leave Kalamazoo with one more big campaign. If he can surpass last year’s 3,510 yards, 29-9 TD/INT ratio and 67% completion, the Broncos offense will be humming along.
Sophomore RB Jamauri Bogan brought home MAC Freshman Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2015, thanks to a 1,051 yard, 16 TD effort that supplmented Terrell’s passing beautifully.
The offense loses last year’s receptions leader in WR Daniel Braverman, but the leading yards man, 6″3, 213-lb senior Corey Davis, is back and will hoover up most of Terrell’s darts.
Elsewhere in the roster, the brightest spots are C John Keenoy, who has distinguished himself among the O-lineman and he’s just a sophomore, and CB/KR Darius Phillips, who’s got the electric speed required to get fans out of their seats.
2016 Western Michigan Broncos Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Davis is money, but there isn’t much WR depth after him.
The Broncos will miss Braverman and someone in the bunch of senior Michael Henry, sophomore LeVante Bellamy and senior Carrington Thompson has to fill his shoes, otherwise the Broncos will have to lean on Bogan for more carries.
Coach Fleck has plenty of faith in his new starting kicker Butch Hampton, but there will be pressure as he replaces the school’s career kicking leader in Andrew Haldeman (57 career FGs).
The punting should also regress, as sophomore Derrick Mitchell will take over from the graduated J Schroeder.
Finally, the Broncos need to break in three new starters in the defensive backfield, to join the speedy Phillips.
That unit could take a step back, although new FS Justin Ferguson is a transfer from Notre Dame, so he offers promise.
2016 Western Michigan Prediction: 11-1
Fans in Kalamazoo should be excited for a special season in Coach Fleck’s fourth season at the helm. The Broncos have a couple of road games in the “Land of Lincoln”, at Northwestern and Illinois in the Chicago suburbs.
I like them to win at least one of those games, and if the Broncs could upset Northwestern, they might just find themselves in a January bowl game.
The impressive depth up and down the roster, paired with veteran savvy under center with Terrell and some solid talent at the skill positions, have Western Michigan in pole position to wrest the MAC West crown from the NIU Huskies.
Amazingly, the Broncos were 1-11 in 2013, but Fleck has made tangible progress quickly, thanks to the best recruiting hauls in the conference.
Western Michigan should enjoy an excellent campaign in 2016.
2016 Western Michigan Broncos Football Schedule
- 09/03/2016 at Northwestern Noon
- 09/10/2016 vs. NC Central 7:00 pm
- 09/17/2016 at Illinois 4:00 pm
- 09/24/2016 vs. Ga. Southern TBA
- 10/01/2016 at Cent. Mich. TBA
- 10/08/2016 vs. Northern Ill. 6:30 pm
- 10/15/2016 at Akron TBA
- 10/22/2016 vs. E. Mich. TBA
- 11/01/2016 at Ball St. 8:00 pm
- 11/08/2016 at Kent St. 7:30 pm
- 11/12/2016 BYE
- 11/19/2016 vs. Buffalo TBA
- 11/25/2016 vs. Toledo TBA
What do you think about our 2016 Western Michigan Broncos predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2016!
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