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September 22, 2012

Halftime analysis: WMU gets offense going

Through two quarters of play, Western Michigan has put up 17 points and 229 yards to take a ten point lead into the break on UConn.

The turning point of the half came when, following a Huskie drive inside the WMU five yard line, Donald Celiscar took advantage of a miscommunication between quarterback Chandler Whitmer and receiver Nick Williams and picked off a pass to end the threat. The Broncos then rattled off a pair of touchdowns on the ground to take a 17-0 lead before Whitmer's first touchdown pass of the year got UConn on the board.

Alex Carder looks sharper than he did a week ago, completing 15-of-26 passes for 193 yards. Perhaps most importantly, Josh Schaffer has acted as a reliable second target (despite one notable drop), hauling in five catches for 74 yards along with Jaime Wilson's 79 yards.

This is the Broncos' game to lose at this point. The Huskies do get the ball back to start the second half, which could be a crucial drive, but Western Michigan has been the better team in nearly every phase of the game. Even the running game that was expected to struggle has been respectable with 36 yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns.

UConn struggled to get much going offensively until their 12 play, 66 yard drive late in the half. The running game in particular has produced just 36 yards on 21 carries, while Whitmer has been under pressure often and was sacked three times.

Expect plenty of adjustments from the Huskies as they try to get something going. They may need to turn to the passing game more often starting in the third quarter in order to keep up with a Bronco offense that's likely to put up some more points.

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