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October 12, 2013

Halftime analysis: Broncos can't seize momentum

Despite a number of chances in the first half to take momentum into the locker room, Western Michigan will instead go into half down 6-0 to the Buffalo Bulls in a Mid-American Conference crossover game.

For much of the first half the Bronco offense has been able to sustain drives a lot better than we've seen in the first six games, but six penalties for 45 yards including numerous holds have stalled a number of drives. WMU drove 53 yards in ten plays with under two minutes to play in the half, but Andrew Haldeman's field goal drifted wide right with eight seconds left.

Zach Terrell also threw a costly interception at the Buffalo 23 with 4:16 to go to end a promising drive.

Overall, though, the offense has looked more cohesive with Terrell at the helm, though his arm strength has caused a couple of balls to sail behind receivers. He finished the half at 12-of-22 for 125 yards and the pick.

Dareyon Chance led the effort on the ground with 23 yards on two carries. Corey Davis has 54 yards on five grabs, and Josh Schaffer is contributing with 32 on three catches.

Buffalo looked poised to control the game when they marched 63 yards in 12 plays to open the game (though Johnnie Simon blocked the ensuing extra point), but the WMU defense has held the Bulls to just 129 yards since and the Bulls have committed 80 yards in penalties themselves.

Of note, the Bronco defense already has seven tackles for loss on the day, the most in any game this year. While Branden Oliver has been impressive with 116 yards on 18 carries, the negative plays they've suffered have hurt the Bulls in their efforts to sustain drives.

All in all, the effort from WMU today looks more inspired and focused than what we've seen, but if the Broncos don't finish drives then the result won't be any better. They'll get the ball first in the second half with yet another chance to gain momentum.

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