Kalamazoo- Once again the all knowing, all seeing, Broncoblitz Swami, puts his reputation on the line and makes his fearless prediction. Last week the Swami correctly predicted a win by the Broncos, but even then was pummeled by dissatisfied fans who felt the Swami had not been accurate enough. If the Swami were that good he would be parked at the local casino, rather than trying to predict Saturday's outcome. On that note the Swami will march forward with yet another prediction. Here is how the Swami sees Saturday's showdown.
The Bronco seniors play their final game at Waldo Stadium this Saturday, but Cubit and his staff have made a point of focusing on the game more so than the farewell celebration. Last year on Senior Day the Broncos lost on national television to a dismal Ball State Cardinal team. In hindsight, Cubit felt that the game may have played second fiddle to Senior Day, and he doesn't want that to happen this time around.
Fact is the Broncos simply can't afford to not focus on the game. A win on Saturday sets up a final game at Bowling Green for a bowl possibility. Throw in the fact that the Broncos are riddled with injuries, and there's simply no room for error if WMU is to win and progress towards a bowl.
The Broncos will be thin at several positions Saturday including tight end, linebacker, and especially at the corner position. Regular season starting corner Damond Smith has been dismissed from the program, while his back up Raheem Buxton will be attending his brother's funeral in Florida. Taking Buxton's spot will be Tronic Williams. Williams had an excellent spring at the corner slot, and according to Cubit has played well in spot duty. Rest assured Kent QB Spencer Keith will try to pick on William's side of the field. Walk on Matt Cutler has done a great job of blocking at the tight end slot, and Clark Musseman had his best game as a Bronco last week, filling in for the injured Blake Hammond.
At linebacker Chris Prom is sidelined for 4 weeks, so will miss the remainder of the regular season. Dex Jones is in the dog house for violating team rules, and spent the week practicing with the scout team. His duty is in question.
Kent is one of the top defensive teams in the league especially against the run, and they lead the league in sacks as well. The Golden Flashes have allowed only 22 points per game and a league leading 85 yards on the ground. Lord knows the Bronco ground game has had its problems this year, so this defense likely won't make it any easier. In addition Kent leads the league in sacks with 26.
While Kent has impressive defensive stats there are some chinks in their armor. Kent will have an extra man on the line, leaving the backside a little vulnerable. Conventional wisdom would say pass, pass, and more pass, but to do that would leave Carder vulnerable to sacks, much like he was in the UT game when he dropped back 64 times. Western will still have to run the ball to win, and the o-line will need to do their part in protecting Carder.
Both of these teams are 4-6, although the Broncos may have looked like the better team as of late. Both teams hold wins over Ball State and Akron, and both have lost to Toledo. For what it's worth the Broncos have a collective score against those teams of 125-63 vs Kent's collective score of 82-65.
One thing you have to believe is the Broncos can put points on the board--even against the MAC's best defense. Right now Alex Carder, Nunez, White, and Arnheim are about as N Sync as Justin Timberlake and Joey Fatone. And while Kent can throw the kitchen sink at Carder, they likely can't stop the receiving trio from scoring quickly and often, or at least often enough to out score the Golden Flash.
If Tronic Williams can hold his own against Spencer Keith, than the Broncos should be able to come out on the winning end of Saturday's affair.
The one thing I know about Tronic Williams is he's a bright young man, a quick study, a competitor (wrestler as well as football), and he's shown up when given the chance. Expect Williams and Toler to have a surprisingly good day. The WMU backside may be young, but they don't lack talent.
I expect Kent to try and go after Williams and Pettway, but if the pass rush is sufficient the young DB's will hold their own. On the offensive side of the ball, the Broncos have been improving their run game, and in spite of a stacked line by the Kent D, Carder and Fields will keep Kent honest with enough of a ground game to keep them guessing.
The difference in this game will come down to Carder and Crew. If Kent is going to stick an extra man in the box, they're going to get burned on the back end by the Bronco receivers.
In a high scoring affair, the Broncos set themselves up for a one and done game at Bowling Green. WMU goes out early and fights off a late comeback by Kent.
WMU 45 Kent State 38