So what can Western Michigan do for an encore after having an unbeaten regular season and earning its first Mid-American Conference championship since 1988 before losing to Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl last year?
Well, especially since Western Michigan lost its passing attack of quarterback Zach Terrell and receiver Corey Davis, getting back to the MAC title game at Ford Field would be a great accomplishment,Womens Todd Gurley II JerseyWomens Todd Gurley II Jersey, who was selected with the No. 5 overall pick by the Tennessee Titans in April's NFL Draft.
And the Broncos would more than likely have to beat Toledo, a team that was picked to win the West Division and conference championship in a poll released during MAC Media Day Wednesday at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Western Michigan was picked to finish second in the West.
No doubt,Womens Jarvis Landry Jersey, the Broncos' passing game will be a work in progress with Jon Wassink taking over at quarterback and Tom Flacco recently leaving the program.
Still, Western Michigan should get the ball into the end zone with one of the best rushing attacks in college football.
The Broncos have Jarvion Franklin and Jamauri Bogan back running behind All-MAC offensive linemen Chukwuma Okorafor and John Keenoy.
“I don’t really worry a ton following the magical season because whether I was here or someone else was here,” said first-year Western Michigan coach Tim Lester, when Corey Davis and Zach (Terrell) walk out the door you’re going to be a different team, who replaced P.J. Fleck after he moved on to Minnesota. “My biggest thing is getting the team to move on from that season. We’ve really focused a ton on getting new leaders to step up. We just have to figure out who we are.
“Our O-line and tight end unit is special. The two cards you want to have in your back pocket if you’re trying to develop a quarterback is a defense and a running game, and I think we’re going to have those two things. It doesn’t make developing a quarterback any easier, but it makes it a lot more fun and a lot less stressful on that quarterback because you’re hopefully not putting him in that many tough situations.
'Unfinished business' has Eastern Michigan eager to soar
“One of the reasons I hired Kevin Johns as our offensive coordinator was because two years ago at Indiana they were the fourth offense in the history of college football to have two different 1,000,000-yard backs from the same team and their quarterback threw for 3,000-yard backs). If we’re going to play in the MAC championship game, which I kind of thought fit us pretty good because I could see us having that (two 1, which we sure in the heck plan on doing, we have to be able to make plays through the air and we’re going to have to develop that over time.”
Franklin is a two-time 1,639 yards,000-yard rusher (3,000-yard freshman year. Matt Falcon, 41 touchdowns for career) and Bogan ran for 923 yards last season after a 1, a former four-star recruit and Michigan commit who embodies Franklin’s power and Bogan’s speed, will be making his debut this season, and LeVante Bellamy is coming back from a knee injury.
“It’s exciting,Authentic Aaron Donald Jersey, it’s a lot of responsibility now for us as a team, being that we won the championship,Authentic Todd Gurley IIs JerseyAuthentic Todd Gurley IIs Jersey, but what you have to understand that to win back-to-back championships it’s going to take us to work harder than last year. We lost some really good players,” Bogan said. “At the end of the day we understand what it takes to win one now,Womens Jared Goff Jersey, Zach Terrell, Corey Davis and (tackle) Taylor Moton, but we have some awesome players back. It will take something different to win it this year.”
like in Lester,Authentic Dan Marino Jersey,Something different,299 yards and 89 touchdowns at Western,Authentic Jarvis Landry JerseyAuthentic Jarvis Landry Jersey, a former Western Michigan quarterback who led the Broncos to the MAC championship game in the late '90s. While Lester threw for 11, he knows the importance of a running game and plans to pound the ball while eating up the clock.
“They’re on two different ends of the spectrum. Coach Fleck is Coach Fleck and Coach Lester is Coach Lester, but that doesn’t mean he can’t do the job just as good as Coach Fleck,” Bogan said. “The offense is just about the same (as last season). He’s done an excellent job since he’s been here building relationships with us. We love him.
Quarterback battle has Central Michigan fired up
“When we talked to (athletic director) Kathy (Beauregard) before he got here we said we wanted a coach that when we leave, success would continue at Western Michigan and it will be with him.”
Bogan has high praise for the offensive line.
“The last four years we’ve had a really good offensive line, really hard, those guys showed up and played really,” Bogan said. “We were able to run the ball because they were so, and I think we were ranked as one of the top three offensive lines in the country, so good so we’ve been fortunate. Our running backs, we run hard, try to do our jobs to the best of our ability.
“Matt Falcon, great kid with the potential to be really, great guy, once you understand how to play football at this level, really good. I always tell him, you’ll be the best running back to come out of here. He’s in a great place right now, got through a spring healthy and he’ll have a role to play.”
And Western Michigan will return eight starters on a defensive unit that forced 26 turnovers to help the Broncos lead the nation in turnover margin (plus-18).