DEKALB, IL (WKZO) -- The Broncos head to Huskie Stadium for their first road MAC Game Saturday at 3:30. A week ago Western Michigan improved their record to 4-2 and 2-0 in the MAC, pounding the Falcons 45-21 as Carder to White combined twice for touchdowns. Standing in the way of the Broncos improving to 3-0 in the MAC for the first time since 2008 are the 3-3 Northern Illinois Huskies. Huskies picked off Alex Carder with under a minute left in the 4th to secure a 28-21 victory.
10 Keys To Victory
1. Continue to Find Ways To Run The Ball – The Broncos gained over 350 on the ground against Bowling Green. The run attack came in different ways. Tevin Drake had 112 yards on an impressive 10 carries. But it was the running yards that came from Alex Carder that were the most impressive as the Broncos QB finished just 5 yards short of the century mark. A consistent running game will force the Huskies to load the box and force 1 on 1 coverage in the secondary.
2. Kevin Galaher Return To Center – A large key to the success last week was the return of the Pre-Season Rimington nominee to the center position. Coach Cubit referred to Galaher as the quarterback of the O-Line, making checks and calling out blocking assignments and adding extra protection for Alex Carder. Terry Davisson is much better suited for right guard.
3. The Weather Factor – Huskie Stadium is known for having come crazy wind. Expect the Broncos who are 10 for 10 on 4th down this year, to expend their 4 down territory. John Potters missed field goals have been on windy days.
4. Contain Chandler Harnish –The Huskies are the top scoring MAC Offense, averaging 38 points a game due mostly in Harnish. The senior is a duel threat with his arm and legs, averaging 73 yards a game with 7 rushing touchdowns. Spying Harnish and limiting his ability to advance the ball on the ground will force the Huskies to become one dimensional.
5. Red Zone Offense Success – The Broncos have scored on 96% of their red zone attempts with 19 of 25 scores for 6. This game could be high scoring so getting the most out of every drive is essential.
6. Defensive Line Must Apply Pressure – The Huskies O-line has allowed the most sacks in the MAC. Team Train Wreck has punished opposing offensive lines. Drew Nowak has gotten better every game and Freddie Bishop has emerged as a top defensive end.
7. Special Teams Will Make a Difference. A big time special teams play will happen, either in the kicking game or the return game. Jordan White and Dervon Wallace lead the MAC in punt and kick return average respectively in the MAC.
8. Get The Ball To Jordan White-This goes without saying. We all know what Jordan White is capable of. Last year against Northern, Jordan had a career high in receptions with 14.
9. Leave Your Mark On Northern – Last year’s loss to the Huskies at Waldo Stadium was heartbreaking. 2009’s loss at Huskie Stadium was even worse. This is the year to take of advantage of an off Huskie team. The Huskies have won 12 straight at home and are celebrating homecoming this weekend. A win over the Huskies would be a perfect way to ruin their party and a chance at a MAC title
10. With A Win Today, It’s MAC Champions Or Bust. The Broncos have a slight edge on offence but a bigger advantage on D and that’s the difference. WESTERN MICHIGAN 48, NORTHERN ILLINOIS 24