It has been a trying 2013 for the Western Michigan Bronco’s. The Bronco’s have kicked off their season 0–2 and are traveling to Big 10 country once again to take on Northwestern after having already dropped their season opener to Michigan State. The Wildcats are on the opposite end of the spectrum from the Bronco’s as they are sitting at 2–0. If you were to ask Wildcat head coach Pat Fitzgerald you would quickly learn this is not a team that is complacent at 2–0 their aspirations are very high this season.
To reach 3–0 the Wildcats will have to take down the struggling Bronco’s and their first year head coach P. J. Fleck. Fleck will lead his team into Ryan Field down but not out. Everything that has been reported about Fleck is that he is a high-energy progressive thinking coach. The Wildcats will be well served to prepare for anything against Fleck’s offense. Fleck has yet to settle on one quarterback thus far this season. If one of his two quarterbacks gets the hot hand this week, Fleck will likely ride that quarterback for as much offensive production as he can get.
Whether it is Zach Terrell or Tyler Van Tubbergen under center for the Bronco’s, he will be facing a Wildcat defense that has a nose for the ball. The Wildcats defense lead by linebacker Collin Ellis are aware of the struggles that the Bronco’s have had under center and look for them to exploit these struggles through rushing the passer and jumping the passing lanes. The Wildcats have played with a bend but don’t break defense so far this season. To truly earn their ascent in the rankings, they need a truly dominant defensive performance in this their third game of the season.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Wildcats have had little trouble moving the ball. They have featured and found success with two quarterbacks and two running backs. It would be nice for Wildcat fans to see a stand out performance by quarterback Kain Colter and running back Venrik Mark as both were touted to be the stars of the offense in the offseason. Both Trevor Siemian at quarterback and Treyvon Green at running back have proved that the Wildcats are deep at both positions. In fact, Siemian’s success under center may be over shadowing Colter up until this point. This could prove to be vital for the success of the Wildcats later in the season as Colter is an experienced receiver as well as quarterback and his presence on the field could be used in both positions.
Northwestern is far from punching their ticket to a Big 10 Championship Game, but they have shown glimpses of excellence. They most certainly have talent and are a team that will battle through the entirety of a game. They are very well coached and make very few mistakes. The Wildcats should exit this weekend with another victory, if they do so with a dominant defensive performance their national recognition could continue to swell.