Michigan Wolverines Football: Opponent Preview: Broncos Bring Offensive Firepower To The Big House
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Opponent Preview: WMU Broncos Bring Offensive Firepower To The Big House

Note: A version of this Michigan Wolverines opponent preview appeared in The Wolverine's Michigan Football Preview magazine, which can be purchased by clicking HERE.

Western Michigan Broncos Quick Facts

All-Time Series: Michigan leads 7-0

First Meeting: U-M 17, WMU 13 (Oct. 10, 1917 at Ann Arbor)

Last Meeting: U-M 49, WMU 3 (Sept. 8, 2018 at Ann Arbor)

Head Coach: Tim Lester, 24-19 (5th year) at WMU, 54-43 overall (10th year)

2020 In Review: 4-2 overall, 4-2 MAC (3rd West)

Final 2020 Ranking: Unranked

Returning Starters: 18 (8 offense, 8 defense, 2 specialists)

Last Bowl Appearance: 2019 (SERVPRO First Responder Bowl vs. Western Kentucky, L 23-20)

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Western Michigan Broncos football redshirt junior wide receiver Jaylen Hall caught 12 passes in 2020, seven of which went for touchdowns.
Western Michigan Broncos football redshirt junior wide receiver Jaylen Hall caught 12 passes in 2020, seven of which went for touchdowns. (Ashley Huss / Western Michigan Athletics)

Western Michigan Broncos Returning Leaders

Passing: Kaleb Eleby (1,715 yards, 18 TD)

Rushing: La’Darius Jefferson (624 yards, 5 TD)

Receiving: Skyy Moore (388 yards, 3 TD)

Tackles: A.J. Thomas (46)

Sacks: Ali Fayad (4.0)

Interceptions: Harrison Taylor, A.J. Thomas (1)

Players To Watch

Offense: Kaleb Eleby, R-So., QB — The third-team All-MAC pick in 2020 posted an impressive 18-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio last season … His completion percentage of 64.7 ranked 25th in the country and his 285.8 yards racked up per tilt checked in 15th.

Defense: Bricen Garner, 6th-Sr., S — Pro Football Focus gave the 2020 first-team All-MAC standout a tackling grade of 72.1, which was second on the squad among players who saw more than 100 snaps.

Western Michigan Broncos Preview

Western Michigan went on a thrill ride last season, beginning the six-game season with four straight victories, including three by one touchdown or less.

Head coach Tim Lester and Co. have plenty to work with in year five at the helm in Kalamazoo, especially on the offensive side of the ball, looking to build on some of the success the Broncos enjoyed a year ago. That all starts in the season opener at Michigan Sept. 4, when WMU will enter The Big House hoping to beat the Wolverines for the first time in program history.

WMU returns eight starters from a unit that ranked ninth nationally in scoring offense (41.7 points per game), 16th in total offense (479.7 yards per game) and 23rd in passing offense (286.5). The Broncos scored 41 or more points in four of their six games.

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