December 30, 2019
By Tony Dixon, for COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)
Ypsilanti, MI —
So, I guess that I will do the obvious quote here just to get it out of the way, “Go west young man…”, there that part is over with. There are so many “wests” to this story line, both schools have “western” in their name, the bowl game is being play west of both school’s campus/stadiums in University Park, Texas, one team even has a player with the last name of West on their roster!
The similarities do not end there, these two teams are well matched and promise to make an intriguing start to the bowl frenzy that is the end of the year-New Year’s Day bowl games week.
Let’s start our deeper look at the teams with…Western Kentucky (8 – 4, 6 – 2 C-USA), The Hilltoppers. The team averages 26 PPG while giving up only 20 PPG, a defensive total that led the C-USA. WKU is lead by QB Ty Storey (2,209 Yds, 12 TDs and 5 INTs), a cagey grad student who is also completing 70% of his passes AND is second on the team in rushing with 246 yards and 7 TDs.
Storey will be looking at a good group of Wide Receivers led by the tandem of Lucky Jackson (985 Yds Rec, 3 TDs) and Jahcour Pearson (772 Yds, 6 TDs). His Running Back is Gaej Walker (1,115 Yds, 8 TDs).
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Western Michigan’s Broncos (7 – 5, 5 – 3 MAC) will counter with a more prolific offense, 34 PPG scoring, while giving up an average of 26 PPG. WMU’s attack is balanced with 213 YPG Rushing and 245 YPG Passing.
The Broncos are led by senior (Grand Rapids, South Christian) Jon Wassink (2,904 Yds, 19 TDs and 7 INTs). Wassink has recorded four 300+ yard passing games so far this season. He will be throwing to a group of Wide Receivers including, Skyy Moore (734 Yds, 3 TDs) and Giovanni Ricci (622 Yds and 8 TDs).
In featured Running Back LeVante Bellamy (1,412 Yds and 23 TDs, with a long gain of 75 yds), WMU has a star quality RB that is both talented and determined.
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Both teams were successful over the last 3 to 4 games of the regular season, winning at least 3 of those games. Both teams have stud running backs and savvy quarterbacks who will not take a lot of chances with the ball, leaning more upon their defenses to keep the game close. The Strength of Schedule is also a push, 96 for WKU and 98 for WMU.
Bottom line, this game starts off the Bowl Week Frenzy and will start the week off right. But, we will give the edge to the team that went so far west as to have a “West” on the roster…Western Michigan’s Addison West, a 6’4″ 290 lb, freshman offensive lineman.
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Tony Dixon is a Co-host for The College Football Wrap-Up(c), MISPORT-TV’s original content vehicle that reviews the past week’s college football games played by Michigan based colleges and universities across all divisions and conferences. The show also utilizes the TPR(c) (Team Performance Rating) to measure a team’s performance in the past game and also to quantify it’s performance over the seasons games. The teams are then ranked according to their TPR number, the higher the number, the stronger the performances.