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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.

— 30 —

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.

September 28, 2019

From WMUBRONCOS.COM

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – For the seventh time in the last nine years, the Victory Cannon will stay in Kalamazoo as Western Michigan defeated in-state rival Central Michigan, 31-15, on Saturday afternoon inside Waldo Stadium.

The Broncos amassed 432 yards of total offense, gaining 244 through the air and 188 on the ground. WMU’s defense held CMU to 107 rushing yards and just 15 points, all coming in the fourth quarter.

Junior linebacker Treshaun Hayward led the Broncos defensively with a game-high 11 tackles (7 solo) and a fumble recovery, followed by fellow junior A.J. Thomas with 10 tackles (6 solo). WMU forced three turnovers against the Chippewas with sophomore Patrick Lupro and senior Justin Tranquill earning interceptions. It was Tranquill’s third career interception and second against the Chippewas.

Senior LeVante Bellamy was the workhorse for the Bronco offense, rushing 25 times for 105 yards and a touchdown. It’s the third-straight game Bellamy has went over 100 yards. Senior Jon Wassink also added a rushing touchdown along with a game-high 41-yard scamper late in the fourth quarter to set up WMU’s final touchdown of the game.

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September 21, 2019

From WMUBRONCOS.COM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Western Michigan football team wrapped up its non-conference schedule with a 52-33 loss to Syracuse at the Syracuse Dome on Saturday afternoon.

Senior quarterback Jon Wassink threw for 356 yards and two touchdowns, while senior running back LeVante Bellamy ran for 165 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Senior tight end Giovanni Ricci had a career-high eight receptions and a touchdown for a personal-best 105 yards, while sophomore Jaylen Hall caught four balls for 93 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown.

The Bronco defense forced two turnovers on the day, both fumbles. Junior safety A.J. Thomas and junior linebacker Treshaun Hayward led the team in tackles with 11 each, while Timothy Collins and Antonio Balabani each recorded sacks.

WMU (2-2) went into the locker room down 24-13 and the Orange (2-2) added a touchdown early in the third quarter to push the lead to 31-13. The Broncos responded quickly with Bellamy’s second 40-plus yard touchdown run of the day, this time for 43-yards out to cut into the lead. Syracuse responded again with a touchdown, extending its advantage to 38-19.

Western Michigan’s offense stuck quickly on a three-play, 75-yard drive that was capped by a 60-yard touchdown reception by Hall, shortening the deficit to 38-26.

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