Western Michigan football closes the season on the road at Northern Illinois Tuesday. Needing a win to solidify a bowl appearance, the game will be a tough one as the Huskies already clinched the MAC West a week ago. Here are three keys to how the Broncos can pull out a win.
Score early and often
A week ago against Eastern Michigan the Broncos had all of its scoring come in the 2nd and 3rd quarter. With the way the Northern Illinois defense gives up big plays through the air, the Broncos have to take advantage of this and air the ball out.
Skyy Moore, Corey Crooms and Jaylen Hall must take advantage against this defense and WMU has to score at will.
Don't be afraid of taking risks
One thing that WMU has done throughout the year is play conservatively. From field goals inside the 10-yard line to bad clock management, the Broncos have shot themselves in the foot in most of this year’s losses. In order to win this game WMU will have to play as though this is the last game of the season.
Especially with the kicking issues making multiple possessions coming up empty this season thanks to short missed field goals, the play calling has to be more aggressive and unexpected from the Broncos.
Hold up against the run
The NIU offense is based on its run game, ranked No. 11 in the country in rushing yards per game. The unit chews up the clock and moves the ball down the field efficiently on the ground. The Bronco defense has struggled with open field tackling, especially late in games, with a lot of arm tackles being broken as the main issue.
The Huskies will break you down and establish dominance on the ground by repeatedly punching the defense in the mouth. WMU has to weather that storm and stay hitting as hard in the fourth quarter as it does the first.
Kickoff Tuesday in DeKalb, Ill. is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will air on ESPNU.