BYU Football: Scouting the Schedule – Western Michigan

KALAMAZOO, MI - AUGUST 31: Jon Wassink #16 of the Western Michigan Broncos throws a pass against the Syracuse Orange in the third quarter of a game at Waldo Stadium on August 31, 2018 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
KALAMAZOO, MI - AUGUST 31: Jon Wassink #16 of the Western Michigan Broncos throws a pass against the Syracuse Orange in the third quarter of a game at Waldo Stadium on August 31, 2018 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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ANN ARBOR, MI – SEPTEMBER 08: Josh Grant #37 Western Michigan Broncos kicks a field goal in the fourth quarter against Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
ANN ARBOR, MI – SEPTEMBER 08: Josh Grant #37 Western Michigan Broncos kicks a field goal in the fourth quarter against Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

Special Teams

With the exception of punt returning. Western Michigan isn’t particularly strong on special teams.

Gavin Peddie (Fr.) hit 9 of 12 field goals during the regular season, and he’s solid within 45 yards. He doesn’t have the leg to go much farther than that, though, which keeps him from being a real weapon for the Broncos.

Nick Mihalic (Fr.) hasn’t been great as the Broncos’ punter. He’s only averaging 37.9 yards per punt, and more than 60% of his punts have been returnable.

The Broncos excel with punt returning, though. Jayden Reed is the primary returner, but Tyron Arnett (So.) is just as effective. Both average more than 17 yards per return, and both have reun one back for a touchdown.

Bowl Outlook

More from Lawless Republic

Whoever wins the ground battle will likely win the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. The Broncos rely on their running game and average more than 200 yards per game, but they’re not particularly great at stopping the run, allowing 167.8 yards at the same time.

If the Cougars have any healthy running backs, they should be able to take advantage and control the game on the ground. If BYU is forced to rely on passing the ball, though, they’ll have to do it against a stingy Bronco pass defense.

Statistically this match favors the Cougars in nearly every aspect, which is why they’re double-digit favorites.

But this is bowl season, and anything can happen. Plus, Western Michigan is just explosive enough offensively that they could derail BYU’s hope of finishing the season with a winning record.