Western Michigan Broncos vs Buffalo Bulls Prediction, Game Preview - 10/02/2021

by James Q

Western Michigan Broncos vs Buffalo Bulls Prediction, Game Preview - 10/02/2021

Game Time:  Noon ET, Saturday, October 2nd, 2021
Venue:  UB Stadium, Buffalo, New York
Where to Watch:  CBSSN

Opening MLB Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Spread: W. Mich -6.5; Over/Under:  59.5 points
Circa:  Spread: W. Mich -7; Over/Under:  59.5 points
VegasInsider:  Spread:  W. Mich -7; Over/Under:  59.5 points

Season Record

Western Michigan: 3-1 (MAC West)
Buffalo:  2-2  (MAC East)
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Utah Vs BYU Preview and Analysis

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Western Michigan took their lumps against Michigan in a tough season opener.  The Broncos lost 47-14.  They have been on a tear since.  They beat Illinois State 28-0 in game 2.  The battled tooth and nail to pull out a close one against the Pittsburgh Panthers 44-41 in game 3.  Game 3 brought an easy win in which they never trailed against San Jose State 23-3.  They now sit at 3-1.  The team that beat them is ranked #14 in the nation.  The Broncos have their sights set on winning the MAC and going to a bowl game.
Buffalo opened their season with a nice and easy blowout of the Wagner Eagles 69-7.  Nothing has been easy since. The Bulls got smacked in game 2 against the Nebraska Cornhuskers 28-3.  Game three Brought a matchup with Coastal Carolina that was close throughout, but ended in defeat 28-25.  Game 4 was even closer, Old Dominion threw everything they had at Buffalo, ending in a squeaker of a win 35-34.  The Buffalo Bulls sit at 2-2. Following MAC West Western Michigan will be Kent State, Ohio and Akron… all MAC East opponents.  October will decide whether they have a successful year or not.

Offensive Analysis

Western Michigan is scoring 27.3 points per game on 397 yards per game.The offense has looked alive and well in every matchup so far.  Even the Michigan game where they were badly outclassed they managed 2 touchdowns. QB Kaleb Eleby has 7 passing touchdowns, but should be most proud of not throwing a single interception while attempting 121 passes.  RBs Sean Tyler and La’Darius Jefferson split the rushing responsibilities effectively  Sean has 282 yards 2 TD and La’Darius has 274 yards and 6 TDs .  A proper sharing of the workload.  WRs Corey Crooms, Skyy Moore, and Jaylen Hall all have more than 200 yards total over the four games (Corey has 334, he’s the leader) so the ball gets spread around.  

Buffalo is scoring 31.3 points per game on 408 yards per game. Top of the line stats. QB Kyle Vantrease leads a perfectly balanced offense.  Through 4 games the Bulls have accumulated 815 rushing yards (RB Kevin Marks, Dylan McDuffie, Ron Cook JR) and 818 passing yards (mostly to Quian Williams with help from Dominic Johnson and Jovany Ruiz).  It’s so balanced it’s zen.  It’s practically offensive Nirvana… except for the 2-2 record… which is balanced in a bad way.


Defensive Analysis

Western Michigan is the 32nd ranked defense in FBS. The Broncos have given up 12 touchdowns in 4 games.  Opposing offenses are averaging 301.8 yards per game against them.  The big loss to Michigan has skewed these stats to look bad, but they managed the 32nd ranking because of what they have done outside of that game.  They give up the most yards per play (5.52) of any of the teams ranked in the top 50.  To stay in the top 50 defenses they must stop Buffalo.

Buffalo is the 74th ranked defense in FBS. They have given up 14 touchdowns in 4 games.  They have given up an average of 375.2 yards. They gave up 34 points to Old Dominion and won by less than a field goal.  The offense is definitely carrying the defense in Buffalo.  They’ll need to get some stops against Western Michigan to give the offense a chance to win it.


Broncos vs Bulls Prediction

Our prediction for Saturday, October 3rd is…. W. Michigan 35 - Buffalo 31

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NCAAF Betting Trends

Buffalo is 14-5 ATS in its last 19 games
Western Michigan is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games
Buffalo is 11-1 ATS in its last 12 games at home
Western Michigan is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games when playing Buffalo

Key Injuries

Broncos:  Brett Borske  TE (knee) questionable
Bulls:  Jovany Ruiz  WR  (undisclosed) questionable

Players to Watch

Broncos:  WR Corey Crooms.  He is the show.  If Kaleb Eleby can hit Corey on a fly route or two against the soft secondary of Buffalo, the Broncos will cruise to the win. Corey is the type of receiver who should hit the transfer portal looking for a UCLA, Ohio State, maybe even the Clemson Tigers.
Bulls:  LB James Patterson.  This hard hitter leads the team in tackles and interceptions.  He’ll have to lead the team emotionally too in order to stop W. Mich’s passing game.  Maybe he should play on special teams too?  

Starting Lineups

Broncos:  QB Kaleb Eleby, RB Sean Tyler, TE Anthony Torres, WR Skyy Moore, WR Corey Crooms, WR Bryce Nunnelly, LT Wesley French (whose nickname must be “Frenchy”... that is the law) LG Jacob Gideon, C Mike Caliendo, RG Dylan Deatherage, RT Mark Brooks

Bulls:  QB Kyle Vantrease, RB Kevin Marks Jr, TE Jake Molinich, WR Quian Williams, WR Khamran Laborn, WR Dominic Johnson, LT Jake Fuzak, LG Jack Klenk, C Bence Polgar, RG Alain Schaerer, RT Gabe Wallace

Statistical Leaders

Passing: Kaleb Eleby 902 yards
Rushing:  Sean Tyler 282 yards
Receiving:  Corey Crooms 334
Tackles: Corvin Moment  22
Interceptions:  Bricen Garner  1
Passing:  Kyle Vantrease  792 yards
Rushing:  Kevin Marks Jr  254 yards
Receiving:  Quian Williams  346 yards
Tackles:  James Patterson  34
Interceptions: James Patterson 1   (double threat)

Weather Forecast

Partly Cloudy.  68* is the high.  Wind at 11 mph.  Sep is over, it’s time for sweaters and hot chocolate in upstate New York.

James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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