It’s Week 6, which means the beginning of conference play in the MAC!
Thus far this season, we’ve tried our best to predict how games in the non-conference slate would go down and so far, it hasn’t been great. But hey, at least we’re having a lot of fun with it!
Last week in our simulation, NIU took down #19 San Diego State thanks to the escapades of DJ Brown and a ferocious Huskies defense by a final of 13-10. The real-life game was fairly close to the simulated one in terms of pace of play, but ultimately, San Diego State managed to stave off a furious NIU rally to win the game by a final of 28-20.
That puts us at a difference of -61 on the year and a “meh” 1-2 on the record books. Maybe it’s a good thing we’re not gambling on these games. (If you want to see how the others went, here’s Toledo vs. Tulsa and CMU vs. Miami for your perusal.)
Anyway, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results, so we went to the public and asked which game to simulate in the hopes of getting a win. They gave us....
47 of you wanted WMU vs. Buffalo, which is a plurality in this 129-person poll, so that's what you'll get! PREPARE FOR THE SIM. pic.twitter.com/rvm8gSi916— James H. Skellington (@AVKingJames) October 3, 2017
It was a defensive smothering for Buffalo, which sacked the quarterback six times, forced two fumbles and intercepted a pass for a touchdown. WMU simply couldn’t get anything moving on the offensive side of the ball all day, a fact that wasn’t helped by an injury to Jon Wassink midway through the game, forcing backup Reece Goddard into action.
WMU finished 4-of-13 on third-down conversions nad reached the redzone just once, scoring a field goal from Josh Grant, who was the Broncos’ leading scorer on the day.
Wassink and Goddard combined for 201 passing yards on 21-of-30 passing attempts, with Wassink throwing the interception. The running game was constapated, as the Bulls defensive front seven bullied the Bronco offensive line. LaVante Bellamy led WMU rushers with 13 carries for 37 yards and was also secons in receiving with five receptions for 25 yards.
Luke Parker had a 40-yard reception, while Giovanni Ricci led all Broncos with 53 receiving yards.
The homestanding Buffalo Bulls took the Broncos defense for a ride throughout the game, as stand-in QB Drew Anderson finished the day 18-of-25 for 153 yards and stand-in RB Emmanuel Reed led all rushers with 17 carries for 118 yards and a touchdown.
Theo Anderson (14 carries, 44 yards and one touchdown) and Kameron Pickett (rushing touchdown) also contributed to the scoreboard for the Bulls. The Broncos did a good job containing the passing game, as Buffalo’s electric junior receiver Anthony Johnson found himself limited to seven catches for 92 yards. Second-leading receiver Komathi Eiland only had four catches for 19 yards.
Buffalo’s Charles Harris earned Player of the Game honors after collecting six tackles, three tackles-for-loss and three sacks. He led a Bulls defense that gave the Broncos fits. Tim Roberts and Khalil Hodge tied for the most tackles, with eight apiece, while Jordan Collier and Tatum Slack forced a fumble apiece and Brandon Williams scored a 43-yard interception return touchdown.
WMU’s Caleb Bailey led all defensive players with nine tackles, while Davonte Ginwright collected seven tackles, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble. Sam Beal also forced a fumble, while Andre Turner recovered one.
Josh Grant scored all 12 points for WMU, with one field goal from 29 yards and three field goals from beyond 40, including two 46-yarders. Buffalo wasn’t as lucky, with Adam Mitcheson mising his only field goal attempt from beyond 50 yards.