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Five Things Learned: Western Michigan Broncos at Miami RedHawks

Both offenses impressed in the best MAC game Saturday.

Western Michigan v Michigan Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

The game between the Western Michigan Broncos and the Miami RedHawks Saturday displayed everything that’s great about #MACtion. You had high-flying offenses marching it up and down the field, a handful of key stops and turnovers that changed momentum, and an experience of the highs-and-lows of MAC special teams. With that being said, what can both squads take away from this classic match-up?

Everybody Loves Jayden

Talk about a breakout day for freshman receiver Jayden Reed, who tied Greg Jennings’s school record with four touchdowns in a game. Reed’s 137 yards was a nice complement to D’Wayne Eskridge’s 141 yards as both players gave Miami’s defense fits the whole game. It’ll be interesting to see what’s next for the electric freshman.

“Money Downs” Are The Difference

WMU did an excellent job of staying on the field on offense as it went 7-13 on third down and 3-4 on fourth down. Meanwhile, Miami went 5-12 on third down and punted four times in the contest. With the amount of weapons that the Broncos can go to, it’s no wonder they’ve had so much success. Miami needs to be able to make conversions and win the time of possession battle when it has the lead.

Not-So-Special Teams

Both teams had things to clean up in the third phase of the game as each squad missed a PAT and a field goal, including the 50-yard game-winner for Miami. The Broncos allowed Maurice Thomas to rumble for a 99-yard score on the opening play of the game, while Kyle Kramer had some rather short punts despite booting a 62-yarder at one point in the game. This is an area that needs to be addressed for both teams moving forward.

‘Hawks Taking Flight

Miami needed some receivers to step up with the absence of James Gardner, and it certainly got that with Dominique Robinson and Jalen Walker making catches at critical points in the game. Robsinson hauled in four catches for 59 yards and a pair of scores while Walker reeled in two receptions for 41 yards, including a 33-yard catch to keep the ‘Hawks alive on the final drive. The receivers, along with Jack Sorenson (nine catches, 156 yards) and Andrew Homer (two catches, 20 yards, a touchdown), make Miami a very tough offense to defend.

Big Time Players Make Big Time Plays

Clearly, the biggest takeaway from the game is that we as fans witnessed the great glory that is a Big Guy Touchdown. Jordan Rigg had his number called and made the most of it in what goes down in the books as a 2-yard rushing score:

Here’s to hopefully many more Big Guy Touchdowns this #MACtion season.