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Western Michigan Broncos vs Miami RedHawks Preview: A Clash of Two Offenses

Western Michigan heads to Oxford to take on Miami this week, and fans are preparing for an abundance of points between these two skilled offenses.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

It's amazing how much difference a year makes.

At this point last season, neither team had a win.  Western Michigan would win their next game for the lone win either team would garner in their respectively rough campaigns, and the near-future looked bleak.  But strong off-seasons for the schools - PJ Fleck would finish with one of the best MAC recruiting classes of all-time, Chuck Martin would get hired and rebuilt the offense - have both programs looking to regain former power from what seems like forever ago (but is really just 3 years).

For Martin, he has used a familiar face to help this rebuilding period go a lot more smoothly than expected.  Transfer quarterback Andrew Hendrix has kept his knowledge of Martin's offense from their time at Notre Dame to jump-start an offense that was among the NCAA's worst a year ago.  Hendrix has used fellow senior David Frazier to create a high scoring threat that has already given some of the MAC's best fits, and won two games.  Frazier is among the nation's best wide outs, with 813 yards.  Hendrix is 7th in the nation in passing yards with 2,597 yards.

But Western Michigan has one-upped Miami.

Fleck, in his 2nd year, has gone from 1-11 to 5-3 with a missed PAT possibly keeping him from a 6-2 record.  His sophomore wide-out, Corey Davis, has 821 yards after winning the MAC Freshman of the Year in 2013.  Davis looks to be passing on the trophy to Jarvion Franklin, who is 5th nationally with 1148 rushing yards and leads the nation in rushing touchdowns at an insane 19 scores in 8 games.  His defense is 3rd in MAC play in yards allowed per game.  And he's still bringing in recruits.

Now, the two upstarts will battle in a key game for both.  Miami needs the win for any hope of still capturing the divisional title in the wackiness that is the East.  Western Michigan would become bowl eligible with games against rivals EMU and CMU then hosting perennial MAC powerhouse NIU.  Expect lots of scoring as both teams struggle to defend the pass well consistently, and the gaping hole that is Miami's run defense against the man-beast Franklin.

As good as Miami is offensively, Western Michigan can match and then some.  Zach Terrell has been one of the most consistent quarterbacks in the MAC, leading the MAC in passer efficiency (174.3) and sits just behind Hendrix in passing yards per game in MAC play, and with Franklin keeping the ball in Bronco hands, the time of possession should be killer.  But I believe Hendrix will find a way to keep it close for a while.  However, it ultimately isn't enough as Franklin gets another three touchdowns in a rout.  Western Michigan 45, Miami 28