Positives/Negatives-Western Michigan 38-21

1-Navarre looked very good finishing with 16 of 28 for 240 yards and 2 touchdowns-no picks-only 1 sack. He even took one up the middle when he saw an opening. He looks much better, and much more in command of the team.

2-Receivers look good! Marquis Walker and Calvin Bell look great! Askew is extremely dangerous on the screen pass. Seymour is becoming very dependable at tight end. Our backups are also good! Braylon Edwards looks to be a game breaker in the future; he is very long, fast with great hands and toughness. It will be nice is Thompson can heal up and become a factor; I don't think Joppru or Rosel are anywhere near as dependable as Seymour or Thompson.

3-Our punting was improved with Finley getting 3 punts and a 44 yard average, but he did get one blocked. Our punt returns still look very dangerous with Julius Curry. Our kickoffs are now with Phil Brabbs which leaves Epstein in the role of field goal/extra point kicker only. Our kickoff returns are pathetic with Drake and Howard; Marlin Jackson looks good on kickoff returns though.

4-Our defensive backfield is very weak. Howard and LeSueur were constantly burned by various Bronco receivers. Our free safety position is extremely weak. I expected the competition between Cato June and Charles Drake to result in better overall position play; unfortunately, both are weak in pass coverage. Both are strong in run support, but weak in pass coverage. Julius Curry was very silent today on defense. On the bright side, Marlin Jackson looks to be our Charles Woodson of the future. This will be his learning season to gain confidence, but he really looks like an All-American candidate (and soon). Shaw got a chance to play quite a bit, and his play appears to be why we are redshirting Shazor. Markus Curry didn't play much, and Brandon Williams apparently doesn't have a broken ankle or foot as reported earlier in the week. Williams got burned again and took a pass interference penalty that ultimately led to their last touchdown. The Broncos did have a lot of drops so it could've been worse.

5-We did have a lot of sacks on defense, but we don't really have a great pass rush. Foote has really improved his speed, and is relentless on blitzes. Our defensive linemen are good in stopping the run, but not very strong in rushing the quarterback. Brackins started his first game and played a lot so we can't be too critical; he will improve. Hobson played another solid game; so did Frysinger. I'm so glad his foot is o.k. Diggs, Spytek and Kaufman continue to see a lot of action which is great for our depth. There is a big drop-off in ability when our second string defensive line in on the field: Pearson, Kashama, Stevens and Bowman. Wood and Rose played late in the game. Drake was our leading tackler with 7 tackles. Again, like previous games, our linebackers are not our leading tacklers which is partly a function of teams like Western Michigan throwing the ball 58 times, but also partly because of weak linebacking and weak tackling.

6-Askew looks so solid as a running back, receiver and blocker. He is a real team leader on offense. He rushed for 112 yards on 15 carries, 5 catches and 3 TDs. Too bad Perry got hurt, but luckily it isn't serious. He'll be back for Illinois with only a bruised knee. Underwood is continuing to impress and get valuable game experience. We are solid at tailback. Phil Brackins continues to block pretty well at fullback.

7-Penalties again continue to cost us. We took 13 penalties for 109 yards. We lost the battle of time of possession by 3 minutes and they had 14 more offensive plays as a result. Luckily, we had no turnovers, no fumbles, no interceptions while they had two picked off. We held them to 13 net yards rushing with 9 sacks and 80 yards subtracting from their total rushing yards.

8-Our offensive line is coming along. They look much better. I hope Tony Pape's injury in the 4th quarter is minor; we need him badly. Unfortunately, we still didn't net 200 rushing yards. We have not netted 200 yards in any of our 3 games. We've still got a long way to go. We only allowed one sack today, and had no turnovers so except for the penalties, we didn't do too bad overall offensively.

9-Our defense allowed nine (9) 3rd down conversions and one 4th down plus 3 touchdowns. We did get a pick when they were ready to score another time and they missed a field goal. But give them 10 more points and we have a 38-31 game, and a really suspect defense. Remember, they did have a lot of drops. They did only have 5 first downs while rushing the ball, but 24 first downs overall compared to our 23. They had 392 net yards compared to our 475 with 379 through the air (36 of 58). They did have some good receivers and Walsh was a good quarterback. Still, Virginia Tech shut them out.

10-I think we are ready for the Big Ten season! We look like a solid Top 20 team, and capable of representing the Big Ten in several bowl games. I hope we can beat Illinois and start out the Big Ten season right. They will be tough and it will definitely be a 4th quarter game. They are undefeated and look solid offensively. It will be a real test for our defense, and our offense may need to prove it came come from behind. We would have to show considerable improvement to be considered a Top Ten team and/or be considered for a BCS bowl bid.