I am not only a ND fan, but a ND fan with WMU alumni siblings. So I have been to my fair share of WMU games and I was just about always impressed with the way they performed. This probably isn't news to anyone here but they were impressive.
WMU has a lot of places to fill after graduation, only returning 11 starters from last season with 4 being on D. Defense
Returning Starters; DE, DT, LB, LB
The defense does get a +1 in transfer Doug Wiggins(S) who previously played at Miami and sat out last year. Wiggins may not be as successful as Delmas was last year but he will bring some seniority and guidance to the other new starters in the secondary. Closer to the line Pritchard(LB) will probably have his name called all year, he had the 2nd most tackles last year with 86(behind Delmas with 111) including 10.5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks. They also return the all important MLB in Zajac, though he has only made 5 starts, he played in 12 games last year and should be a key contributer this year. The line its self returns half the starters and will be including a JUCO in TJ Lynch. He could be the pass rushing DE Cubit loves. He isn't listed as a starter in the media guide but he is sure to see time this year. Overall this D was instrumental in the upset of Illinois last year, just about everyone saw time in that game do to injuries.Offense
Returning starters, QB, RB, WR, C, OG, OG, OT
Hiller returns, obviously, as well as the majority of the line. Losing one OT. The returning line played all 13 games last year with only the returning center and guard not starting every game (starting 8 and 12 games respectively). Behind Hiller is Burdi who broke off a few nice runs last year, the longest going for 42 yrds and a TD, I would doubt he sees much time but if Hiller goes down he could be a decent threat to run.
In the remaining skill positions they return starting WR Juan Nunez who only has 11 starts to his name and RB Brandon West. The WR corp were banged up last year after the Illinois game losing 2 big contributers who have since graduated. Looking at the depth chart, the roster only includes about a handful of starts beyond Nunez. That is not to say this will be a weak unit but they too will be playing many underclassmen at the receiver positions. Brandon west was a 1000 yard back in 2008 (5.0 ypc) and with all that Oline returning there is no reason he wont be again this year. Behind him they return their number 2 and 3 RBs as well. Matt Stevens is now the #1 TE, when the TE is a viable option in the offense Cubit does not hesitate to use them, but with his 7 total starts and ho-hum stats I am not sure how much he will be utilized.
There are definite questions that wont be answered till the game is played which is what everyone is so excited about. The biggest offensive question is the receivers, If they are up to snuff then you can expect a balanced attack of rushing and passing. If those receivers don't run the right routes or make mistakes it could end up being a heavy dose of the running game with just passes of the shorter variety to keep the defense off balance. There is no doubt that Cubit's offense can showcase stars, Hiller this year, TE Tony Scheffler and WR Greg Jennings both from 2006 were 2nd round picks to the broncos and packers respectively. It is very possible there is a sleeper hiding within the roster.
The defensive secondary will have the biggest questions to answer with everyone to be replaced. The line though could end up having a few too many holes this early in the season to be successful, but I think it will be largely unchanged in a stats point of view from last year. The Bronco's defense can play big when it counts though; holding Heisman contender Garrett Wolfe in 2006 ( who totaled 1400 ruyds in 6 games) to 25 total yards and pulling the upset 16-14, that was a huge game that year. Then you look back to their upset at Illinois last year, at Iowa in '07, and at virginia in '06 and you cannot sleep on either side of the ball with WMU.So what do I think?
I buy into the, if you have 2 QBs you have no QBs opinion and if there is 3 then there still is no QB yet. But there are too many questions in the WMU secondary to not think that at least one of the QBs will find a throwing lane and hit a deep pass for 6. I think the inexperience on each team will be canceled out between the two of them; both sides of the ball will make mistakes but there won't be a massive TO margin. I don't think the UM RBs will get enough yards early to make this a high scoring game, by pounding the Dline early though they will take advantage of them late in the game. The WMU offense will put up yards, but without an established WR, or two, to go to they will have to rely too much on the running game to be successful.