Broncos play well in loss to NorthwesternPublished 9:53am Monday, September 16, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. – The Western Michigan football team fell in a hard-fought battle to No. 17 Northwestern, 38-17, in front of 33,128 fans at Ryan Field late Saturday night.
Tyler Van Tubbergen through for a game-high 202 yards and two touchdown passes in the loss.
Corey Davis led all receivers with 112 yards on five receptions and had one touchdown. Brian Fields averaged 6.1 yards-per-carry on 13 rushes to lead the team with 79 yards on the ground. In total, the WMU (0-3) offense racked up 345 yards on the night and committed a season-low one turnover.
The Bronco defense held the Wildcats to just 139 yards through the air and forced two turnovers on the night. Senior Mike Jones had a game-high 10 tackles, while Kyle Lark finished with four, including a tackle-for-loss. Safety Justin Currie finished with eight tackles and his second-career interception.
Northwestern’s first three drives all started in Bronco territory but after an elite performance by the defense it was WMU that struck first and took the lead. Western Michigan drove 55 yards in 13 plays and capped it off with a 37-yard field goal with 2:37 left on the clock in the first quarter. The Broncos took their lead into the second quarter after holding the high-powered Wildcat attack to just 61 yards in the first 15 minutes.
Northwestern took the lead 7-3 after a seven play, 57-yard drive was capped off by a four-yard touchdown run by quarterback Kain Colter. Western Michigan responded quickly after the ensuing kickoff. Van Tubbergen found Davis at the Bronco 45-yard line and the freshman wideout turned on the jets and took it to the house for a 75-yard touchdown reception to give WMU the lead, 10-7. The touchdown pass was the first of the season for Van Tubbergen and the second touchdown reception of the year for Davis.
The Wildcats responded and rattled of 17 points to close out the second quarter. Colter connected with Christian Jones from six yards out to give NU a 14-10 lead. Mike Trumpy then capped off a 50-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown run to push the lead to 21-10 before Jeff Budzein closed out the half with field goal from 35 yards.
The Wildcats extended their lead after Treyvon Green punched it in from one yard out to cap off an 87-yard drive that took 14 plays and took off 6:29 on the clock.
Late in the third quarter Mikhail Dubose stripped Trumpy at the NU 24-yard line and recovered the fumble to give WMU the ball back. Two plays later Van Tubbergen connected with Josh Schaffer on a 25-yard fade route to the right corner of the end zone for the touchdown.
Green added a 42-yard touchdown at the beginning of the fourth quarter to push the NU to 38-17.
Dowagiac freshman kicker Brett Scanlon had a pair of kickoffs for an average of 50.5 yards per kick.
Western Michigan continues its Big Ten road swing and heads to Iowa Saturday for an 11 a.m. start.