Western Michigan bowl eligible following 54-7 win over Ball State
KALAMAZOO — Western Michigan broke the school record for total offense and became bowl eligible for the second straight season with a 54-7 win over visiting Ball State Thursday.
The Broncos are one of two undefeated teams in Mid-American Conference play, leading the MAC West with a 5-0 league record.
Bowling Green also has a 5-0 record out of the MAC East, setting up a showdown between the two divisional leaders next Wednesday, Nov. 11 in Kalamazoo. The game is WMU’s final home game of the season and will be televised on ESPN2.
It is set for an 8 p.m. kickoff from Waldo Stadium.
Western Michigan’s offense was nearly unstoppable against Ball State, racking up a school-record 711 yards of total offense, a mark which also ranks seventh most in the history of the MAC.
The Broncos scored on the third play of the game on a 65-yard catch and run up the right sideline by junior Corey Davis from quarterback Zach Terrell. WMU went on to build a 30-0 lead by halftime.
Terrell had 289 yards and three TDs at the half, finding Davis twice more for touchdowns in the second quarter. The pair connected on a 17-yard pass over the middle and a 23-yard strike through the defense.
Davis passed Jarmarko Simmons into fourth place on the Broncos’ all-time receiving list. Davis registered 163 yards to give him 3,181 for his career, which also moved him into second among active FBS receivers for career yards behind UMass’ Rashard Higgins with 3,205.
Terrell finished with 324 yards and the three touchdowns, going 16-for-22 in pass attempts.
Freshman running back LeVante Bellamy had WMU’s fourth touchdown of the first half on a nine-yard run. Ball State punter Kyle Schmidt fumbled a snap with under a minute remaining in the second quarter to give Western Michigan excellent field position and WMU’s Andrew Haldeman booted in a 21-yard field goal just before the half.
The Broncos continued its offensive onslaught in the third quarter, putting 17 more points on the board and closing out the fourth quarter with a final touchdown.
Redshirt freshman running back Jamauri Bogan had both of WMU’s touchdowns in the third quarter, scoring on a 12-yard run and a career-long 76-yard scamper in which he eluded the defense in the middle of the field before breaking free up the sideline. The rush was the longest play from scrimmage for the Broncos this season.
Bogan was WMU’s leading rusher, recording a team-season best and career-high 171 yards on 18 carries.
Haldeman split the uprights with his second field goal of the game, a 41-yarder in the third quarter. Sophomore running back Jarvion Franklin scored WMU’s final touchdown with a 15-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Ball State’s only score came late in the third quarter, trailing 40-0. The Cardinals put together an 8-play, 75-yard drive and scored a touchdown on an 11-yard pass from Riley Neal to Jordan Williams.
Ball State was held to a season-low 152 yards of total offense and only had 54 yards at the half.
Redshirt junior linebacker Jason Sylva lead WMU with seven tackles, including one for a loss. The Bronco defense recorded five tackles for loss total.
Junior defensive end Keion Adams had five tackles, as well as a sack in the third quarter. Redshirt junior defensive back Ian Thomas grabbed his first career interception, picking off a pass in the fourth quarter.
Junior wide receiver Daniel Braverman had five catches for 72 yards, pushing his season total to 999 yards.
Western Michigan put up 50-plus points in back-to-back games for the first time since 1943. The Broncos defeated Eastern Michigan on the road last Thursday, 58-28.
Following next week’s matchup against Bowling Green, the Broncos close out the regular season with road games at Northern Illinois (Nov. 18) and Toledo (Nov. 27).