Broncos win first game against ranked opponent
TOLEDO, Ohio. — The Western Michigan football team beat its first ranked opponent in school history, defeating No. 24 Toledo, 35-30, Friday afternoon at the Glass Bowl in Toledo.
With the win, the Broncos earned their first share of a MAC West title since 2000.
How It Happened
Opportunistic offense and defense in the second half proved the difference as the Broncos galvanized around a scary moment when sophomore safety Asantay Brown was taken off the field early in the fourth quarter, suffering an injury following a blow to the head. Brown had feeling in his extremities upon leaving the field.
The play proved to be a key to the game as a penalty was called on Toledo for targeting and wiped out what would have been a first down for the Rockets at the Broncos’ 19-yard line. Instead, Western Michigan’s defense was able to get off the field and on the ensuing drive the offense drove down to the Rockets’ 21, and came away with a field goal to go up 35-24.
The defense held its own the rest of the way, allowing just a score with under two minutes to go, but recovered the onside kick sealing the win. Overall, the Broncos allowed just nine points in the second half, outscoring Toledo 10-9 in the final 30 minutes.
Repeating his performance from last week, Tom Flacco got the Broncos rolling early following a 54-yard pass play from Zach Terrell to Daniel Braverman, setting up the Broncos up at the Toledo 16. Two plays later, Flacco kept the ball and ran it in from 16 yards out. The team furthered its advantage by having Flacco run the ball in on a fake PAT to take an 8-0 lead, just three minutes into the game. He finished the game with 60 yards rushing on five carries, leading all Bronco ball carriers.
Corey Davis helped kick start the Broncos’ attack during the second quarter. First he took a bubble screen 76 yards for a touchdown, giving Western Michigan the lead at 18-14. Towards the end of the second quarter, down 21-18 the Broncos retook the lead thanks to a fumble by Toledo on a punt return which gave the Broncos the ball at the Rockets’ 48. Davis scored his second TD of the day on a drag route from 35 yards out which gave Western Michigan the 25-21 lead going into halftime.
The Broncos made it a two-score game after they got the ball first coming out of halftime. Braverman and Davis had catches on the first two plays of the quarter taking the ball down to the Rockets’ 10. On 4th-and-goal from the 1, Bogan ran it in, giving Western Michigan the 32-21 lead.
Davis and Braverman combined for 10 catches for 217 yards on the day. Terrell finished the day 12-of-20 for 243 yards and two touchdowns.
Western Michigan will now await its bowl fate. The Broncos hope to make a bowl in consecutive seasons for the first time in program history. Last year WMU went to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.