Western Michigan makes history with win over Illini
CHAMPAIGN, Illinois — Western Michigan improved its record to 3-0, defeating its second Big Ten team on the road this season with a 34-10 victory over Illinois Saturday.
It marked the first time in school history and just the fourth time in Mid-American Conference history a MAC team has defeated two Big Ten teams in the same year. WMU opened the season with a 22-21 win at Northwestern.
Western Michigan built an early 21-0 lead and never looked back, posting its largest victory over a Big Ten team ever. All four Bronco touchdowns in the game came on the ground, as WMU racked up 287 yards rushing. The Bronco defense meanwhile stifled Illinois’ running game, giving up just three yards net on ground offense.
Sophomore running back Jamauri Bogan carried the ball 24 times for 189 yards and scored WMU’s first two touchdowns. Midway through the first quarter, the WMU defense stopped Illinois on 4th-and-1 at the Broncos’ 40-yard line. Quarterback Zach Terrell hit Corey Davis on a 46-yard go route down the left sideline and two plays later Bogan punched it in for his first touchdown of the day.
Bogan continued his electric running on Western Michigan’s next possession, taking the handoff 36 yards to the end zone.
Redshirt junior linebacker Caleb Bailey set up Western Michigan’s third score of the day when he saw the ball come out of Illinois quarterback Wes Lunt’s hand after a hard hit by Eric Assoua. Bailey scooped up the fumble and was brought down at the Illini 2-yard line. The hit on Lunt was reviewed for forward motion, but the call on the field was upheld as a fumble. Terrell capitalized, keeping the ball on a zone read for his second rushing touchdown of the season and a 21-0 Western Michigan lead.
Ainsile Johnson hauled in a 56-yard pass from Lunt for Illinois’ only touchdown of the day with 6:39 remaining in the first half. Bronco freshman kicker Butch Hampton booted in a 32-yard field goal before the half to give WMU a 24-7 lead at the break.
Western Michigan and Illinois traded field goals in the third quarter, Hampton hitting another one from 22-yards out. Illinois had a chance to close the gap in the third quarter, but a wide-open Reggie Corbin dropped a pass that would have led to a touchdown. Illinois settled for a 22-yard field goal to trail, 24-10.
The Broncos put together a six-play, 65-yard drive at the beginning of the fourth quarter to give WMU a decisive 34-10 lead. Junior Jarvion Franklin ran the ball in from one-yard out for his second touchdown of the year.
WMU junior linebacker Robert Spillane sealed the win with his first career interception on Illinois’ next drive. The Bronco defense recorded two turnovers and had four sacks in the game. Junior corner back Darius Phillips made a career-high 12 tackles and Spillane recorded 11.
Who stood out
The Bronco defense – 10 points fewest ever allowed by WMU to a Big Ten team
So. RB Jamauri Bogan: 189 yards, 2 TDs, 24 carries
Sr. QB Zach Terrell: 150 yards passing, 1 rushing TD, 9-13-0 (C-A-I)
Sr. WR Corey Davis: 97 yards, 4 receptions, long of 44
Jr. CB Darius Phillips: career-high 12 tackles, 1 TFL
Jr. LB Robert Spillane: 11 tackles, 1 INT, 1 TFL
• First time in school history WMU has defeated two Big Ten teams in the same season, fourth time the feat has been accomplished in Mid-American Conference history.
• WMU’s largest ever win over a Big Ten opponent (the Broncos defeated Wisconsin on the road by 10 on Sept. 3, 1988, 24-14 … 1988 was also WMU’s last MAC Championship)
• The Broncos are 3-0 for the first time since the 1994 season, team opened the schedule 5-0 that year
• Bogan has run for 100-plus yards in all three games this season and four straight games, dating back to the Bahamas’ Bowl victory last year
Western Michigan returns to Waldo Stadium Saturday to take on Georgia Southern at 7 p.m., on ESPN3.