Broncos blank Zips to improve to 7-0
AKRON, Ohio — Junior running back Jarvion Franklin had a career-day as No. 24-ranked Western Michigan took care of Akron 41-0 at InfoCision Stadium Saturday.
Franklin finished with a career-high 281 rushing yards.
With the win, the Broncos moved to 7-0 on the year and 3-0 in MAC play. It was WMU’s first shutout since 2006, also against Akron.
“This game is an incredible credit to our coaching staff and to our players,” said WMU head coach P.J. Fleck. “They played possessed and executed the game plan perfectly. We knew we had to play a certain style to keep them in front of us and I thought we executed that to perfection.
“We proved we are not perfect, but we are real and we are human. The one thing I know from our team is that they are going to respond to the adversity we had and the mistakes we made. We expected to play our best, period. We worry about us because we have to prepare to do our thing before we worry about someone else. They are an incredible football team and I give them a lot of credit. Terry Bowden is a heck of a football coach and they played really well.”
The Broncos took any thought of an upset away from the Zips early, as Western Michigan had built a 27-0 lead by the 12:54 mark of the second quarter. The defense shut down Akron all day, starting the afternoon with two three-and-outs and not allowing a first down until the 14:14 mark of the second quarter. Overall the Broncos outgained the Zips, 585-283
Offensively, quarterback Zach Terrell got the team started on the right foot, driving down on the opening drive for a touchdown that was capped by an option run by Terrell, his first of two rushing touchdowns.
From there, Franklin took the lead as he ran for a touchdown, putting the Broncos up 14-0 and Davon Tucker ran one in as well. Corey Davis had the highlight grab of the first half, leaping in the left corner of the end zone and getting his foot down for the 42nd receiving touchdown of his career. The team’s fourth touchdown came on its fourth drive of the day.
Davis added another touchdown grab in the third quarter, a 17-yard catch and run for his 43rd career score. Terrell put an explanation point on the day, running in his fifth rushing touchdown of the season and 11th of his career in the fourth quarter.
Defensively, Caleb Bailey had a career-day, finishing with a season-high 2.5 tackles for loss along with his first career interception.
He led a defense that forced two turnovers and had three sacks. Senior linebacker Kasey Carson also recorded his first career interception.
Who stood out
• Jr. RB Jarvion Franklin: 2 TDs, 281 yards rushing, 1 reception for 18 yards
• Sr. WR Corey Davis: 2 TDs, 8 receptions, 63 yards
• Sr. QB Zach Terrell: 207 yards passing, 4 TDs (2 pass, 2 rush), 21-31-0 (C-A-I)
• Red-shirt Jr. LB Caleb Bailey: 7 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 INT
Western Michigan returns home next Saturday, Oct. 22, hosting Eastern Michigan on Arbor Financial Youth Day at 3:30 p.m. The Broncos are looking to win the Michigan MAC Trophy for the third straight year by earning a season sweep over Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan.