For Dri Archer, it was a good night.
"It felt good being back out there. . .having fun, playing football, doing what we love to do."
And why not? In his first full game of the season after suffering an injury in the first quarter against Liberty, Archer went off on a suspect Western Michigan defense to the tune of 121 yards on just a mere 10 touches including a nice 31 yard touchdown catch, which would prove to be the game winner (well the ensuing 2-point conversion was). Archer was kicked away from all night as well, resulting often in great field position for the Golden Flashes.
And Trayion Durham cashed in on the Archer-ness. With the threat of Archer's speed spreading out the Broncos and causing Bronco defensive coordinator Ed Pinkham fits, Durham powered his way to a monster night of 154 yards on 26 carries and a pair of touchdowns. Folks, Thunder and Lightning appear to be back.
And that's not good for the MAC East.
After appearing like the Kent State of old, the Golden Flashes appear to have found their form from last season and now head into a big game against NIU next weekend. They will have to make up a game already against BGSU, but could still contend for another MAC East Championship, or at the very least, another bowl game.
I mean, the offense was good, but the defense was superb.
With Tyler Van Tubbergen seemingly kept on a short leash in the first half (only attempting 6 passes), the Golden Flashes stuffed the Broncos to a mere 111 yards of offense in the half, and 310 yards total. In the 2nd half, they would pick a pair of TVT passes, including a major drive killer that might have tied the game up at 22 late in the 3rd quarter.
TVT himself finished 11-for-23 for just 159 yards and a touchdown, but again, had those 2 INTs. His running game got him 151 yards, led mainly by Brian Fields and his 106 yards and a touchdown. However, the Broncos were without top target Corey Davis, as the freshman was out with an injury.
Nevertheless, the Broncos have looked out of sync all season. They appear to be going nowhere but down. However, coach P.J. Fleck assures Bronco fans that progress is being made.
"We are winning individual battles. We're not winning the war, but we're winning battles. This program is on the rise and I know a lot of people don't see it, but it's called faith."
Meanwhile, Paul Haynes is just excited to finally beat Western Michigan in Kalamazoo.
"The last time we won (at Western Michigan), Ronald Reagan was president and I was a sophomore in college, so this a big road victory. Finally, all three phases (came together) and (we're) playing well."
As for Archer and Company? Jordan Lynch awaits the Flashes next week. When asked about the "Archer vs Lynch" match-up, the elusive back evaded the question from me like he did all of the Bronco defenders last night:
"It's two great football teams playing against each other. We owe them for the MAC Championship last year so it's just a pay-back game. They are coming into our homecoming, and we don't lose on homecoming."