In arguably the most anticipated game in Waldo Stadium history, the Western Michigan Broncos could not overcome a slow start against a ferocious Michigan State defense in a 37-24 defeat on Friday night.
It started off well for PJ Fleck and Company, as Darius Phillips took the opening kickoff all the way down to the MSU 30-yard line, but a 3-and-out led to a missed Andrew Haldeman kick. On their next drive, a Zach Terrell pass would be tipped at the line before getting picked off by Montae Nicholson. Two plays later, a Madre London touchdown run would give the Spartans the lead.
But it wouldn't be for long, as Phillips would take the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown to tie the game. With Waldo rocking, it appeared as though the Broncos would hang with the #5 team in the nation throughout the night.
But Mark Dantonio's squad would rebound nicely. They would score the next three of their next four drives (with a fumble killing the other drive) to make it 27-7 mid-way through the 2nd quarter. The Broncos would eventually drive down the field, but had to settle for a field goal inside the 5-yard line to make it 27-10, a score that would stand through the half.
The Spartans would continue their dominance in the 2nd half, scoring on a 5 minute drive to make it 34-10. The Broncos would score on their next two drives to pull within 34-24 early in the 4th quarter, and had a shot to pull even closer after holding Michigan State to a field goal on the ensuing drive.
After driving down to the MSU 8-yard line, Terrell would attempt a fade to Corey Davis to make it a 37-31 game with two minutes to go. However, the throw was long, and easily intercepted by Vayante Copeland to kill the comeback.
Terrell finished 33-for-50 (both career highs) for 365 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw a pair of interceptions, with only one appearing to be a mistake on his behalf. Jarvion Franklin finished with only 8 carries for 23 yards and no touchdowns, exiting the game in the 3rd quarter with an apparent leg injury. Corey Davis was a monster with 10 catches for 154 yards and a nice tipped touchdown catch. Daniel Braverman finished with 13 catches for 109 yards.
We'll have more on this game shortly