The sophomore running-back went down early in the 1st quarter with an ankle injury, and P.J. Fleck elected to go with Jarvion Franklin as the lead back. The move paid off, as the Broncos rode their workhorse to a pair of touchdowns in a 49-10 win over rival Central Michigan on Saturday night.
The Chippewas started off strong, moving the ball down the field with ease before stalling and having to settle for a field goal. However, that would be the only offense they would see in the half as the Bronco defense shut down Cooper Rush and company.
Rush would get sacked 6 times in the first half, and the Bronco offense rolled. They would get their first score on a Michael Henry screen play, with the senior wide-out punching it in from 6-yards out. Following a strip sack by Eric Assoua, Zach Terrell hit Corey Davis for a 9-yard catch, which broke the MAC record for most receiving yards in a career. The next play would be a Franklin run up the middle to make it 14-3. Another three-and-out, and a long drive resulted in another Franklin touchdown just before the half.
The 2nd half started with a failed onside kick by CMU due to an illegal touching penalty. The next play would be a deep ball to Davis, who took it off his defender’s head and all the way to the house on a 45-yard score. The next CMU drive would see sustained progress, but Darius Phillips would come away with his second pick-six in as many weeks to bury the Chippewas.
The following CMU drive would see Rush hit Mark Chapman for a touchdown to make it 35-10, but after having been on the field for almost the full first 11 minutes of the half, it seemed like a huge loss of time. The Broncos would eat up clock on their next drive, with Terrell hitting Davis for a short touchdown to tie Greg Jennings for most receiving TDs in WMU history (and 2nd all-time in the MAC). With the score 42-10, it was all but time to celebrate.
Fabian Johnson would add in the final touchdown for WMU to conclude the scoring with two minutes left.
Terrell finished the day going 15-of-21 for 170 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Davis led all receivers with 72 yards and two touchdowns on six receptions. Franklin was the game’s leading rusher with 132 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries.
WMU’s defense had an incredible eight sacks and nine-and-a-half tackles for loss against the Chippewa offensive line. Andre Turner had seven tackles, one sack and one TFL in a stellar game for the Broncos.
For Central Michigan, Rush finished 17-of-29 for 178 yards and a touchdown. Rush also threw an interception and lost a fumble. Devon Spalding led the Chips in carries and yards on the ground, with 52 yards on 12 carries. Corey Willis hauled in a game-high seven receptions for 68 yards, while Mark Chapman hauled in CMU’s only touchdown and led the team with 70 receiving yards.
Otis Kearney, who was the subject of a potential ejection after a hit that knocked Carrington Thompson out of the game, led the game with 10 tackles out of the safety spot in Tony Annese’s place.