Once again, Tra’Von Chapman started in place of an injured Thomas Woodson. This time, however, he was unable to lead the Zips to a victory as the Western Michigan Broncos were just too much for Chapman’s Zips squad.
The game started with the Broncos scoring on a 10-play, 75-yard drive. Zach Terrell, the quarterback starting opposite Chapman, punched in the score on a keeper to give his team a 7-0 lead. It turns out that’d be all they needed.
In fact, the first four drives for the Broncos all ended in touchdowns, with Jarvion Franklin rushing one in, Corey Davis catching a 5-yard corner route for another, and Davon Tucker scoring on a nice 13-yard run to make it 27-0 just 18 minutes and 6 seconds into the game. After Chapman was picked off by Caleb Bailey, it appeared WMU would score again. However, the opposite happened, with Tucker fumbling the ball in the red zone. It was the first turnover by the Broncos all season.
And while the Broncos were scoring almost at will, the Zips were sputtering. Their first two drives were three-and-outs. Their 3rd drive only saw 6 plays and ended on a turnover on downs. Two of their next three drives ended in interceptions (the first being the Bailey interception, the second coming on a Kasey Carson pick at the WMU 3). That was the entire first half, in fact.
The second half saw a lot more punts. Akron punted on their first three drives while the Broncos punted on their first drive. However, the Broncos found more daylight when Franklin busted through the middle for a 54-yd gain to set up another Davis touchdown catch. The Broncos would score again on a Terrell 2-yard scramble to put an exclamation point on the win.
Jarvion Franklin broke the school record for rushing yards in a game. The previous record of 279 yards was set by Lovell Coleman in 1958 against Central Michigan. He finished with 281 yards. Additionally, it was the first time the Zips were shutout in InfoCision Stadium while being the first WMU shutout since the 2006 game against Akron.
For the Zips, Chapman finished the game 13-for-31 with 153 passing yards. He added 49 yards on the ground, but his two interceptions ruined great scoring chances for the Zips early in the game. His top target, Jojo Natson, only caught 5 of his 11 targets for 46 yards while Jerome Lane only caught 4 of his 7 targets for 42 yards. Manny Morgan and Van Edwards were largely unproductive on the ground, totaling a combined 81 yards on 14 carries, but a large portion of that came late in the 4th quarter by Morgan against the second-stringers of WMU.
For the Broncos, Terrell finished 21-for-31 for 207 yards and two scores via the air. He added two more on the ground, finishing with 34 yards there. Jarvion broke the record on 33 carries, giving him an incredible 8.5 yards/carry mark for the game. Jamauri Bogan made his return with a 6 yard and 3 yard run, but was largely unused. Turcker finished with 53 yards on 10 carries and a score. Davis ended the game with 43 career TD catches, having caught two against the Zips while adding 63 yards on 8 catches (against 13 targets).
The Zips (4-3, 2-1) continue their crossover schedule next week with a trip to Ball State. The Broncos (7-0, 3-0) return home to face rivals Eastern Michigan in the 2nd leg (and potential trophy leg) of the Michigan MAC Trophy.