Western Michigan Screws Around Too Long In Rowing By Buffalo 38-0

With the national media looking square at Kalamazoo, the Western Michigan Broncos improved to 11-0 with a 38-0 win over the hapless Buffalo Bulls.

It was not a great start for the Broncos as they moved the ball, but continually made mental mistakes that ended drives. They drove as far as the Buffalo 27 in the first drive and were stopped on downs. They moved to the Buffalo 29 and lost a fumble, a rare occurence for one of the best turnover margin teams in the nation. After a quarter, they were scoreless for one of the few times all season.

After forcing a fourth straight punt from the Bulls, WMU finally got on board with a nine-play, 69-yard drive that made impressive use of star receiver Corey Davis. He caught passes of nine, 20, and finally a 22 yard touchdown catch to give WMU a 7-0 lead. They added another on a 20-yard catch by running back Jarvion Franklin with just over two minutes left in the half to send them to the locker rooms with a 14-0 lead.

WMU was much more efficient in the second half, scoring on all but one of their drives. The only non-scoring drive came after driving all the way to the Buffalo eight-yard line. A chip shot attempt by Butch Hampton was no good, leaving three points off the board. The Broncos responded later with another touchdown grab by Davis, part of his 13 catch, 173 yard performance.

The unsung star of the game was the WMU defense, a group that utterly manhandled the anemic Buffalo offense. They gave up only 13 first downs, 268 total yards, and 2-12 on third down conversions. 12 of the 13 possessions by Buffalo were five plays or fewer with a garbage drive at the end of the first half account for the only drive over five plays.

Senior passer Zach Terrell passed for 445 yards and four touchdowns, connecting with Davis for 173 yards, Mitchell Henry for 121, and Franklin for 71. The trio also accounted for all four passing touchdowns.

Western Michigan did exactly what they were expected to do in this game, blow out an inferior opponent in front of a national TV audience. They didn’t do it with as much style as they hoped, especially in the opening quarter of the game, but took care of business and cruised to a win. They question remains whether this performance was enough to win the approval of the CFP committee to move them up the rankings.

With the San Diego State loss to Wyoming coupled with this win, WMU is now almost certainly assured a trip to the Cotton Bowl if they can finish the season undefeated. They still have a tricky game versus Toledo followed by a much easier MAC title game versus either Ohio or Miami. That will be determined on Tuesday.

Buffalo is now 2-9 on the season with only the season finale versus Bowling Green left on the schedule. A win over the Falcons will assure the Bulls avoiding their third two-win season since 2006.

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