Western Michigan's 4-0 start is its best since the program went 5-0 to open the season in 1994. The Broncos have a chance to match that record next Saturday when they face rival Central Michigan (3-1) in Mount Pleasant. Both teams are major contenders for the MAC West title. Kickoff for the annual Battle of the Cannon Trophy game is at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.
Tied 7-7 after one quarter, Western Michigan . . .
Western Michigan's defense was a major factor in the victory, as the Broncos forced three fumbles and recovered two. It also came up with two interceptions. WMU did not turn the ball over in the game.
Following a 34-yard field goal by Georgia Southern, junior Darius Phillips came up with his first of two absolutely electric, game-defining plays. Phillips received the ensuing kickoff a foot into the end zone and split through a seam at the 35-yard line, taking a 100-yard return to the house for the second time in his career. Phillips also had a 100-yard return last year against Michigan State. It was his third career kickoff return for a touchdown.
On Georgia Southern's next drive, Bronco redshirt safety Justin Ferguson got between Georgia Southern quarterback Favian Upshaw and his pitch man on the option read, causing Upshaw to fumble away the ball which Eric Assoua recovered. Five plays later, Terrell hit Carrington Thompson for an eight-yard leaping touchdown catch to give WMU a 28-10 lead.
The Eagles scored with 3:11 to go before halftime, but Western Michigan answered as senior wide receiver Corey Davis caught the 37th touchdown pass of his career, a 35-yard post route between two defenders, increasing the Broncos' lead to 35-17 at the half.
CHANGE OF DIRECTION
Phillips began the second half with another highlight reel play, as he intercepted a pass down the right sideline, spun back the other direction and raced 70 yards to the end zone for the second pick-six of his career.
The Broncos closed out the game with a 15-play, 87-yard drive late in the fourth quarter. Terrell connected with Henry for the second time in the game, this time a seven-yard touchdown.
CHANGE OF FORTUNES
"All I can say about that game is it was really elite,” Terrell said. “I think after last year's game against them, a lot of us were really embarrassed to tell the truth. We weren't surprised this time around; we knew we had an ELITE opponent coming into The Boatyard. Our defense did an amazing job tonight, just to see the transformation from last year to this was really fun.
The win avenged Western Michigan's worst defeat of 2015, when the Broncos were handed a 43-17 loss by Georgia Southern in Statesboro, Ga., in the second game of the season.
Western Michigan goes for its third straight win in the Battle for the Cannon when it heads to Central Michigan to take on the Chippewas next Saturday at 7 p.m., in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
(Courtesy of WMU Athletics)