WMU’s offense set the tone on the first drive of the game, marching 66 yards and taking the lead on a 17-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Zach Terrell to sophomore Corey Davis.
Bronco freshman running back Jarvion Franklin did not disappoint in his debut at Waldo Stadium, tallying three touchdowns and 168 yards rushing with another 30 yards receiving. One of those touchdowns came late in the second quarter, when he broke through the line and eluded Murray State with a double spin move to put Western Michigan up 24-7 headed into the half.
Franklin has had three touchdowns and over 100-plus yards rushing in all three of Western Michigan’s games this season. He entered this weekend as the Mid-American Conference rushing leader and after Saturday night has 531 rushing yards already for the year, averaging 177 per contest.
Davis was just shy of the century mark receiving, totaling 99 yards on seven receptions with one touchdown. Redshirt sophomore Daniel Braverman also made seven catches for 61 yards. Braverman’s biggest play of the night came on a 65-yard reverse, dancing through the Racer defense for a touchdown that made the score 31-14 in the Broncos’ favor at the end of the third quarter. The speedy Braverman finished with 125 all-purpose yards.
Terrell connected on 20 of 29 pass attempts for 228 yards and scrambled for 48 yards and one touchdown. His only real hiccup was the interception for a touchdown to begin the second half. Terrell had been flushed from the pocket and attempted to make a throw on the run, but Murray State’s T-Ray Malone stepped in front and returned the ball 71 yards for a touchdown.
The 14 points allowed by the Bronco defense was the fewest points allowed by Western Michigan under second-year head coach P.J. Fleck. Murray State managed just 305 total yards, 214 in the air and 91 on the ground. The WMU secondary was impressive, making 10 pass break-ups. Junior linebacker Grant DePalma led the team with nine tackles including two and a half for losses. Donald Celiscar and Justin Currie each had eight tackles apiece.
Western Michigan heads to Virginia Tech (2-2) next Saturday, facing the Hokies at 12:30 p.m. The game will be televised on the ACC Network and ESPN3.
(Courtesy of WMU Athletics)