Western Michigan was electric out of the gates as the Broncos’ first play from scrimmage went 52 yards for a touchdown when . . .
The highlight of the 28-point sequence came later in the quarter when Darius Phillips, who was making his debut as a punt returner. He took the second punt of the night for 66 yards down the left sideline for a score. It was the first WMU punt return for a touchdown since Greg Jennings accomplished the feat on Oct. 23, 2004.
Weather delayed the start of the second half by about an hour as lightning storms moved through the Kalamazoo area. The second half picked up just after 10:30 p.m., and the Broncos showed no signs of being affected by the wait as the running game stayed on track and culminated with Terrell taking a quarterback keeper into the end zone from 10 yards out for a 49-21 lead.
“I’m very proud of our offense and all the coaching staff because it seemed like every time we got the ball we scored. Every time they scored we scored back” Broncos head coach P.J. Fleck said. “There was that big weather delay during the half and they scored right before half, but we got the ball and we came out and scored. Our guys just go about their business and I’m very proud of them.”
Davis capped his night with a highlight catch on a 10-yard touchdown to close out the third quarter, keeping one foot in bounds for his third TD of the evening. He finished with seven catches for 150 yards, eclipsing the 4,000 yard mark for his career. Davis, the current active FBS leader for career yards, moved up to 16th on the all-time list.
Western Michigan added two rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter on its way to the program’s first 70-point performance since 1996. The Broncos racked up 614 yards of total offense and outgained NCCU on the ground, 359-106.
WMU used the trifecta of Jamauri Bogan, LeVante Bellamy and Jarvion Franklin in the back field, and each found their way into the endzone. Both Bogan and Bellamy ran for over 100 yards, finishing with 131 and 121, respectively. Franklin ended with 91 yards. Late in the fourth quarter, redshirt freshman Devon Tucker got in on the action, scoring his first career touchdown.
“A lot of guys got playing experience which will help us bring the bottom up and help the top continue to rise,” Fleck said.
Defensively, Western Michigan shut the door in the second half. After putting up 284 yards of total offense in the first half, NCCU was credited with just two yards in the third quarter and just 31 yards in the entire second half combined, finishing with 315 yards of total offense.
Robert Spillane tallied a team-high 6.5 tackles for Western Michigan, while Asantay Brown and Davontae Ginwright each had five.
Western Michigan will look for its second win over a B1G opponent next Saturday when the Broncos head to Champaign, Ill., to take on the University of Illinois at 4:00 p.m., on ESPNews. WMU defeated Northwestern on the road in the season-opener on Sept. 3, 22-21.