ARLINGTON, TX -- Western Michigan shook off two early scores to make a run on Wisconsin, but the Badgers vaunted defense and an outstanding day by junior tight end Troy Fumagalli proved to be enough for No. 8 Wisconsin to down No. 15 Western Michigan, 24-16, Monday in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium.
Fumagalli’s six catches for 83 yards and one TD won’t jump off the stat sheet, but he proved to be the “go-to” guy for Wisconsin. His eight-yard TD reception from Alex Hornibrook at 12:26 of the fourth quarter extended the Badgers lead from 17-10 to 24-10.
The crucial score . . .
While Fumagalli was having a big day for the Badgers offense, Edwards was shining on the defensive side. In addition to his interception, the 6-1, 244-pound linebacker recorded 10 tackles for a Wisconsin defense that largely lived up to its stingy reputation. The Badgers limited WMU’s potent offense to 280 total yards.
Sophomore Jamauri Bogan was the workhorse of Western Michigan’s run game, getting the call for 16 carries and gaining 58 yards with a long of nine. Junior Jarvion Franklin contributed 53 yards on seven trips as the Broncos run game totaled 123 yards.
Terrell had a part in both WMU touchdowns, running in one score from two yards out in the second quarter and hitting Corey Davis with an 11-yrd TD late in the final period. The senior All-Amereican led Bronco receivers with six receptions for 73 yards and a score.
Terrell completed 16 of 28 for 157 yards, one TD and one interception on the day. The pick was the game’s only turnover by either side. However, Western Michigan, known for its ball security during the regular season, dodged four other turnovers by recovering its own fumbles.
Both teams totaled 18 first downs and there was just 10 seconds difference in time of possession. However, the Badgers registered 362 total yards in a very balanced attack. Wisconsin registered 184 yards via the ground game and 178 through the air.
Senior RB Corey Clement carried much of the load for UW, gaining 71 yards on 22 trips and scoring one touchdown. Junior Jazz Peavy had three carries totaling 50 yards, while senior Dare Ogunbowale finished his Badger career with five carries for 22 yards and one TD.
Clement and Ogunbowale both put their touchdowns on the board during first quarter action as Wisconsin jumped out to a 14-0 lead. However, Western Michigan regrouped, allowing just one field goal and a TD over the last three periods. The late touchdown followed WMU’s turnover, setting Wisconsin up at the Broncos 12-yard line.
Terrell’s naked bootleg for a TD at 5:27 of the second period cut the Wisconsin lead in half, but the Badgers squeezed in an Andrew Endicott 30-yard field goal just before halftime for a 17-7 advantage.
Butch Hampton made it a seven-point game once again when he connected on a 27-yard Broncos field goal at 10:00 of the third period.
Fumagalli’s touchdown reception at 12:26 of the final period opened up a 24-10 lead. While WMU was able to match that touchdown, it’s 16-play drive covering 75 yards at up 8:59 on the clock before Davis scored.
With just 3:27 left, Western Michigan tried an onside kick, but Wisconsin recovered and converted two third downs to maintain possession and run out the clock.