With the win, Western Michigan evens its overall record at 3-3 and the Mid-American Conference record at 1-1. Ball State, which is now winless since its season opening victory over Colgate, drops to 1-5 overall and 0-2 MAC.
The Cardinals drove down the field on the ensuing possession and eventually got a first down at the Broncos eight-yard stripe. Richard Ash recorded a key pass deflection on third down, and Jack Milas’ final pass of the game fell incomplete as the Broncos held on for a MAC road win.
Western’s Jarvion Franklin rushed for 161 yards on 24 carries and three touchdowns, giving him 15 scores on the season. He entered the week as the country’s leading scorer as well as its top freshman rusher.
Braverman finished with a team-high 10 catches for 96 yards and two touchdowns, while Corey Davis had six receptions for a team-high 154 yards and a touchdown.
Darius Phillips scored on a career-long 52-yard rush in the third quarter, and punter J. Schroeder provided a spark on special teams with a 43.8 yards per punt average and a season-long 74-yard punt that trapped the Cardinals on their own one-yard-line.
Defensively, Justin Currie had a game-high 12 tackles, and Nathan Braster had a key sack of Milas on the Cardinals’ final drive of the game.
The Broncos were on a mission to start the third quarter, getting back on the scoreboard just three plays into the half. Phillips took a reverse pitch and sprinted down the left sideline, going out-of-bounds just before reaching the goal line. Franklin punched the ball in on the very next play to cut the Cardinal lead to 31-21.
Another key play came in the Broncos’ second possession of the half when Schroeder turned a three-and-out into an change in field position.
Schroeder boomed a punt 74 yards all the way down to the BSU one, where it was downed by a Bronco. Ball State ultimately was forced into a three-and-out at their own seven-yard-line. That punt traveled to just the BSU 49, and Terrell hooked up with Davis on a 26-yard pass on the first play of the possession to put the Broncos in striking distance. Franklin got the call for three straight carries and ended up in the end zone to make it 31-28.
The Cardinals countered with a KeVonn Mabon touchdown catch at the end of the third quarter, but Franklin busted out a 54-yard touchdown run with 7:25 remaining in the fourth quarter to again make it a three-point deficit at 38-35.
Terrell’s 12-yard pass to Braverman pushed the Broncos out from, and the Broco defense provided critical stops on Ball State’s final drive to preserve WMU’s advantage.
Western Michigan trailed early on, but it struck back to tie the score just before the end of the first quarter. Braverman did the heavy lifting to punch the ball into the end zone. Starting on their own 23, the Broncos moved quickly in advancing the ball down the field.
Franklin pushed through the pile on a third-and-two to move the chains for a Bronco first down at the 35-yard-line. He again kept the drive alive with a three-yard rush at the WMU 43.
Braverman toted the mail the rest of the way, hauling in a hard strike from Terrell and eluding a tackler on the far sideline before sprinting 52 yards for the score. Haldeman’s extra point tied the game at 7-7 with 29 seconds remaining in the quarter.
The Broncos’ second touchdown of the game came on their longest play from scrimmage of the year. On the first play of the drive, his own 25-yard-line, Terrell found Davis in the middle of the field for a completion in traffic; Davis slipped the tackle and found nothing but green between him and the goal line. The 75-yard play made it 28-14 with 3:17 to play in the half.
(Courtesy of WMU Athletics/MRO Staff edit)