MAC Football Scoreboard, Friday, August 31, 2013
Michigan State 26, Western Michigan 13 Final Stats Postgame Notes
East Lansing, Mich. -- The Western Michigan defense held the Michigan State offense to just one touchdown but the Spartans capitalized on four Bronco turnovers to beat Westerm Michigan 26-13 in front of 71,214 fans at Spartan Stadium late Friday night.
Western Michigan's defense held Michigan State quarterbacks Andrew Maxwell and Connor Cook to a combined 116 yards and 17-for-37. Donald Celiscar led all tacklers with a game-high 10 stops. Kyle Lark finished win nine tackles, while Justin Currie and Mike Jones each had eight. Rontavious Atkins finished with seven tackles and a forced fumble. The Bronco secondary also racked up six pass break-ups on the night.
Freshmen led the way for the Bronco offense as red-shirt freshman Zach Terrell threw two touchdown passes and true freshman Corey Davis led all players from scrimmage with 96 yards off of eight receptions, including his first career touchdown. Terrell came in after starting quarterback Tyler Van Tubbergen left with an injury in the second quarter. The Fort Wayne, Ind., native finished with 120 yards, two touchdowns and completed 12-of-28 passes.
Michigan State drew first blood after Jairus Jones intercepted a deflected pass by Van Tubbergen and lateraled the ball to Kurtis Drummand, who took it 21 yards for a touchdown at 6:27 in the first quarter.
After a 57-minute weather delay the Broncos responded to tie the game 7-7. After Van Tubbergen left the game with an injury Terrell stepped right in and threw a 14-yard strike to Clark Mussman on his first collegiate snap. The pass capped off a four-play 59 yard drive in which Van Tubbergen connected on a 45-yard pass to Timmy Keith to move the ball down to the MSU 14 yard-line.
The Spartans closed out the first half with a seven-play 69 yard drive that resulted in a Jeremy Langford touchdown run from two yards out.
Michigan State pushed the lead to 16-7 after Western Michigan's defense held strong to force a field goal from 20 yards out at 4:45 in the third quarter. A good punt return gave the Spartans the ball at the Bronco 31. Cook led Michigan State down to the three yard-line but Western Michigan forced the field goal.
After a tipped pass was deflected and intercepted by Michigan State's Jones, the Spartans were threatening again late in the third quarter at Western Michigan's 12 yard-line. The Bronco defense turned in an elite performance to not give up a yard and force a field goal. Travonte Boles started off the drive with a tackle-for-loss on Riley Bullough to push the ball back to the Western Michigan 13. The Broncos then forced two straight incomplete passes before Kevin Muma connected on a 30-yard field goal to push the lead to 16-7.
The Bronco defense shined again early in the fourth quarter after Michigan State was driving into Western Michigan territory. At the 21 yard-line Langford took the ball but was popped in the backfield by Atkins and coughed it up. Corey Sueing pounced on the ball to wrap up Western Michigan's first turnover of the season.
Michigan State's defense scored its second touchdown of the game minutes later when Terrell was stripped by Marcus Rush and Shilique Calhoun picked it up and ran into the endzone to push the score to 26-7.
Western Michigan kept pushing back and marched down the field late into the fourth quarter. The eight-play drive saw Terrell and Davis connect twice for a total of 36 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown pass with 1:51 left in the game. The Broncos missed converting on the two-point conversion but brought the score back to 26-13.
Sophomore punter J. Schroeder had a career-best night with 11 punts. The Columbus, Ohio, native averaged 45.1 yards per punt, including a long of 62 and three inside the 20 yard-line.
Western Michigan hosts Nichols State on Saturday night at 7 p.m. for CommUniverCity Night at Waldo Stadium.