Broncos hold on for big win at Iowa
Sept. 9, 2000
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Quarterback Jeff Welsh completed 20 of 30 passes for 216 yards as the WMU football Broncos scored on their first four possessions and then held on for a 27-21 victory at Iowa. It was Western Michigan's first win against a Big Ten opponent since 1988.
The Hawkeyes scored on the opening possession of the contest, but were held to a 41-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead. The Broncos, who improved to 1-1 on the season, responded on their first possession with a 47-yard Brad Selent field goal.
WMU followed that with three consecutive touchdown drives for a 24-6 halftime lead. On the final possession of the first half, Welsh took a knee as time expired -- the only Bronco possession of the half that did not end in points for WMU.
"When we came to Western Michigan, the idea was that someday we could play Big Ten teams," said coach Gary Darnell. "It was time for us to win one of those games or quit opening our mouth."
Corey Alston caught a 78-yard touchdown pass from backup Ryan Harris and Steve Neal had a 36-yard TD pass from Welsh in the second quarter. Neal had eight receptions for 114 yards for the Broncos.
In the second half, however, the Bronco offense sputtered, failing to gain a first down on several possessions. Iowa QB Scott Mullen threw two touchdown passes in the third period as Iowa pulled to within three points, 24-21.
Selent booted a 33-yard field goal to give WMU a six-point lead with 6:52 left in the contest. Iowa mounted one last drive into Bronco territory before a Jared Pike sack of Mullin on fourth down gave the football to WMU with 1:47 remaining.
In other Mid-American Conference action against Big Ten opponents on Saturday, Purdue defeated Kent, 45-10, Ohio University stunned Minnesota, 23-17, and Marshall saw its NCAA-leading 18-game win streak end with a 34-24 loss at Michigan State. MSU's T.J. Duckett of Kalamazoo sealed the victory for the Spartans with a long TD run in the fourth quarter.
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final WMU Broncos 10 14 0 3 27 Iowa 3 3 15 0 21 Attendance: 55,650
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