WMU News

Offense has its day in the sunshine

Oct. 21, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- WMU's football Broncos record a huge 52-22 victory over visiting Northern Illinois University on Saturday, Oct. 21, before an appreciative Homecoming crowd of 27,523.

Western Michigan extended its winning streak to six games and improved to 4-0 in the Mid-American Conference, 2-0 in the MAC West Division. Northern Illinois entered the game as the only other undefeated team in conference competition.

Despite surrendering a season high 22 points, the Bronco defense had another exceptional day. The defense has been the dominant unit in each of WMU's previous six games, but on a warm Homecoming Saturday in Kalamazoo, it was the offense's day in the sunshine.

Northern Illinois scored first for the early 7-0 lead. WMU responded with a Brad Selent field goal to trim the deficit to 7-3 at the end of the first quarter. Robert Sanford scored on a three-yard run in the second quarter to put the Broncos ahead, 10-7, and WMU never trailed again in the contest.

Western Michigan scored in the final seconds on the first half to cap a 21-point second quarter, and took the opening drive of the second half for another seven points and a 31-14 lead. By the time Northern Illinois found the end zone again, there was only 7:50 remaining in the contest, and the MAC's only remaining undefeated team, the Broncos, were ahead 45-22.

Western Michigan had 30 first downs, 209 yards passing, 209 rushing, and controlled the ball for more than 35 minutes in the game. The Broncos had no fumbles, no interceptions, no turnovers.

Senior Robert Sanford rushed for 172 yards on 32 carries and scored two touchdowns. Charles Woods carried eight times for 51 yards and also scored two touchdowns.

Junior quarterback Jeff Welsh completed 21 of 34 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for one score.

Senior Steve Neal, the Broncos all-time leading receiver, caught six passes for 80 yards. Flanker Corey Alston had two catches for 45 yards and one touchdown. Tight end Mobolaja Afariogan had four receptions, including one touchdown, for 31 yards.

The Broncos travel to Kent State on Saturday, Oct. 28. The only remaining home game this season for WMU is Saturday, Nov. 18, when the Broncos host Eastern Michigan in a 1 p.m. start at Waldo Stadium.

                  1st  2nd  3rd  4th   Final 
WMU Broncos        3   21   14   14     52 
Nothern Illinois   7    7    0    8     22

Attendance: 27,523

For more information, visit the Broncos on the Web <www.wmubroncos.com>.

Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 616 387-4122; daniel.jankowski@wmich.edu

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