WMU survives at Buffalo in 7OTs(!)

Jarvion Franklin had 37 carries for 176 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner in the seventh overtime to lift Western Michigan to a 71-68 win over Buffalo on Saturday.

The game was the longest in Mid-American Conference history and tied the FBS record for overtimes.

The victory was the fourth straight for WMU (4-2, 2-0 MAC), which extended its conference winning streak to 11 games. Buffalo fell to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the MAC.

Buffalo took a 68-65 lead with the first possession of the seventh overtime on a 25-yard field goal by Bulls junior kicker Adam Mitcheson.

Franklin spun from a tackle and broke the plane of the endzone for a 12-yard touchdown run and a walk-off win. The score improved his program record career rushing touchdown total to 51 and matched the program record for total career touchdowns.

Buffalo junior quarterback Drew Anderson, in his second career start, finished with a program-record 597 passing yards and seven touchdowns.

The Broncos finished with 645 yards of total offense. Wassink was 23 of 29 for 256 yards and five touchdowns with one interception; redshirt sophomore running back LeVante Bellamy had 11 carries for 131 yards and one touchdown; sophomore receiver D'Wayne Eskridge had four receptions for 97 yards and a score; and senior tight end Donnie Ernsberger had four receptions for 52 yards and two scores.

Redshirt sophomore safety Davontae Ginwright led the Broncos defensively with 13 tackles, while senior linebacker Asantay Brown made 12 stops.

WMU freshman kicker Josh Grant made a 44-yard field goal, but missed a pair of potential game winners - a 52-yard attempt at the end of reglation and a 30-yard attempt in the third OT.

Up next: Western Michigan returns to Kalamazoo for its Homecoming matchup with Akron on Oct. 14. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.

Buffalo will host Northern Illinois on Oct. 14, beginning at 3:30 p.m.

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© 2017, Battle Creek Enquirer


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