KALAMAZOO – Corey Davis and No. 18 Western Michigan (No. 14 in AP, No. 21 in College Football Playoff) wrapped up an undefeated regular season in style, routing Toledo, 55-35, tonight to secure a berth next week in the Mid-American Conference championship game.
Davis became the career FBS leader in yards receiving, and the Broncos (12-0, 8-0 MAC) never trailed, scoring a defensive touchdown on the first play from scrimmage and eventually breaking it open in the third quarter. WMU will face Ohio in the MAC title game in Detroit next Fridat night, and it’s looking more and more like the Broncos will be playing for a spot in a major bowl.
Kareem Hunt ran for 200 yards and a touchdown for Toledo, but there was only so much he could do after the Rockets (9-3, 6-2) fell way behind in the second half.
WMU went 1-11 in 2013 in coach P.J. Fleck’s first season, but he has turned the Broncos into a force. Zach Terrell went 19 of 25 for 196 yards and three touchdowns, and Davis caught eight passes for 81 yards and a TD. Davis broke the career mark of 5,005 yards receiving set by Trevor Insley of Nevada from 1996-99.
Jamauri Bogan also had a big day for WMU, rushing for 198 yards and a TD.
Toledo received the opening kickoff, but Logan Woodside’s pass on the first play from scrimmage was intercepted by Asantay Brown, whose 21-yard return gave the Broncos a 7-0 lead.
WMU led 24-14 at halftime, then outscored the Rockets 21-0 in the third quarter.
Toledo: The Rockets have been one of the MAC’s most consistently solid teams in recent years, but they haven’t made the league title game since 2004. Northern Illinois represented the West Division the past six years, and this season WMU has been dominant, leaving Toledo again on the outside looking in.
WMU: If there was any pressure on the Broncos because of their undefeated record, it didn’t show Friday. Against a tough opponent, WMU was simply terrific, winning by the kind of one-sided score that could certainly catch the attention of the playoff committee. The Broncos could go to a New Year’s Six bowl if they end up as the top league champion from the Group of Five conferences.
Toledo: The Rockets will certainly have a chance to go to a bowl. Hunt is now 24 yards shy of the school’s career rushing record. Chester Taylor holds the mark of 4,849 yards.
WMU: Somebody is going to win the MAC for the first time in quite a while. The Broncos haven’t done it since 1988, and Ohio’s last conference title was back in 1968.