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DAVE GORICKI

Around the MAC: Western catches onto Central early

David Goricki
The Detroit News

Kalamazoo — Daniel Braverman stole the show last weekend during Western Michigan's 41-39 victory over Central Michigan.

A 5-foot-10, 180-pound junior receiver, Braverman had six receptions for three touchcdowns, including a 64-yarder early in the fourth quarter that stopped a 16-0 run by Central Michigan that had cut the lead to 34-32.

Braverman, who is second nationally in receptions (56), had a hightlight-reel scoring play earlier when he took a pass from Zach Terrell in the left flat, eluded two defenders and changed direction en route to a 43-yard touchdown.

"I think that's one of my most exciting touchdowns in college, but growing up I've been doing that a while so it wasn't anything really new, just me being me," said Braverman, who has seven touchdowns.

Coach P.J. Fleck praised Braverman and fellow receiver Corey Davis for their performances.

Western Michigan held the ball the final 8 minutes, 24 seconds. Terrell found the 6-3, 210-pound Davis (31 receptions, 403 yards, four touchdowns) on fourth down that kept the ball out of the hands of the potent Central Michigan offense.

"Corey is the prototypical big NFL wide receiver one day," Fleck said. "He's a guy that can stretch the field. He's physical."

"I think Daniel is kind of under the radar. I think people look at him and think he's small and just a slot receiver. ... He's that player that makes you better, that maybe is more dynamic than others that other people don't have.

"What he did on that first play (touchdown) had nothing to do with coaching or the play-calling. ... It was one of the most dynamic, special plays that I've ever seen in college football and it's not going to get that notoriety because he's a small Mid-American Conference receiver."

So close, yet ...

There's no doubt John Bonamego has a competitive team in his first year at Central Michigan.

Now, can he turn those close losses into wins during the second half?

Central Michigan has been in every game, taking a 13-10 lead over a Oklahoma State team in the third quarter before falling 24-13, losing at Syracuse in overtime, trailing Michigan State 17-10 in the fourth quarter of a 30-10 loss, and losing late last weekend to Western Michigan.

Factory shutdown

Rynearson Stadium has been anything but home sweet some for Eastern Michigan.

Eastern Michigan is 0-4 at The Factory, including two Mid-American Conference games, the latest loss last weekend to Akron. The Zips had 500 yards offense, including 278 rushing.

Bell is back

Eastern Michigan redshirt sophomore quarterback Reggie Bell will suit up for Saturday’s game at Toledo, coach Chris Creighton said Monday.

“He has been cleared,” Creighton said. "He’s been able to practice some without a helmet. It was a jaw injury so his legs have been healthy and he’s been able to throw, he just hasn't been able to wear a helmet and hasn't been able to be in contact.”

Bell suffered a broken jaw in Week 1 against Old Dominion and has been out the past five weeks. Coaches will monitor him in practice this week to gauge his availability

Redshirt sophomore Brogan Roback will start at quarterback against the No. 22 Rockets (5-0, 2-0 Mid-American Conference). The Eagles are 1-5 and 0-2. Kickoff is at noon.

Andrew Mascharka contributed to this report.

STANDINGS

East

Conference/Overall

Ohio, 2-0/5-1

Bowling Green, 2-0/4-2

Akron, 1-1/3-3

Kent State, 1-1/2-4

Buffalo, 0-1/2-3

Massachusetts, 0-1/1-4

Miami (Ohio), 0-2/1-5

West

Toledo, 2-0/5-0

Western Michigan, 1-0/2-3

Northern Illinois, 1-1/3-3

Central Michigan, 1-1/2-4

Ball State, 1-2/2-4

Eastern Michigan, 0-2/1-5

SATURDAY'S SCHEDULE

Western Michigan at Ohio, noon

Eastern Michigan at Toledo, noon WEMU

Buffalo at Central Michigan, 1 p.m. 1270

Northern Illinois at Miami (Ohio), 2:30 p.m.

Georgia State at Ball State, 3 p.m

Akron at Bowling Green, 3 p.m.

Kent State at Massachusetts, 3:30 p.m.