Zach Terrell has had a major hand in Western Michigan's impressive turnaround, helping the Broncos go from 1-11 a year ago to within a win of becoming bowl-eligible.
Terrell, a redshirt sophomore, has completed 67 percent of his passes this season, throwing for 2,094 yards and 14 TD. He will lead the Broncos (5-3, 3-1 MAC West) when they play at Miami of Ohio (2-7, 2-3) Saturday.
Terrell showed his poise early in Saturday's 42-21 Homecoming win over Ohio, the Broncos' third straight win. After throwing an interception, which led to an Ohio TD to give the Bobcats a 7-0 lead, he came right back to lead the Broncos on three consecutive scoring drives to open up a 21-7 cushion, completing 16-of-19 passes during that span for 222 yards.
"Our goal from Day 1 this season was to go from worst to first and people thought we were crazy and couldn't do it," he said. "We're showing we're more than capable. We have so many weapons. Sure, we have Corey Davis and Jarvion (Franklin), but we also have (Daniel) Braverman, we have (Darius) Phillips and Kendrick (Roberts); our offensive line is doing a great job; that chemistry -- you can see it on the field and everybody's on the same page and it's just awesome to see."
True freshman running back Jarvion Franklin is having an outstanding season, owning the fifth-most yards rushing in the nation (1,148) while leading the nation in rushing TD (19).
Corey Davis, the MAC Freshman of the Year last season, ranks ninth nationally in receiving yards (45 receptions, 821 yards, 7 TD), including a mammoth outing against Ohio (nine receptions, 212 yards, two TDs). Daniel Braverman has 57 receptions for 634 yards.
Still, it all starts with Terrell, who has completed 87-of-118 for 1,170 yards and eight TD during the last four games, including a 30-of-37 for 370 yard effort in a 20-19 overtime loss to Toledo Oct. 4, when the Broncos failed to stop the Rockets on a fourth-down pass in the final minute of regulation while leading.
Eagles competitive in loss
Eastern Michigan had its most competitive game, actually holding a 17-14 fourth-quarter lead against Northern Illinois before suffering a 28-17 loss.
Now, EMU needs to learn how to finish. The Eagles will get their next chance Saturday when they host Central Michigan at Rynearson Stadium.
EMU (2-6, 1-3) played even with Northern Illinois, the MAC power the last five years, having just five fewer total yards (386-381). Eagles dual-threat quarterback Reginald Bell threw for 124 yards and rushed for 133 on 25 carries, scoring on a 4-yard run in the opening seconds of the final quarter to give them a 17-14 lead. Ryan Brumfield also had a 100-yard rushing game (112 on 18 carries).
Chips eye sixth win
CMU (5-4, 3-2) will try to take care of business and become bowl-eligible with a win over the Eagles before heading into its bye week. The Chippewas are coming off a 20-14 road win at Buffalo in a game in which Titus Davis, Corey's older brother, set a career TD receiving school-record, hauling in his 29th scoring grab.
Saylor Lavallii showed CMU has more than just 1,000-yard rusher Thomas Rawls, running for 80 yards and two TD after Rawls went down with an injury in the opening quarter, taking a helmet to the knee.