The Broncos scored 21 unanswered points in the third quarter to cut the Orange lead down
to six before Syracuse scored two touchdowns in a span of three minutes to end the third.
Western Michigan’s comeback attempt was halted after an interception on the first play of
the fourth quarter. Syracuse scored one play later to take a 55-35 lead and ultimately defeat
the Broncos, 55-42.
Junior wide receiver D’Wayne Eskridge torched the Syracuse secondary with eight receptions
for a career-high 240 yards and two touchdowns. Eskridge’s 240 yards is the seventh most in a
single game among all FBS players this season and the 12th most in a single-game in MAC history.
Coming off a season-ending injury in 2017, junior running back LeVante Bellamy returned
to form, rushing for 120 yards and a career-high two touchdowns on 11 carries. His longest
run of 64 yards went for a TD in the third quarter. In his first collegiate game, freshman wide
receiver Jayden Reed had seven receptions for 121 yards and one touchdown.
Also coming off a 2017 season-ending injury, quarterback Jon Wassink went 19-of-36 for
379 yards and three touchdowns.
Offensively WMU outgained Syracuse 621-560, marking the second straight year the Brown
& Gold eclipsed the 600-yard total offense mark. WMU had 645 total yards in its seven overtime
victory at Buffalo in 2017.
Western Michigan 3, Michigan 49
Sept. 8 // Ann Arbor, Mich. // Michigan Stadium
WMU FALLS AT NO. 21/22 MICHIGAN
For the second straight game the Broncos squared off with a Power Five opponent, this
time challenging nationally-ranked Michigan inside the Big House. Against what proved to
be one of the top teams in the nation, WMU fell to then-ranked No. 21/22 Michigan, 49-3.
Graduate transfer cornerback Juwan Dowels and junior linebacker Alex Grace each had
six tackles to lead the defense. Grace registered three tackles for loss and a sack which resulted
in a 16-yard loss for the Wolverines. Offensively, junior running back LeVante Bellamy tallied
65 yards on 11 carries.
As a whole the Bronco defense held Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson to just 125 passing
yards, the third lowest of the season for Patterson.
Western Michigan 68, Delaware State 0
Sept. 15 // Kalamazoo, Mich. // Waldo Stadium
BRONCOS BOUNCE BACK WITH 68-0 ROUT OF DELAWARE STATE
After dropping its first two games to Power Five opponents, Western Michigan earned its
first victory in style with a 68-0 shutout of Delaware State. It stands as WMU’s largest margin
of victory during the modern football era.
The Bronco defense held Delaware State to just eight yards passing and 127 yards of total
offense. Western Michigan forced three fumbles, recovering two, including one for a 17-yard
touchdown by freshman Patrick Lupro.
On the Broncos’ first offensive play of the game junior running back LeVante Bellamy
sprinted 40 yards down the sideline for his third touchdown of the season. He was the first
of six Broncos to score a touchdown on the evening.
It was an all-around team effort as WMU’s offense exploded for 527 yards of total offense
while the special team’s unit had two punts returned for a touchdown. After initially bobbling
the ball, Jayden Reed raced 93 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, claiming the second
longest punt return for a touchdown in program history. Later in the game sophomore Tyron
Arnett returned a punt 75 yards for his first career return TD.
WMU pulled away in the second half scoring 40 points and totaling 236 yards. In the second
half alone, WMU scored on a receiving, rushing, punt return and fumble recovery. Freshman
kicker Gavin Peddie also connected 24 and 25-yard field goals, the first two of his career.
Western Michigan 34, Georgia State 15
Sept. 22 // Atlanta, Ga. // Georgia State Stadium
BRONCOS RIDE PAST GEORGIA STATE, 34-15
The WMU defense came up big with three fumbles, four sacks, 10 tackles for loss and an
interception in a 34-15 victory at Georgia State for the Broncos’ first road win of the season.
Junior linebacker Drake Spears had a game-high nine tackles, along with two sacks, three
Ali Fayad has a team-high 10.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks and four forced fumbles.
tackles for loss and a forced fumble. Sophomore safety A.J. Thomas had seven tackles, a tackle
for loss and recorded his first career interception.
Junior quarterback Jon Wassink completed 20-of-25 passes for 234 yards and three
touchdowns. The Broncos had two 100-yard rushers with senior Jamauri Bogan leading the
way with 126 yards on 15 carries. Junior LeVante Bellamy had 121 yards on 21 carries. Freshman
wide out Jayden Reed continued his fantastic start to the season with a game-high 101 yards
receiving on seven catches. The offense combined for 528 total yards.
The Broncos scored early and often against the Panthers as four of the six scoring drives
for WMU took less than three minutes.
Western Michigan 40, Miami 39
Sept. 29 // Oxford, Ohio // Yager Stadium
WMU WINS THRILLER OVER MIAMI
WMU trailed 27-14 heading into halftime before storming back to score 26 points in the
second half in a 40-39 victory at Miami in the first conference game of the season.
SEASON IN REVIEW
LeVante Bellamy led the MAC in rushing yards (1,172), rushing yards per game (97.7) and allpurpose
yards (1,567) this season.
Jayden “Bird” Reed caught eight touchdowns this season, including four TD’s in WMU’s win at Miami.
46 FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL | DECEMBER 21, 2018