Broncos fall to No. 5 ranked Wisconsin
Aug. 31, 2000
MADISON, Wis. -- WMU's football team opened the 2000 season with a 19-7 loss at Wisconsin, the defending Big Ten Conference champions and No. 5 ranked team in the nation.
Quarterback Jeff Welsh completed 20 of 39 passes for 243 yards and engineered a seven-play, 55-yard drive in the second quarter that produced the Bronco's only score of the contest. Welsh completed the scoring drive with a two-yard touchdown pass to Mobolaji Afariogun. With the point-after kick by Brad Selent, WMU trimmed Wisconsin's lead to 10-7.
Western Michigan's defense held the Badger's offense in check throughout the contest, limiting Wisconsin to just one offensive touchdown, which came in the fourth quarter. Following a fumble by Welsh in Bronco territory in the first quarter, the WMU defense forced Wisconsin to settle for a field goal and a 3-0 lead at the end of one period.
Wisconsin scored in the second quarter on an 89-yard punt return for a touchdown, but the Bronco's responded with the Afariogun TD. The score remained 10-7 into the final quarter, with both teams missing on long field goal attempts in the third period.
Wisconsin scored its only offensive touchdown of the game in the final quarter on an eight-yard run by Michael Bennett, who rushed for 128 yards in the game. Wisconsin had 156 yards rushing overall, but was limited to just 96 yards passing.
Welsh was tackled in the end zone for a safety late in the fourth quarter to make the final score 19-7.
For WMU, Afariogun caught three passes for 69 yards including the touchdown. Josh Bush had five catches for 76 yards, Steve Neal caught three for 44 yards, Micah Zuhl caught three for 25 yards, and Corey Alston added 14 yards on two receptions.
Running back Robert Sanford was limited to 21 yards on nine carries, and the Broncos were held to minus one yard net rushing for the contest.
Western Michigan's football team is on the road again next weekend, when they travel to Iowa, Sept. 9. The first home game of the 2000 season is Saturday, Sept. 16, when the Broncos host Indiana State for CommUniverCity Night at Waldo Stadium. That game begins at 6 p.m.
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final Wisconsin 3 7 0 9 19 WMU Broncos 0 7 0 0 7
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Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 616 387-4122; email@example.com