Broncos Unable to Contain Rockets in 37-17 Loss
Toledo hit the ground running, scoring on its first three possessions of the game and putting up 17 points in the first quarter alone. On the Rockets' opening drive (eight plays, 67 yards) David Fluellen scored his first of three touchdowns on a six-yard run. Fluellen would finish with a career-high 213 yards on 21 touches.
The Broncos were able to hold UT to a Jeremiah Detmer field goal on the Rockets' second drive and Fluellen struck for a 53-yard touchdown run just before the end of the quarter.
Toledo pushed its lead to 20-0 on a 28-yard field goal after Tyler Van Tubbergen was intercepted on WMU's first drive of the second quarter. Van Tubbergen bounced back on the Broncos' next possession, leading Western Michigan on an 11-play, 75-yard drive. Van Tubbergen connected with freshman Jamie Wilson for a 22-yard touchdown pass over the middle.
Wilson continued to put up big numbers, hauling in 10 catches for 103 yards. It was his fourth 100-yard reception game in five games this season.
Van Tubbergen was making just his second career start and first since last year's season finale against Akron, taking over under center for Alex Carder, who was injured last week against Connecticut. Van Tubbergen had problems getting into a rhythm early, but ended the night with 26 completions in 46 attempts and 232 passing yards.
Western Michigan cut the deficit to 11 with a safety after the half, when UT's Dwight Macon fielded the ball at the one and circled back into the end zone, where he was chased down by Donald Celiscar.
The Rockets however, would come up with two big plays in the third quarter to keep Toledo comfortably in front. Jordan Haden picked off Van Tubbergen at the Toledo 37 and ran it up the left sideline for a 63-yard pick six. Van Tubbergen was intercepted again on the next Bronco drive, when his throw slipped through the hands of Dareyon Chance and into the arms of Vladimir Emilien. Fluellen carried the ball four times for 34 yards on the ensuing drive and Terrance Owens completed a 27-yard pass to Alonzo Russell. Fluellen recorded his third touchdown with a 22-yard run.
Western Michigan's Brian Fields squeezed through a hole and raced 48 yards up the sideline for a touchdown just before the end of the third quarter. It was the first TD of the year for Fields and the Broncos' longest rushing touchdown of the year. WMU completed a two-point conversion, Van Tubbergen finding Josh Schaffer on the right side to put the score at 34-17.
Detmer booted his third field goal for Toledo with 9:44 left in the game to make for a 37-17 final.
Toledo out-gained Western Michigan in total yards, 521 to 405. The Rockets fumbled the ball three times, but were able to recover all three.
Dareyon Chance led the effort on the ground for Western Michigan, totaling 102 yards on 17 carries.
The Broncos return to Waldo Stadium next Saturday, Oct. 6 to host UMass on Homecoming. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.