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September 22, 2012

Broncos take down UConn, but injuries could take their toll

For the second straight season, head coach Bill Cubit and the Western Michigan Broncos have captured a win over Big East foe Connecticut.

This 30-24 win wasn't quite as dramatic as last year's down-to-the-wire affair, but it wasn't without its flair either. The Broncos jumped out to a 17-0 lead and looked well on their way to an easy win when Alex Carder hit Josh Schaffer from 30 yards out with 9:53 left in the third to go up 24-7.

The Huskies weren't done yet, though. UConn answered with a seven play, 60 yard drive capped by Chandler Whitmer finding John Delahunt from two yards out. They then pulled within seven with a 32 yard field goal by Chad Christen, and things were looking a bit shaky for the Broncos.

One three-and-out later, and things were getting downright tense inside of Waldo Stadium. The Broncos needed a spark from somewhere.

They got it from Desmond Bozeman.

Whitmer dropped to throw for UConn, but Bozeman slapped the ball loose before he could get rid of it. Not satisfied with forcing the fumble, he went on to scoop the ball up and take it 53 yards untouched for the score. The extra point was missed, but the damage was done and the Broncos had the momentum back.

UConn wasn't quite done yet, but their last-ditch effort fell short following a touchdown when Darrin Duncan recovered the ensuing onside kick.

WMU put two receivers over 100 yards, including Jaime Wilson's third straight week over the mark as he hit exactly 100 on eight catches. Josh Schaffer emerged as a second option, grabbing six balls for 104 yards and a score.

Perhaps just as importantly, Dareyon Chance had another solid game, going for 66 yards on 19 carries and showing a surprising ability to make something out of nothing with a bit of power running.

The general feeling in the post game press conference was that the Broncos finally played a mistake-free game, avoiding the turnovers that had plagued them in the previous two losses. More than anything, that allowed WMU to pull off the win over a power conference team.

Things won't get any easier, as Cubit now takes a banged-up squad into a huge MAC opener against West Division rival Toledo next week.

This week the Broncos will have to take stock. They lost Alex Carder for the fourth quarter with an apparent hand injury, and Paul Hazel also left in the second half with a lower-body injury. They join Eric Monette, Timmy Keith, Matt Cutler, and Trevor Ishmael on the list of Broncos that are at least banged up.

Being that the opener is of such critical importance in the MAC race, they won't have a lot of time to rest up.


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