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MINNEAPOLIS, MN (1660 THE FAN) – In their second Big Ten tilt in three weeks on the road, Western Michigan nearly rebounded from an 11-point deficit to the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Broncos outscored Minnesota 13-7 in the second half, but fell by a final score of 28-23.
Senior quarterback Alex Carder finished 24-for-44 on the day for 209 yards and a touchdown. After opening the game on a field goal, a first quarter interception stalled Western’s chance to add to their lead in the first quarter.
Jaime Wilson was Carder’s primary target, hauling in 10 receptions for 117 yards. A 10 yard touchdown strike from Carder to Wilson late in the fourth quarter pulled the Broncos to within 5 points. Josh Schaffer caught four passes good for 42 yards, and tight end Blake Hammond registered three catches for 26 yards.
Determined to mix in the running attack, the Broncos found success on the ground recording 165 of their 374 total yards on 38 attempts. Dareyon Chance led the way with 144 yards on 29 carries and a touchdown. Antoin Scriven added a score from a yard out in the third quarter putting the Broncos within a score at 21-17.
Western’s defense held Minnesota to 5-of-11 on third down tries, and forced two Gopher turnovers. Dual-threat quarterback Marqueis Gray was held to 3-of-6 passing for 29 yards and a touchdown, and 57 yards rushing on 11 carries before exiting the game in the second quarter after being sacked by Trevonte Boles and Freddie Bishop.
Gray was replaced by sophomore Max Shortell who dominated with 188 yards on 10-of-17 passing with three touchdowns and an interception.
Western Michigan falls to 1-2 on the year, 0-2 in both Big Ten road games while Minnesota improves to 3-0, 2-0 at TCF Bank Stadium. The Broncos return home next Saturday to host Connecticut. Western defeated UConn in Hartford last year 38-31.
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