W. Michigan 17, Virginia 10
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP)—Mark Bonds ran for 118 yards and a touchdown and Desman Stephen returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown as Western Michigan upset Virginia 17-10 on Saturday.
Western Michigan completed only seven passes and was outgained 258-179, but still became the first school from the Mid-American Conference to beat Virginia (1-2).
The Cavaliers used third-string freshman quarterback Jameel Sewell for the entire second half after coach Al Groh lost patience with Kevin McCabe and Christian Olsen. Virginia failed to score any second-half points despite starting two possessions beyond its 40.
The Broncos led 14-10 at halftime despite only 52 yards of offense, thanks to the two interceptions of McCabe, who started in place of the struggling Olsen.
McCabe was 13 of 16 in the first half for 111 yards, but he overthrew his target on the opening drive and was picked off by Louis Delmas, whose return gave the Broncos the ball on Virginia’s 21.
Western Michigan converted two fourth downs on its short touchdown drive. With an inch to go for a first down, the Broncos went for it on fourth down and scored when Mark Bonds leaped over the pile for a 2-yard TD.
Bonds ran 27 times with a 56-yard run that set up the only scoring of the second half, a 32-yard third-quarter field goal by Nate Meyer.
McCabe’s second pick came in the second quarter with the score tied at 7. Under pressure, he threw into coverage, and Stephen grabbed a tipped ball and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown.
Groh responded by pulling McCabe in favor of Olsen, who went 4-of-6 for 27 yards and led a field-goal drive at the end of the first half to close the gap to 14-10.
But on Virginia’s first drive of the second half, Groh sent in Sewell. The crowd cheered as Sewell scrambled and completed passes on his first two plays, but he could not lead a sustained drive.
Sewell finished 7-of-10 for 51 yards.
Virginia had a final chance to tie the game, getting the ball at its own 12 with 3:53 remaining. But on a fourth-and-20 from his own 31, Sewell scrambled for 18 yards. Western Michigan took over and ran out the clock as boos rained down from the home-field crowd.
For the Cavaliers, Jason Snelling gained 77 yards on 14 carries, including a 5-yard TD run in the first quarter.