NASSAU, Bahamas — Jamauri Bogan rushed for 215 yards and four touchdowns Thursday, powering Western Michigan past Middle Tennessee 45-31 in the Bahamas Bowl for its first bowl victory.
Western Michigan (8-5) had lost its previous six bowl games. The Broncos ended a four-game winning streak by Middle Tennessee (7-6).
Bogan broke a tie game with a 1-yard touchdown with 6:12 left, setting up the score with a 61-yard burst. He added another 1-yard score with five minutes remaining after Rontavious Atkins’ 29-yard interception return to the Middle Tennessee 4. Bogan also had a 62-yard touchdown and a 46-yard score. He averaged 11.3 yards per carry.
Western Michigan’s Corey Davis finished with eight catches for 183 yards and a touchdown. Daniel Braverman had five receptions for 101 yards and a score.
Richie James had two touchdown catches and one touchdown run for Middle Tennessee. Brent Stockstill threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns to go with his interception.
Stockstill was 26 of 39 and finished his redshirt freshman season with 327 completions to break the NCAA freshman record held by Jared Lorenzen, who completed 321 passes for Kentucky in 2001. Western Michigan’s Zach Terrell was 18 of 26 for 297 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
One year after Western Kentucky and Central Michigan combined for 12 touchdown passes in the inaugural Bahamas Bowl — a 49-48 Western Kentucky victory — Western Michigan and Middle Tennessee produced a similar shootout.
Thursday’s matchup featured six touchdowns of 40-plus yards. The game already was tied 17-all by the end of the first quarter.
James capped Middle Tennessee’s first two possessions with a 46-yard touchdown run and a 44-yard touchdown catch.
Bogan had a 62-yard touchdown run to end Western Michigan’s first series. In the closing seconds of the first quarter, Davis caught a pass about 5 yards downfield, made a move past one defender and stiff-armed another before racing down the right sideline for an 80-yard touchdown.
After a scoreless second quarter, the big plays resumed.
Bogan gave Western Michigan its first lead with a 46-yard touchdown on the opening drive of the second half. Middle Tennessee tied it when Christian Collis turned a short completion into a 17-yard touchdown with 18 seconds left in the third period.
Western Michigan went back in front when Braverman caught a pass about 15 yards downfield and raced along the right sideline for a 68-yard touchdown with 12:47 left. Middle Tennessee tied it again with 9:41 left on Stockstill’s 29-yard touchdown pass to James, who ended up with eight catches for 126 yards.
But when Bogan scored a couple of more touchdowns in the fourth quarter, Middle Tennessee couldn’t respond.
The Blue Raiders failed to capitalize on early opportunities. With the score 17-17 in the second quarter, Middle Tennessee’s Shane Tucker was stuffed by Grant DePalma and Austin Lewis on fourth-and-goal from the 1. On Middle Tennessee’s next series, a holding penalty nullified an 85-yard touchdown completion from Stockstill to Collis.