DETROIT (AP) — Kaleb Eleby threw two touchdowns and ran for another and Western Michigan recorded its second bowl victory in program history, rolling past Nevada 52-24 in the Quick Lane Bowl on Monday.
Sean Tyler rushed for 146 yards on 14 carries and returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown for Western Michigan (8-5). Jaxson Kincaide, a Nevada transfer, rushed for 105 yards on 17 carries and scored two touchdowns.
The Broncos’ only other bowl victory came in the 2015 Bahamas Bowl against Middle Tennessee.
Nate Cox passed for 121 yards and a touchdown and Devonte Lee rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown for Nevada (8-5).
Western Michigan, which had 352 rushing yards, led 31-10 at halftime.
Tyler’s 100-yard return followed Brandon Talton’s 32-yard field goal. Midway through the first quarter, Eleby connected with Corey Crooms on a 74-yard scoring pass.
The Broncos’ other first-half touchdowns came on Eleby’s 20-yard pass to Brett Borske and Kincaide’s 7-yard run.
A majority of Nevada’s offensive starters during the regular season opted out of the bowl game to prepare for the NFL draft or transfer. The retooled unit had no chance to keep pace with the Broncos, who scored on two big plays in the opening quarter and then established a steady rushing attack.
Western Michigan: The Broncos will open the 2022 season on the road against Big Ten powerhouse Michigan State on Sept. 3. They will face the Spartans’ bowl opponent, Atlantic Coast Conference champion Pitt, on Sept. 17.
Nevada: Under new head coach Ken Wilson, Oregon’s former co-defensive coordinator, the Wolf Pack will travel to New Mexico State for their 2022 opener on Aug. 27.