By David Drew | @Drew_on_WMU | November 15, 2014 at 6:04 PM
KALAMAZOO, MI – Western Michigan receiver Corey Davis joined some special company with running back Jarvion Franklin Saturday.
With a 54-yard touchdown reception midway through the first quarter of the Broncos’ 51-7 win over Eastern Michigan, Davis went over 1,000 receiving yards for the season.
He became the seventh player in program history to reach the 1,000-yard mark in a season. Jordan White was the last Brown and Gold receiver to do so in 2011, when his 1,911 yards set a Mid-American Conference single-season record.
Davis finished with 134 yards on Saturday to give him 1,069 on the season to go along with nine touchdowns. He entered Saturday ranked 14th in the country in receiving yards and his average of 116.9 yards per game ranked sixth.
Sophomore quarterback Zach Terrell had high praise for his playmaking receiver.
“Not to give him too big of a head since he’s sitting right next to me, but obviously he’s a beast,” Terrell said with a smile. “He’s worked extremely hard and been extremely humble. He’s just pushed himself and made himself even better this year, so I’m really proud of him for that.”
Davis’ performance Saturday gave Western Michigan a 1,000-yard receiver and 1,000-yard rusher in the same season for the fourth time in program history and the first time since 2008, when Brandon West and Jamarko Simmons each topped quadruple digits.
WMU is the second team in the country this season to have a running back and receiver reach the 1,000-yard mark as Southern California reached the mark in its game on Thursday.
“It’s a cool accomplishment,” coach P.J. Fleck said with a smile. “I think we’re the second team in the country to have a 1,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard receiver. The first team to do it was USC the other night. That’s OK company.”
Franklin didn’t get much work in Saturday’s game as he finished with 26 yards on five carries. Eastern Michigan stacked the box to stop WMU’s rushing attack, but Franklin’s day was also cut short with what appeared to be a right ankle injury suffered with around 13 minutes left in the second quarter.
Franklin has 1,356 rushing yards this season. He recorded his first-career receiving touchdown when he scampered in from 54 yards out in the first quarter.
The 6-foot-1, 220-pound running back is the second freshman in program history to rush for 1,000 yards and he is the top freshman running back in the country.
Davis is putting up better numbers than did he last year, when he was named the MAC Freshman of the Year – He caught 67 passes for 941 yards and six touchdowns in 11 games.
He has improved in every facet of the game as his increased muscle has seemingly given him confidence to catch balls in traffic over the middle and he looks to have an added gear to break away from defenders in races towards the end zone.
Like Franklin, Davis is always quick to deflect the praise to his teammates and that was no different Saturday.
“I’m just making sure I’m getting better every day,” he said. “Zach and all the guys are getting me to an elite level so I have to give credit to him as well as the offensive line. They played really well.”
Fleck said Davis has a special work ethic and has logged countless hours in the film room to improve.
“He’s grown because of the type of person he is,” Fleck said. “He never wants to be the same. When your best players work the hardest, that’s when you’ve got something special. Corey continues to get better every day.”
Franklin’s emergence as a dominant ball carrier has made WMU’s offense dynamic and very hard to stop for opposing defenses, who often have to aim to slow down either the running or passing games and no team has completely shut down both in a game.
On Saturday, Eastern Michigan chose to stop WMU’s ground game and it allowed quarterback Zach Terrell to throw for 357 yards and tie his career high of four passing touchdowns.
Read David Drew’s article: http://www.mlive.com/broncos/index.ssf/2014/11/wmu_football_wr_corey_davis_ha.html