KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) Jalen Buckley ran for 194 yards and a touchdown, and Western Michigan coach Lance Taylor got his first win at the helm with a 35-17 victory over St. Francis (Pa.) on Thursday night in a season opener.

Buckley scored from 3-yards out with 5:40 left in the second quarter to give the Broncos a 21-3 lead. Jack Salopek's 9-yard touchdown pass to Austin Hence ended a 15-play, 80-yard drive that stretched the lead to 28-17 late in the third quarter. Buckley's 68-yard run helped set up Marshawn Kneeland’s 1-yard TD plunge early in the fourth.

Salopek was 18-of-26 passing for 170 yards. Zahir Abdus-Salaam added 73 yards rushing and a short-yardage touchdown.

Cole Doyle completed 14 of 24 passes for 230 yards with a touchdown pass to lead St. Francis. His 77-yard scoring strike to Dawson Snyder just before halftime pulled St. Francis to 21-10. QuaSean Holmes had 40 yards rushing and a touchdown run for the Red Flash.

Taylor was named the Broncos' head coach on Dec. 8, 2022. Taylor, 42, spent last season as the offensive coordinator at Louisville.

AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll

Copyright 2024 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.