MUNCIE, Ind. -- Ball State celebrated its 2013 Senior Day with a 55-14 home victory over Miami University to earn its 10th win of the year in record-setting fashion.
"We are happy to get win number 10, finish the season strong, go undefeated at home and send our seniors out with a victory," Ball State head coach Pete Lembo says. "It was a pretty good day."
For only the third time in the Cardinals' 89-year history of football, Ball State has tallied at least 10 victories in a season. And in doing so, the Cardinals set numerous offensive records to improve to 10-2 overall and 7-1 in the Mid-American Conference. Miami University fell to 0-12 on the year and 0-8 in MAC action.
With scores early and often, Ball State raced out to a 35-0 halftime advantage behind the arm of senior quarterback Keith Wenning, who completed 21-of-26 passes for 301 yards with five touchdowns in the first half alone.
Wenning threw a school record six touchdown passes and matched his career high with 445 passing yards to set the Ball State single-season record with 3,933 passing yards. Wenning set the single-season school record with 34 touchdown passes, while reaching 91 for his career to move into fourth place in MAC history. He ended the day completing 27-of-33 passes for 445 yards and six TDs.
For the first time in school history, the Cardinals managed to have three players tally at least 100 yards receiving in the same game – Jordan Williams (161), Willie Snead (133) and Jamill Smith (127).
Smith tallied his third receiving touchdown of the game with less than a minute to play in the first half to give the Cardinals a 35-0 lead. Snead managed his lone touchdown grab on a 14-yard completion from Wenning in the first half, while Williams caught his first of two TDs in the first half and his second with 12:03 to play in the game on a 75-yard pass from Wenning.
“It was an interesting 16 days off and our guys did a great job of staying focused during that time,” Lembo says. “There were times where we were a little bit sluggish, but overall it was solid and we stayed after it. There were some guys we held out of this game because they were banged up. There were some guys that got banged up during the game but some backup guys were able to step in and do a very solid job for us.”
Snead ended the day with 11 catches for 133 yards and one touchdown, breaking the school record for single-season receiving yards with 1,429 yards. Smith managed seven catches for 127 yards and three scores, and Williams had five receptions for 161 yards and two TDs.
Defensively, the Cardinals were led by the career high 14 tackles by Ben Ingle.
Ball State entered the game seventh in the nation in turnovers gained and first in the country in fumbles recovered and added to both of those totals with one interception and two fumble recoveries.
The defense ended the game with a season high 11 tackles for loss, including a career high three TFLs by Jonathan Newsome. Jeffery Garrett matched his career high with two tackles for loss and logged his second career fumble recovery on a fumble forced by placekicker Scott Secor. The Cardinals also tallied a season high six sacks, marking the most since the Cardinals had six sacks in 2010 at Central Michigan.
“We will enjoy this victory and try to be patient and await our fate,” Lembo says. “It has been a good year and we will have another opportunity to win a bowl game. The whole three years, everything has exceeded expectations with these guys. I would almost be short changing it if I just talked about this year because it all started three years ago. These guys have just been tremendous from day one. One of the most satisfying things about Ball State is we have some really intelligent student-athletes. Those are the ones that are fun to coach.”