Football Improves to 8-1 with Win at Akron
Ball State's football team improved to 8-1 overall and 5-0 in the Mid-American Conference with a 42-24 victory at Akron.
The win was the Cardinals 10th straight MAC win, while Ball State has won six games in a row overall and 14 of its past 15 contests.
"We knew how much talent they had, but It sort of played out the way we hoped it would," Ball State head coach Pete Lembo says. "It was good to get out to an early lead and set the tone and then the touchdown just before the half really helped out. We figured it could be a close game coming down to the fourth quarter and having the wind really worked into our game plan."
Ball State jumped out to an early 14-3 lead after the first quarter on a pair of touchdown passes from Keith Wenning to Willie Snead. The two scoring tosses were two of the five Wenning would throw on the day to tie the Ball State single-game record and accomplish the feat for a second time in his career.
After Akron closed the gap to 14-10 in the second quarter, the Cardinals responded with a Jahwan Edwards 3-yard touchdown run, which tied the school's career record for total TDs. Wenning went to Jordan Williams three minutes later for his third touchdown pass of the day and gave Ball State a 28-10 advantage as the half came to a close.
Akron opened the third quarter scoring and closed the gap to 28-17 before Wenning and Williams combined again on a 20-yard scoring strike to make it 35-17 in favor of the Cardinals.
The fourth quarter saw the Zips come within 35-24 with 8:42 to play in the game, but Ball State responded with yet another Wenning TD pass. This time his 2-yard scoring strike to Jamill Smith at the 6:02 mark sealed the Cardinals' victory.
Edwards ended the day with 25 carries for 120 yards and one touchdown. It marked his second 100-yard rushing game of the season and the 10th of his career.
Wenning completed his record-setting play by making 25-of-35 passes for 240 yards and five TDs with zero interceptions. Wenning ended a streak of eight straight games with 300 or more yards passing, but increased his season passing yards total to 2,865. The yardage total is the fifth highest in a single season in the Ball State record books.
Williams managed 12 catrches for 124 yards and two scores, while Snead tallied seven receptions for 100 yards and two TDs. It marked only the 11th time in Ball State history for two 100-yard receivers in the same game, but it was the third time this year Williams and Snead have combined to accomplish the feat.
Ben Ingle led the team with 10 tackles, while Nick Miles added seven tackles, 1.5 sacks and one fumble recovery on the day. Dae'Shaun Hurley was second on the team with eight tackles, while Jonathan Newsome added seven tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.
Ball State will host Central Michigan Wed., Nov. 6, in a 7 p.m. game at Scheumann Stadium that will be nationally televised on ESPN2.