MUNCIE, Ind. -- Keith Wenning threw four touchdown passes and Willie Snead set the Ball State record for single-season TD catches as the Cardinals posted a 44-24 victory Wednesday night over Central Michigan.
Ball State extended its winning streak to seven straight in the nationally televised game on a rainy night at Scheumann Stadium. Horactio Banks ran for a career-high 143 yards on just 11 carries, helping the Cardinals (9-1) move to 6-0 in MAC play for the third time ever. Central Michigan dropped to 3-6 overall (2-3 MAC) with the loss.
Ball State, which has won 11 consecutive MAC games dating back to last season, travels to face nationally ranked Northern Illinois next Wednesday in a game with major MAC West Division title implications.
“We are very happy to get a win tonight, to be 9-1 at this point and to continue to be in the hunt for a championship,” Ball State head coach Pete Lembo said.
Wenning threw three of his touchdown passes Wednesday in the first 17 minutes of the game -- one each to Snead, Jordan Williams and Jamill Smith -- as Ball State built a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Banks added the Cardinals’ fourth touchdown of the half and Ball State took a 31-3 lead into the break. The Ball State defense, which forced three turnovers in the first half, held an opponent to just three first-half points for the second time in three games.
“We liked the way our guys came out of the gate,” Lembo said. “They were focused, and it looked like the couple extra days between games paid off. We really kept our foot on the gas in the second quarter and built a nice lead going into the intermission.”
The second of three Scott Secor field goals gave Ball State its largest margin of the day at 34-3 early in the third quarter. The Cardinals also led 41-10 before a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns by the Chippewas, including one by CMU quarterback Cooper Rush, who passed for 284 yards and accounted for two touchdowns on the day.
Snead caught his record-breaking touchdown with 3:39 left in the third quarter on a 1-yard pass from Wenning. It was the 12th score of the season for the junior receiver, surpassing the previous record of 11 by Darius Hill in 2007. Snead also tied a school record with his 11th career 100-yard receiving game.
Ball State will play its second straight game on ESPN2 in next week’s showdown at Northern Illinois. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET Wednesday in DeKalb, Ill., as the MAC West Division rivals battle for the Bronze Stalk Trophy.
Ball State 7, Central Michigan 0
9 plays, 75 yards, 3:51
Ball State 14, Central Michigan 0
3 plays, 96 yards, 1:10
Ball State 21, Central Michigan 0
5 plays, 82 yards, 1:54
Ball State 21, Central Michigan 3
8:57 –Ron Coluzzi 30-yard field goal.
12 plays, 57 yards, 4:38
Ball State 24, Central Michigan 3
4:56 – Scott Secor 28-yard field goal.
11 plays, 56 yards, 3:55
Ball State 31, Central Michigan 3
5 plays, 39 yards, 1:22
Ball State 34, Central Michigan 3
9:38 – Scott Secor 31-yard field goal.
10 plays, 64 yards, 3:35
Ball State 34, Central Michigan 10
6:49 – Zurlon Tipton 1-yard touchdown run. Ron Coluzzi kick good.
7 plays, 75 yards, 2:44
Ball State 41, Central Michigan 10
7 plays, 88 yards, 3:06
Ball State 41, Central Michigan 17
14:54- Cooper Rush 26-yard run. Ron Coluzzi kick good.
11 plays, 56 yards, 3:55
Ball State 44, Central Michigan 17
2:51 – Scott Secor 26-yard field goal.
7 plays, 22 yards, 4:05
Ball State 44, Central Michigan 24
1:33 – Cooper Rush 22-yard touchdown pass to Titus Davis.
3 plays, 56 yards, 1:13