KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Behind three touchdown passes from Keith Wenning, the Ball State football team improved to 7-1 while remaining undefeated in Mid-American Conference action with a 38-17 win Saturday afternoon at Western Michigan.
“We are really pleased to come up here and play a team that is much better than their record indicated, and to come away with a win is special,” Ball State head coach Pete Lembo says. “It was a pretty good first half offensively, we moved the ball well. We got 17 points in the first half and we were able to control the ball. Defensively, a lot of good things, but some breakdowns that really hurt us. We had a couple bad fits that resulted in bad runs and missed tackles that resulted in bigger plays. Overall it was a fairly clean game until the end there, where we had the unfortunate turnover that resulted in seven points. A couple too many penalties for my liking. I don’t think this was our A+ game but it was a solid effort.”
With the win, the Cardinals extended their MAC winning streak to nine in a row dating back to last season. That is the third longest streak in program history. Ball State's longest league winning streak was 12 games over the 1977 and 1978 seasons.
Wenning set the school record for career touchdown passes at Ball State with 75. He broke the record on a 2-yard scoring strike to senior tight end Zane Fakes with 8:39 remaining in the game. Former Ball State quarterback Nate Davis (2006-08) previously held the record with 74.
Wenning threw for 324 yards, marking the eighth straight game he has gone over 300. Junior wide receiver Willie Snead led the Cardinals with seven catches for 90 yards and a touchdown, while running backs Jahwan Edwards and Horactio Banks combined for 159 yards and two scores on the ground.
It was a low-scoring game early with both teams held to a field goal in the first quarter. Ball State then scored two long touchdowns in the second quarter, one on a 38-yard Horactio Banks run and the other on a 43-yard Wenning to Jamill Smith pass, to take a 17-3 halftime lead over the Broncos.
The Cardinals stretched their lead to three touchdowns on their first possession of the third quarter when Wenning found Snead for a 27-yard score.
The teams traded touchdowns to start the fourth quarter, and then Edwards broke off a 25-yard touchdown run to give the Cardinals their biggest lead of the day at 38-10 with 4:07 left in the game.
Dae’Shaun Hurley led the Cardinals defensively with 11 total tackles while Nathan Ollie ended the day with a career-high 10 stops. The Cardinals, which entered the game third in the county in turnovers gained, added two more takeaways on the day.
Ball State continues Mid-American Conference action on the road Saturday when the Cardinals travel to Akron Saturday for a noon kickoff.
Western Michigan 3, Ball State 0
8:08 – Andrew Haldeman 41-yard field goal.
8 plays, 68 yards, 3:32
Ball State 3 Western Michigan 3
3:05 – Scott Secor 37-yard field goal.
12 plays, 51 yards, 5:03
Ball State 10, Western Michigan 3
7 plays, 65 yards, 2:08
Ball State 17, Western Michigan 3
4 plays, 68 yards, 1:08
Ball State 24, Western Michigan 3
4 plays, 45 yards, 1:53
Ball State 24, Western Michigan 10
13:27 – Zach Terrell 8-yard touchdown pass to Corey Davis. Andrew Haldeman kick good.
13 plays, 80 yards, 4:45
Ball State 31, Western Michigan 10
8 plays, 65 yards, 2:39
Ball State 38, Western Michigan 10
9 plays, 76 yards, 4:07
Ball State 38, Western Michigan 17
:14 – Ronald Zamort 26-yard fumble recovery. Andrew Haldeman kick good.