Keith Wenning threw for 299 yards and four touchdowns and Horactio Banks had 11 carries for a career-high 143 yards and a score to help Ball State beat Central Michigan 44-24 on Wednesday night.
The Cardinals (9-1, 6-0 Mid-American Conference) have won seven straight since falling at North Texas on Sept. 14. They are at No. 22 Northern Illinois (9-0, 5-0) next Wednesday night in a key West Division game and will close the regular season at home against Miami of Ohio on Nov. 19.
”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 coach Pete Lembo said.
Ball State has won 11 consecutive conference games, one shy of the school record set in 1977-78. They also won 11 in a row in MAC play in 2007-08.
Wenning, Ball State’s career leader in touchdown passes, passing yards, completions and attempts, completed 20 of 29 passes without an interception.
Cooper Rush was 20 of 32 for 284 yards and a touchdown for Central Michigan (3-6, 2-3). He also ran for a score. Titus Davis had nine catches for 187 yards and a score.
Wenning threw two touchdown passes in light rain in the first quarter, an 8-yarder to Jordan Williams and a 13-yarder to Willie Snead, and connected with Jamill Smith for 30 yards to make it 21-0 early in the second quarter. Banks added a 25-yard scoring run with 1:17 left in the half to make it 31-3.
”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.”
In the third quarter, Wenning threw a 1-yard scoring pass to Snead to make it 41-10.
Snead finished with nine catches for 118 yards. Snead broke the school record for touchdown catches in a season with 12 and tied the Cardinals’ career mark with his 11th 100-yard receiving game.
Smith had six receptions for 91 yards. Jahwan Edwards added 92 yards rushing on 18 carries, and Scott Secor made 28-, 31- and 26-yard field goals.
Zurlon Tipton scored on a 1-yard run for Central Michigan in the third quarter, and Rush had a 26-yard touchdown run early in the fourth and threw a 22-yard scoring pass to Davis with 1:33 to go. Ron Coluzzi made a 30-yard field goal.