(14) Ball State 31

(11-0, 7-0 MAC)

Cent Michigan 24

(8-3, 6-1 MAC)

Coverage: ESPN2

7:00 PM ET, November 19, 2008

Kelly/Shorts Stadium, Mount Pleasant, MI

1 2 3 4 T
#14BALL 7 3 7 1431
CMU 0 10 7 724

Top Performers

Passing: D. LeFevour (CMU) - 345 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: M. Lewis (BALL) - 28 CAR, 177 YDS

Receiving: K. Poblah (CMU) - 5 REC, 110 YDS, 1 TD

Ball St., 11-0, edges Central Michigan to set school record for wins

Associated Press

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. -- Ball State found itself in an unfamiliar situation at halftime, deadlocked for the first time after 30 minutes all season.

Fast Facts

• Ball State remains one of five unbeaten teams in FBS, as the Cardinals scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and stopped the Chippewas on their final three drives of the game to win their school-record 11th game this season.

• MiQuale Lewis rushed for 177 yards, his school-record 9th 100-yard rushing game this year.

• With the win, Ball State moves into sole possession of first place in MAC West (7-0) and can clinch a spot in the MAC championship game with a win next week vs. Western Michigan.

• Central Michigan, the two-time defending MAC champion, had its six-game win streak snapped and suffered its first home loss this season.

-- ESPN research

The No. 17 Cardinals and Central Michigan were still tied midway through the fourth quarter when MiQuale Lewis stepped up, carrying six times for 63 yards and setting up Nate Davis' fourth touchdown pass of the game in Ball State's 31-24 victory on Wednesday night.

The win clinched a share of the Mid-American Conference West Division title for Ball State (11-0, 7-0 MAC) and set a school record for wins in a season, with representatives from the Fiesta, Motor City and International bowls looking on.

The Cardinals have never played for the league championship, and can claim the division outright if they beat Western Michigan on Nov. 25.

"It was a big win," said Lewis, who finished with 177 yards rushing on 28 carries. "For us to win the MAC championship, we knew we had to come through here, through Central. Great team. Well coached. We knew we'd get their A game."

The win broke a streak of four consecutive losses to Central Michigan (8-3, 6-1), which had won the past two division titles and defeated the Cardinals by 20 points last season.

Watson: Right Call

Both Brady Hoke and Butch Jones said the team that made the fewest mistakes would win Wednesday's tilt between No. 17 Ball State and Central Michigan, and CMU quarterback Dan LeFevour's interception at the end of the game proved to be the game-winner, writes Graham Watson. Blog

The Chippewas can still steal a spot in the MAC title game again if they defeat Eastern Michigan, Ball State loses to Western Michigan and a number of other tiebreakers come through.

The Cardinals went ahead with 7:29 left when Davis found Briggs Orsbon in the corner of the end zone from 11 yards out, capping a drive in which Lewis carried the bulk of the load. Central Michigan had a chance to tie it in the closing seconds, but Dan LeFevour was intercepted by Sean Baker with 27 seconds left.

"It shows that we are resilient," Cardinals coach Brady Hoke said, "and can win tightly contested games."

Davis completed 12-of-22 passes for 175 yards, including two TD passes to Louis Robinson.

LeFevour completed 30-of-44 passes for 345 yards and two touchdowns, and added a team-high 75 yards rushing on 24 carries. He became the fifth quarterback in MAC history to pass 11,000 career yards in total offense. He now has 11,004.

"I think he's great," Hoke said. "He's a tremendous football player."

Central Michigan's Antonio Brown caught eight passes for 61 yards, and Kito Poblah caught five passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. His 38-yard scoring reception in the first minute of the fourth quarter gave the Chippewas a 24-17 lead.

Davis answered with TD passes to Robinson and Orsbon.

After Ball State struck first on Johnson's scoring reception with 1:56 left in the first quarter, Central Michigan answered with a 24-yard TD pass from LeFevour to Joe Bockheim and a 31-yard field by Andrew Aguila on consecutive possessions in the second quarter.

A 21-yard field goal by Ball State's Ian McGarvey with 59 seconds left in the second quarter tied it at 10. The 10-10 deadlock marked the first time in 11 games this season that Ball State had not led at halftime.


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs2328
Total Yards407466
3rd Down Conversions4-118-16
4th Down Conversions1-11-2

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

TD01:56Louis Johnson 20 Yd Pass From Nate Davis (Ian Mcgarvey Kick) 70
TD13:09Joe Bockheim 24 Yd Pass From Dan LeFevour (Andrew Aguila Kick) 77
FG04:15Andrew Aguila 31 Yd 710
FG00:59Ian McGarvey 21 Yd 1010
TD12:32Ontario Sneed 8 Yd Run (Andrew Aguila Kick) 1017
TD07:49Daniel Ifft 18 Yd Pass From Nate Davis (Ian Mcgarvey Kick) 1717
TD14:21Kito Poblah 38 Yd Pass From Dan LeFevour (Andrew Aguila Kick) 1724
TD12:51Louis Johnson 45 Yd Pass From Nate Davis (Ian Mcgarvey Kick) 2424
TD07:29Briggs Orsbon 11 Yd Pass From Nate Davis (Ian Mcgarvey Kick) 3124