(Tuesday, November 25th)
Final Score: (15) Ball State 45, Western Michigan 22
Muncie, IN (Sports Network) - MiQuale Lewis capped the Cardinals' perfect regular season with a 120-yard, three-touchdown effort on the ground in No. 15 Ball State's 45-22 victory over Western Michigan to wrap up the West Division of the Mid-American Conference.
Nate Davis rushed for a touchdown and 64 yards, while throwing for 273 yards with a score on 17-of-25 attempts for the Cardinals (12-0, 8-0 MAC), who advanced to their first MAC title game against Buffalo, the winner of the East Division, on Friday December 5.
Louis Johnson caught four balls for 91 yards and a touchdown, and Trey Lewis returned an interception for a TD in a solid defensive effort for Ball State, which improved to 12-0 for the first time in school history.
It was the first time the Cardinals have gone undefeated in MAC play since 1978.
Tim Hiller threw for 145 yards and a touchdown but was intercepted twice on 15-of-32 efficiency for the Broncos (9-3, 6-2), who saw their three-game winning streak halted and lost a chance at gaining the West crown themselves.
Aaron Winchester rushed for 77 yards, while fellow running back Brandon West had 61 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries in defeat.
Leading by 10 midway through the third quarter, the Cardinals took advantage of a short field when Davis connected on passes of 12 and 30 yards to get down to the WMU eight-yard line.
Three plays later MiQuale Lewis rushed for a one-yard score, and Trey Lewis came up with a back-breaking TD on the Broncos' second play of the next possession, stepping in front of a Hiller pass and returning it 35 yards for a TD with 3:24 to go in the third.
West capped WMU's 12-play, 80-yard drive with an eight-yard touchdown run four minutes into the final quarter. The two-point conversion made it a 38-22 game, but Ball State held the ball for the next 6 1/2 minutes to close the deal.
MiQuale Lewis finalized his and Ball State's tremendous regular season with a tough one-yard run over the goal line, keeping the Cardinals one of just four undefeated teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
On BSU's second possession of the game, Davis orchestrated a nine-play, 87- yard drive that culminated in MiQuale Lewis' 10-yard TD jaunt with six minutes left in the first quarter.
Less than three minutes later, Davis, off a play-action fake, threw a strike down the field to Johnson, who used a stutter-step to get by two defenders and into the end zone for a 40-yard score.
On the ensuing drive, a gimmick play got the Broncos on the board, as Drew Burdi, the backup quarterback, took an option toss and fired downfield to Schneider Julien for a 36-yard touchdown at the 1:21 mark of the first.
A 30-yard Hiller pass to Jamarko Simmons set up the tying touchdown early in the second, as Juan Nunez caught Hiller's perfect fade in the left corner of the end zone for a 14-14 score.
The Cardinals then moved into WMU territory but had to settle for an Ian McGarvey 43-yard field goal.
Following the Broncos' three-and-out and Ben Armer's 29-yard punt, Darius Hill's 38-yard reception set up Davis' brilliant six-yard scramble to paydirt that gave the Cardinals a 24-14 lead at the half.
Ball State was ranked No. 15 in the Bowl Championship Series poll this week...Lewis has 10 straight games with a rushing TD and went over 100 yards for the 10th time this season...The Broncos could have taken the MAC West title with a win and a Central Michigan loss this week...Julien finished with five catches for 85 yards, while Simmons had 84 yards receiving on six grabs in the loss...The game was played in front of a Scheumann Stadium record crowd of 23,861.
11/25 23:20:37 ET