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October 3, 2010

CMU sleepwalks in 31-17 loss to Ball State

b>MOUNT PLEASANT -- Ball State ran for 306 yards and forced three turnovers to stun Central Michigan, 31-17, at Kelly/Shorts Stadium in Mid-American Conference action on Saturday.

The Chippewas (2-3 overall, 1-2 MAC) suffered their first home loss since 2008, when they dropped a 31-24 decision to No. 14 Ball State.

David Brown, whose 80-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter broke the game open for Ball State (2-3, 1-0 MAC).

While the Ball State running game was dominant, the Cardinals opened the scoring with a 56-yard touchdown pass from Keith Wenning to Eric Williams midway through the first quarter. CMU answered with a 24-yard David Harman field goal on the ensuing possession, but the Chippewas would not score again until the fourth quarter.

Williams scored on a 3-yard run to stretch the Ball State to 14-3 early in the second quarter, and the teams combined for four punts and a turnover on downs the remainder of the half.

The second half opened with both teams punting twice. Brett Hartmann's second punt of the quarter sailed into the end zone for a touchback, and on the next snap Brown reeled off his 80-yard run to stretch the Ball State lead to 21-3.

Ryan Radcliff's screen pass attempt was intercepted on CMU's next offensive snap, and four plays later on fourth-and-5 Wenning connected with Williams for a 27-yard touchdown throw that extended the Ball State lead to 28-3 with less than a minute left in the quarter.

The Chippewas found the end zone on their next possession, with Radcliff tossing a 6-yard scoring pass to Cody Wilson on fourth-and-goal. Ian McGarvey tacked on a 30-yard field goal for Ball State, and Radcliff threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to David Blackburn in the closing minutes to cap the scoring.

Radcliff finished 25-of-48 through the air for 295 yards and two scores. He threw three interceptions and was sacked six times.

Blackburn caught seven passes for 89 yards, while Wilson and Jerry Harris both had five receptions.

Defensively, the Chippewas were led by Matt Berning's 12 tackles. Jahleel Addae, Vince Agnew and Mike Petrucci collected 10 tackles apiece.

Brown finished with 117 yards on seven carries for Ball State. Cory Sykes ran for 92 yards on 13 carries, while Williams ran for 77 yards and a score and caught three passes for 83 yards and two touchdowns.

CMU steps out of conference next weekend, visiting Virginia Tech. Kickoff is set for noon Saturday. ESPNU will televise the contest.


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