MAC roundup: Central Michigan finally bests Ball State

Associated Press

Muncie, Ind. — Cooper Rush completed 30 of 38 passes for 316 yards and two touchdowns to help Central Michigan beat Ball State, 23-21, on Saturday.

The Chippewas (4-4, 3-1 Mid-American) snapped a five-game skid against Ball State.

James Gilbert’s 1-yard touchdown run on the final play of the first half gave Ball State (2-6, 1-3) its first lead of the game at 14-10.

Rush hit Jesse Kroll for a 4-yard score late in the third quarter and Brian Eavey made a career-long 47-yard field goal to put Central Michigan in front 20-14. But KeVonn Mabon returned the ensuing kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown and Ball State led 21-20 with 10:24 remaining.

The Chippewas answered with an 11-play, 55-yard drive, capped by Eavey’s third field goal of the day — a 34-yarder — to take the lead for good.

Ball State, which has lost five in a row, turned it over on downs twice in the final 5:30.

(At) Western Michigan 35, Miami (Ohio) 13: Zach Terrell threw for 278 yards and three touchdowns to lead Western Michigan.

Miami quarterback Billy Bahl fumbled on its first possession, putting Western Michigan at the Miami 8. Two plays later, Terrell found Daniel Braverman from 6 yards to make it 7-0.

Miami (1-7, 0-4 MAC) took its next possession 82 yards, culminating with Gus Ragland’s 8-yard touchdown run. After forcing a punt, the RedHawks went 66 yards in five plays, but settled for Kaleb Patterson’s 31-yard field goal and a 10-7 lead.

Western Michigan (4-3, 3-0) then marched 74 yards in 10 plays, with Terrell hooking up with Carrington Thompson on a 6-yard touchdown pass. Another long drive resulted in Jamauri Bogan’s 17-yard touchdown run and a 21-10 lead at halftime.

In the third, Terrell found Braverman — who finished with 13 catches for 135 yards — again from 5 yards out. Bogan added a 3-yard touchdown run late.

(At) Northern Illinois 49, Eastern Michigan 21: Drew Hare threw four touchdown passes and Joel Bouagnon rushed for 136 yards and a score for Northern Illinois.

Darius Jackson finished with 101 yards rushing and two touchdowns for Eastern Michigan (1-7, 0-4 MAC), which has lost eight in a row against Northern Illinois.

Northern Illinois (5-3, 3-1) rushed for a season-high 322 yards on 59 carries — its second straight game with at least 300 yards rushing. The Huskies improved to 11-1 when rushing 55 times or more.

Jordan Huff added 128 yards rushing for the Huskies, including a 53-yard scoring run in the second quarter, on 13 carries.

Hare had three touchdown passes in the first half as Northern Illinois took a 35-0 lead into the break. His fourth, a 39-yarder to Tommylee Lewis, made it 42-7 midway through the third.

Bouagnon topped the 100-yard plateau for the fourth consecutive game and fifth time this season.