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Ball State rolls Illinois State 51-28

Keith Wenning and Willie Snead shine in a blowout of the FCS Redbirds.

Joe Robbins

And we're off.

Ball State (1-0) opened its 2013 season with a dominating 51-28 win over the Illinois State Redbirds Thursday night in Muncie.  The Cardinals put together an explosive second half after trailing 21-16 at halftime and 21-9 at one point.  The Cardinals racked up 51 points and amassed a total of 421 yards of offense in a 23 point destruction of the Redbirds.

Keith Wenning started the year in impressive fashion.  The senior quarterback racked up 340 yards, threw for three scores, and ran in another pair leading the Cardinals to victory. Preseason All-MAC first team selection Willie Snead caught two of those touchdowns and finished with 164 yards on nine catches.

Junior quarterback Jared Barnett, an Iowa State transfer, led the Redbirds to a first half lead with 190 yards passing and a pair of scores.  Then the Ball State defense tightened the screws.

The second half was all Cardinals, with the defense holding Barnett to just 282 yards for the game.  ISU was limited to just 74 yards rushing against Ball State.  The high octane Redbird offense struggled  to keep up with Ball State as the Cardinals ran off 21 points in the third quarter.  Running backs Jahwan Edwards and Horactio Banks each ran in a touchdown for the Cardinals.

Wenning distributed the ball well, connecting with seven different receivers.  Snead, Javond Williams, and Jamill Smith combined for 19 catches and 291 yards.  After stalling on several drives in the first half, the Ball State offense engineered five touchdown drives in the second half.

Ball State is back in action Saturday, September 7th at home against Army.