Amari Coleman stepped in front of a Riley Neal pass to help seal the game, as Central Michigan topped Ball State, 24-21 in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Central Michigan moves to 4-2 on the season and 1-1 in conference play. Ball State falls to 3-3 and is 0-2 in conference play.
Devon Spalding had a breakout game for the Chippewas, as he carried the ball 23 times for 157 yards and a 1-yard touchdown earlier in the contest. Spalding was able to break off two long runs to help out his yardage total for the day and help give the Chippewas great field position on the next play. The Chippewas were finally able to get the running game going, but were unable to keep Cooper Rush time in the pocket, as he was constantly under pressure.
Rush was able to complete 21 passes out of 32 attempts for 269 yards and a touchdown. Corey Willis has become the new favorite target for Rush, as he caught 6 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. Mark Chapman also contributed with 3 catches for 63 yards and the tight end Tyler Conklin also caught 3 passes for 53 yards to help the Chippewas move the ball down the field. The offensive line for CMU had a hard time keeping Rush off his back in this game, but Rush was still able to do the best he could.
Ball State was also able to move the ball well. James Gilbert carried the ball 27 times for 141 yards and two touchdowns. He was also able to get a few long runs, but one of them was called back due to a holding call.
Riley Neal completed 18 of 30 passes for 174 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. KeVonn Mabon was once again Neal’s favorite target, as he hauled in eight passes for 56 yards. Aaron Hepp was able to help the Cardinals and Neal, as he caught three passes for 54 yards. Ball State had their way moving the ball in the second half but couldn’t score enough points to win the game.
The Chippewa defense was able to force two big interceptions, one for a pick six, to help make this game how it ended. Coleman’s interception gave the Chips the ball back to salt away the clock and hold onto the win. The Cardinal defense was able to pressure Rush all day, but were unable to contain Devon Spalding at times, giving up the big runs a few times, thus losing the game.
Central Michigan will travel to Dekalb next Saturday to take on the struggling Northern Illinois Huskies. This game is set for a 3:30 kickoff.
Ball State will travel to UB stadium to take on the Bulls of Buffalo next Saturday. This game is set to kick at 3:30.