MUNCIE – The Ball State football team suffered a 56-9 loss Saturday to Mid-American Conference West Division foe Central Michigan at Scheumann Stadium.
“It was tough day, and a disappointing result for Homecoming,” Ball State head coach Mike Neu said. “We had a great crowd, great weather. We appreciate the fan support.
“We’re a fragile football team right now. As much as I hate to admit it, we are struggling to overcome some of the injuries. It’s not for lack of want-to; guys are working hard. But we’re doing some things that are uncharacteristic for our football team.”
Junior kicker Morgan Hagee connected on field goals of 40, 41 and 43 yards to account for all nine of the Cardinals’ points. Hagee equaled his career high with the three field goals made.
Ball State (2-5, 0-3 MAC) trailed just 7-6 after Hagee’s second field goal early in the second quarter. But Central Michigan outscored the Cardinals 49-3 the rest of the way.
Chippewa quarterback Shane Morris threw four touchdown passes, connecting with wide receiver Corey Willis for three of them. Jonathan Ward ran for a pair of scores for CMU (4-4, 2-2 MAC), which finished with 256 yards on the ground as a team.
Freshman running back Caleb Huntley led Ball State with 79 yards on 19 carries.
Quarterback Jack Milas connected on 18-of-30 passes for 118 yards and found 11 different receivers. He hit running back Markice Hurt, Jr., twice for 30 yards in the first quarter, as the freshman sparked the Cardinals early in his first collegiate appearance.
But Central Michigan’s pass rush hurt Ball State’s offensive attack, getting to the quarterback for eight sacks, including four by Joe Ostman.
“Some things happen during the course of the game that are challenging, and we struggled to overcome those,” Neu said. “I encouraged every young man in that locker room; there are better days ahead. You just have to continue to fight, and you have to continue to believe.”
The Cardinals had a pair of sacks, both from senior defensive end Anthony Winbush, who entered the game second nationally in sacks and ran his season total to 9.5. Winbush also forced a fumble to set up Hagee’s third-quarter field goal.