Broncos roll past Ball State, 42-3
Nov. 4, 2000
MUNCIE, Ind. -- Robert Sanford carried the football 23 times for 153 yards and three first-half touchdowns as the WMU Broncos routed MAC West rival Ball State, 42-3, on Saturday (Nov. 4) in Muncie.
Western Michigan, ranked 27th in the nation going into this weekend's contests, improved to 8-1 overall, 6-0 in the Mid-American Conference, and 3-0 in the MAC West Division.
Beginning this season, MAC football division titles and the accompanying berth in the conference championship game are based entirely on a team's record against its division opponents. The Broncos can clinch their second consecutive MAC West Division title with a win in either of their final two regular season contests.
WMU travels to Mt. Pleasant for a meeting with traditional rival Central Michigan on Saturday, Nov. 11, and hosts Eastern Michigan on Saturday, Nov. 18. The contest with Eastern Michigan will be the last played in Kalamazoo this year.
The MAC championship game on Dec. 2 is set for Marshall University's home field in Huntington, W.Va., regardless of which two teams meet for the league title. The game will be televised nationally on ABC.
Saturday's Bronco victory ended a four-game winning streak for the surprisingly improved Ball State Cardinals (4-5 overall, 4-2 MAC, 2-2 MAC West). It also extended the WMU winning streak to eight straight, matching the longest single-season winning streak in school history. The undefeated 1941 team (8-0) also won eight in a row.
The Cardinals dominated the first quarter of Saturday's game, but managed only a 3-0 lead. Thomas Pucke kicked a 26-yard field goal to give Ball State the advantage at 5:29 into the contest. The Broncos were forced to punt on their next possession, but then scored on Sanford runs on three consecutive possessions for a 21-3 lead at the intermission.
WMU put the game out of reach early in the second half as quarterback Jeff Welsh tossed a 46-yard touchdown pass to Corey Alston. Welsh also scored on a 17-yard run in the fourth quarter, completing his afternoon with 18-of-34 passing for 260 yards. Backup quarterback Ryan Harris completed the rout with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Micah Zuhl with 2:46 remaining.
In other MAC contests Nov. 4: Toledo defeated Northern
Illinois, 38-24; Marshall defeated Bowling Green, 20-13; Miami
defeated Ohio, 27-24; Eastern Michigan defeated Central Michigan,
31-15; and Buffalo defeated Kent State, 20-17.
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final WMU Broncos 7 14 7 14 42 Ball State 3 0 0 0 3 Attendance: 18,535