Cooper Rush threw for 269 yards and one touchdown, and Central Michigan held on to beat Ball State 24-21 on Saturday.
Riley Neal led the Cardinals to the Chippewas 29 with 1:43 remaining, but threw an interception to Amari Coleman in the end zone to end the drive. On the ensuing series, Devon Spalding ran 52 yards on a second-and-4, and then Central Michigan (4-2, 1-1 Mid-American) ran out the clock.
Spalding finished with 157 yards and a touchdown. Corey Willis had six receptions for 105 yards, including a 15-yard TD in the second quarter for Central Michigan. Josh Coxscored on a 33-yard interception return to give the Chippewas a 24-14 lead early in the fourth quarter.
James Gilbert ran for 141 yards and two touchdowns to lead Ball State (3-3, 0-2). He had a 13-yard score in the first quarter, and bullied in from the 1 with 11:40 remaining to cap the Cardinals scoring.