Central Michigan at Ball State, Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 8 pm ET (ESPN2)
SETTING THE SCENE
• Central Michigan (3-5, 2-2) will take the field for the first time since October 19 on Wednesday when it faces MAC West Division leader Ball State (8-1, 5-0) in Muncie, Ind.
• The intradivisional is scheduled for an 8:04 p.m. kickoff and will be broadcast to a live national television audience on ESPN2 with Joe Davis (play-by-play) and Robert Smith (color analyst) calling the action.
• Both teams had byes last week, with Central Michigan coming off a second straight Saturday without playing football.
• Central Michigan has made four appearances on Wednesday in the history of the program, including twice against Ball State, posting a 3-1 overall record:
Nov. 12, 2008 – CMU 33, Northern Illinois 30 (OT)
Nov. 19, 2008 – Ball State 31, CMU 24
Nov. 11, 2009 – CMU 56, Toledo 28
Nov. 18, 2009 – CMU 35, Ball State 3
• The Chippewas will be playing in their second night game of the season, having faced UNLV in Las Vegas on September 14 in a 7 p.m. PT contest.
• Including Michigan, CMU will be playing a game in its fifth different state this season (Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Indiana).
CENTRAL MICHIGAN-BALL STATE SERIES
• Central Michigan has met Ball State 45 times in program history, with the series tied at 22-22-1.
• The Chippewas are 11-12-1 all-time in games played in Muncie, Ind.
• CMU last won in Muncie in 2009, the Chippewas’ most recent MAC Championship season, a 35-3 thrashing, also on a Wednesday evening.
• CMU has dropped four of its last five contests versus Ball State, including last season’s 41-30 setback in Mount Pleasant.
• Central Michigan’s 2013 schedule features several oddities; none more unusual than the situation the Chippewas are in the midst of experiencing.
• CMU will play one football game between October 20 and November 15, a total of 26 days - the match-up with Ball State.
• The Chippewas will not play on three consecutive Saturdays – October 26, November 2 and November 9.
• In addition, Central Michigan is just one of 11 Division I teams to play three consecutive road games in 2013.
• With four road games in the span of five weeks, including visits to Nevada, North Carolina and two trips to Ohio, CMU logged over 5,800 travel miles.
CMU OFFENSIVE NOTEBOOK
• Sophomore running back Saylor Lavallii, who has played in 21 total games with seven starts, surpassed the 1,000-yard barrier for his career versus NIU (1,021).
• Lavallii is ranked No. 27th in the nation in rushing yards (705) and 11th in rushing attempts (154).
• Junior wide receiver Titus Davis ranks No. 1 in the NCAA in with a career yards per reception average of 19.1.
• Davis has had at least one reception in every game in which he has played at CMU, a streak of 31 contests, and has two 90-plus yard touchdown receptions for his career.
• Redshirt freshman Maurice Shoemaker-Gilmore entered the season fourth on the running back depth chart but is the team’s second-leading rusher with 180 yards.
• Junior left guard Andy Phillips and redshirt sophomore center Nick Beamish have been mainstays up in the middle on the CMU offensive line the past two seasons, starting each of the last 21 games.
• Junior Deon Butler, a converted wide receiver, leads all CMU tight ends with nine receptions for 91 yards while senior tight end Connor Odykirk ranks second on the team with two receiving touchdowns.
CMU DEFENSIVE NOTEBOOK
• CMU linebackers Justin Cherocci and Shamari Benton have combined for 426 tackles over the last 21 games, an average of over 20 tackles per game.
• Cherocci leads CMU with 3.0 sacks despite not having any in the 24 games in which he played prior to this season.
• Sophomore safety Kavon Frazier leads CMU with five pass-break ups and has been involved in a team-high five turnovers this season (3 INT, 1 FF, 1 FR).
• Benton ranks first among all active CMU players with 280 career total tackles while senior safety Avery Cunningham leads in solo tackles (158).
• Cunningham owns the nation’s second longest start streak among safeties at 39 consecutive.
• Redshirt junior defensive tackle Leterrius Walton leads all linemen with 6.5 tackles for loss and is tied for second among active players with 12.0 for his career.
• Redshirt sophomore Louis Palmer, a tackle for his first two years at CMU, dropped 20 lbs. in the offseason to move to end and has started there for the past seven games, totaling 25 tackles, including 4.5 for a loss and 2.0 sacks.
• Nine of 11 players CMU defensive players have started all seven games this season.
LAST TIME OUT
• Central Michigan went to the halftime break tied 14-14 with No. 23 Northern Illinois but couldn’t hold off the Huskies in the second half and fell, 38-17, on Homecoming Saturday at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
• Redshirt freshman Cooper Rush completed 8-of-11 passes for 146 yards in the first quarter, finding Titus Davis and Andrew Flory on touchdown strikes of nine and 36 yards, respectively, to give CMU a 14-7 lead.
• NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch took over in the second half, helping the Huskies outscore the Chippewas 24-3 en route to breaking the FBS rushing record by a quarterback with 316 yards.
• Davis finished with 109 yards receiving and Flory added 81, each on five receptions.
• Rush was 16-for-32 with 271 yards passing with two touchdowns and one interception on the day.
• Linebacker Justin Cherocci led CMU, along with Shamari Benton, in tackles with 11 and also recorded his first career interception.
Ball State Game Notes:
Ball State Football Quick Hits
• Ball State improved to 8-1 overall and 5-0 in the Mid-American Conference with a 42-24 win at Akron . . . The Cardinals have now won six straight games and 14 of their past 15 regular season contests.
• The victory at Akron was the Cardinals' 10th straight MAC win, which is the third longest streak in school history . . . Ball State's longest MAC winning streak was 12 games in the 1977 and 1978 seasons, while the Cardinals won 11 straight MAC games in a stretch during the 2007 and 2008 campaigns.
• Ball State is off to a 5-0 start in MAC games for the third time since joining the league in 1975 . . . The Cardinals posted an 8-0 conference mark in 1978 and an 8-0 MAC record in 2008.
• Ball State is 8-1, which marks only the fourth time in school history the Cardinals have been 8-1 or better after nine games in a single season . . . Ball State was 9-0 after nine games and completed a 9-0-1 season in 1965 . . . The Cardinals were 10-1 overall and 8-1 after nine games in 1978 . . . Ball State was 12-2 overall and 9-0 after nine games in 2008.
• Ball State has reached bowl eligibility for a third straight season . . . The last time the Cardinals won at least six games in three straight seasons came when the team reached the mark in four straight campaigns from 1988-91.
• The Cardinals have scored 355 points in their first nine games this season . . . The 355 points are the most in school history in the first nine games of a season . . . With three regular season games remaining, Ball State's 355 points rank as the fifth highest single-season total in school history . . . The school standard for points in a year is 489 in 2008.
• Ball State ranks No. 1 in the Mid-American Conference and 15th in the country in passing offense (325.7) plus is No. 2 in the MAC and 20th in the nation in scoring offense (39.4) . . . The Cardinals rank No. 1 in the nation in turnovers gained (23) and fourth in the MAC in scoring defense (23.6) . . . Ball State leads the country with 13 fumble recoveries this year and is 21st in the latest NCAA statistics in turnover margin (+0.8).