MUNCIE, Ind. â€“ A week ago, the conferenceâ€™s best running offense came into Waldo Stadium and was shut down.Â This week WMU faced the conferenceâ€™s most potent passing offense and picked off Ball State â€™s freshman quarterback three times in the first half, returning one for a score, en route to a 41-27 win over the Cardinals at Scheumann Stadium.Â Ryan Cubit threw three touchdowns and Ameer Ismail went off for 6.0 sacks to give him 11.0 for the season.
Â Western Michigan â€™s (5-2, 3-1 MAC) defense was not the only aspect of its game that showed up for the Broncos. Â Ryan Cubit broke the Bronco offense open with 208 yards passing (13-of-14) and a season-best three first-half touchdowns.Â Cubit completed his first 12 passes of the game and ended the first half with a passing efficiency of 288.37.Â Cubitâ€™s first scoring strike capped an eight-play drive that went 73 yards and took 3:20 off the clock.Â He found Herb Martin on a post from four yards to put WMU up 7-3 after the Nate Meyer point after.Â The drive began on a Londen Fryar interception, the sophomoreâ€™s fifth of the season and second-straight game where he answered a WMU turnover with a pick on the next play.Â Western Michigan â€™s next drive also began because of an interception of Nate Davis.Â Louis Delmas recorded his third of the season and eight plays and 61 yards later, Cubit threaded a pass through triple coverage to find Joe Chapple, who finished with five grabs for 49 yards, in the corner of the end zone for the senior receiverâ€™s second scoring grab of the year.Â The Broncos came through with another defensive score when Ameer Ismail, who finished with a season-high 13 tackles, stepped in front of a Davis pass and scampered 29 yards for the first defensive touchdown of his career to put WMU up 21-3 with just seven gone in the second quarter.Â The senior linebacker also added 6.0 sacks, a career high, raising his season total to 11.0 and eclipsing is season total of 8.0 from a year ago.Â At that point Ball State (2-6, 2-3 MAC) made a change at quarterback, going to senior Joey Lynch, and the change worked.Â The Cardinals posted touchdown passes on consecutive drives.Â Lynch found Darius Hill on both scoring strikes, first from seven yards out and the second time from just one yard away.Â The two quick scores brought BSU to within four points, 21-17.Â Lynch finished 24-of-30 for 290 yards and three touchdowns in his relief effort.Â The lead remained at four until 2:43 was left on the clock in the first half.Â Cubit, lofting the pass over two defenders, connected with Branden Ledbetter for an 81-yard catch and run.Â It was the longest scoring grab of Ledbetterâ€™s career and the longest completion on the season for Cubit, surpassing his 57-yard connection with Ledbetter at Ohio .Â The score put WMU back up by double digits, 28-17.Â Cubit finished the game 20-of-24 (83.3 percent), a passing efficiency of 226.43 for 291 yards.Â Cubit hit four different receivers during the game, including a career-high four snags for 33 yards.Â Martin had another good day with four catches for 45 yards.Â Ball State did not sit on the ball with its final drive.Â The Cardinals drove 71 yards in 10 plays and, with the help of a defensive pass interference call and unsportsmanlike conduct call on the Broncos, converted an 18-yard Brian Jackson field goal.Â Jackson was 2-for-2 in the first half, opening the gameâ€™s scoring with a 45-yard field goal.Â Leading 28-20 heading into the third quarter, WMU needed to make a statement, and it did. Mark Bonds helped the Broncos move the ball 73 yards, breaking runs of 17, seven and six yards.Â The final jaunt was for his sixth touchdown of the year.Â The driveâ€™s key play came on fourth-and-two from BSUâ€™s 39-yard line.Â WMU lined up in a stacked-I formation and faked the hand off to Bonds on the outside.Â It bought Cubit enough time to find Keith Schultz open deep for a 33-yard completion, setting up Bondsâ€™ scoring jog and giving the Broncos a 35-20 lead.Â Bonds finished the day with 132 yards on 30 carries for his third 100-yard game of the season, giving him 694 yards for the season.Â On WMUâ€™s next drive, Meyer extended the Bronco lead to 38-20 with a 26-yard field goal to cap an 11-play drive that chewed over minutes off the game clock.Â Meyer later made good on a 41-yard field goal, the longest this season for the senior.Â Western Michigan returns to Waldo Stadium with a 3:30 p.m. kick off against Eastern Michigan .Â The game will be televised on Comcast Local.Â WMU at BALL STATE NOTES-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Londen Fryar intercepted fifth pass of season (leads MAC)-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Herb Martin caught second career TD-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Ryan Cubit began game 12-for-12 with 2 TDâ€™s (243.90 passing efficiency)-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Ameer Ismail with second-career INT (second-straight game), returned for first career TD-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Ismail recorded 6.0 sacks, a career high and now has 11.0 on the season, eclipsing his 2005 season total of 8.0-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Glenis Thompson records first-career carry-Â Â Â Â Chris Maragos has career high four receptionsCourtesy of the WMU SID