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By the numbers: Chippewas eliminated from MAC title contention


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Central Michigan running back Lew Nichols walks off the field as the first half comes to an end during a 45-20 loss against Ball State Dec. 6 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. 

With their second loss of the season, CMU's football team will not repeat as Mid-American West Division champions.

Instead, the now 3-2 Chippewas dropped their final home game of the season 45-20 to Ball State. The Cardinals improve to 4-1 on the 2020 campaign and pull within one victory away from punching their ticket to Detroit. 

With the first career start at CMU for redshirt junior quarterback Ty Brock, three of the last five matchups decided by three or fewer points and major conference implications on the line, here is Saturday's matchup broken down -- by the numbers.

THE MATCHUP

The Chippewas and Cardinals have deeper history than the average fan would assume. The matchup between the two schools has been equitable since their first matchup. Here is a look at the series, by the numbers. 

25 The point differential in Saturday’s game. Ball State’s 25-point win is their second-largest victory over the Chippewas, defeating CMU 27-0 in 1978.

26 The number of wins by Ball State and Central Michigan in head-to-head matchups. The all-time series is at 26-26-1 with a 13-13 tie coming in Muncie, Indiana during the 1989 season.

81 The number of years since the first game between the two schools. The Bearcats of Central Michigan College of Education defeated Ball State Teachers College 7-0 in Mount Pleasant during the 1939 season.

274 The number of miles between Kelly/Shorts Stadium and Scheumann Stadium in Muncie, Indiana. 

CHIPPEWAS CRUSHED

With Saturday’s loss, the Chippewas are eliminated from MAC title contention. Despite not having starting redshirt freshman quarterback Daniel Richardson for the first time this season, the Chippewas still mustered 342 yards of offense. Here’s a look at the Chippewa offense by the numbers:

-19 The number of CMU rushing yards in the second quarter. 

48 The number of second-half net rushing yards by the Chippewas without Brock’s 82-yard touchdown. 

154 The number of net rushing yards by CMU, their lowest total since earning 112 yards against San Diego State in the 2019 New Mexico Bowl. Redshirt freshman running back Lew Nichols led all Chippewas with 70 net rushing yards. 

188 The number of passing yards by Brock. The College Station, Texas native added an 82-yard touchdown run to go with two passing touchdowns. 

CARDINALS CRUISE

Fresh off the heels of a 27-24 road win at Toledo, the Cardinals showed they proved to be worthy contenders for the MAC West crown. Here’s Ball State’s game by the numbers:

1 The number of wins needed for Ball State to punch their ticket to the MAC title game. The Cardinals last played for the MAC Championship in 2008 behind then-head coach Brady Hoke. 

28 The number of first downs earned by the Cardinals. BSU earned 16 first downs in the second and third quarters combined. 

35:28 The amount of time Ball State possessed the ball in their fourth win of the season. 

158 The quarterback rating of senior Drew Plitt. The reigning MAC Offensive Player of the Week finished with 366 yards and four touchdowns.

519 The number of total yards earned by the Cardinals offense. Saturday was the second time Ball state has eclipsed the 500-yard mark in 2020 earning 536 yards against Eastern Michigan.

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