for this game

Davis, Ball State hammer Northern Illinois

Nov 6, 2008 - 6:37 AM MUNCIE, Indiana (Ticker) -- Nate Davis dazzled as 18th-ranked Ball State remained undefeated with a 45-14 thrashing of Northern Illinois on Wednesday.

Davis, a junior quarterback with NFL potential, was 19-of-23 for 310 yards and four touchdowns in the rout. He also scored a rushing TD.

"Ball State has a great quarterback," Northern Illinois coach Jerry Kill said. "Not a good quarterback, a great one."

Northern Illinois (5-4, 4-2 MAC) trailed, 21-0, at halftime but broke through first after intermission when Chandler Harnish scored on a 25-yard run.

MiQuayle Lewis deflated Northern Illinois when he raced 64 yards on the next drive to put the Cardinals in scoring position. Davis then scored from one yard out to make it 28-7.

The Cardinals extended the lead when Ian McGarvey kicked an 18-yard field goal with 3:56 left in the third quarter.

Less than three minutes later, Davis connected with Louis Johnson, who had six catches for 165 yards, on a 22-yard pass to cap a three-play, 72-yard march that made it 38-7.

Less than a minute into the final quarter, Davis connected with Darius Hill for a 20-yard TD to create a 38-point cushion. The Huskies closed the scoring when Ricky Crider raced in from 40 yards out to cap a 95-yard drive.

Lewis had 19 carries for 119 yards as Ball State outgained Northern Illinois, 529-275.

"We all play really good defense when we're watching our offense on the field," Ball State coach Brady Hoke said.

Ball State received plenty of inspiration during the opening coin toss when injured wide receiver Dante Love walked out to midfield with the team's captains.

The Cardinals (9-0, 5-0) grabbed a 7-0 lead in the first quarter as Lewis' one-yard run capped a nine-play, 77-yard march. Davis, who was 14-of-18 for 182 yards in the first half, found Hill for a six-yard score in the second quarter to double the advantage.

"Davis threw BBs, and it didn't matter who was covering," Kill said.

Ball State rolled right back into the end zone as Davis led a five-play, 64-yard drive. The quarterback connected with Daniel Ifft for a 25-yard touchdown that made it 21-0 with 1:54 left in the half.

"They beat us in every phase of the game," Kill said.