Indiana 38, Ball St. 20

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- Quarterback Kellen Lewis had career highs with 406 yards of total offense and 354 yards passing, and Indiana became bowl eligible for the first time since 1994 with a 38-20 victory over Ball State on Saturday.

Four touchdown passes gave Lewis 23 on the year, a new single-season record at Indiana. He broke Blake Powers' previous mark of 22 in 2005.

The Hoosiers, who improved to 6-4, made their last bowl appearance in 1993 when they lost 45-20to Virginia Tech in the Independence Bowl. Indiana wasn't selected for a bowl game in 1994 with a 6-5 record.

Saturday's victory doesn't guarantee a bowl bid for the Hoosiers, who can improve their chances in the final weeks with at least one more win. They play at Northwestern Nov. 10, and finish the regular season hosting Purdue Nov. 17.

Ball State (5-5), which last played in a bowl game in 1996, will have to wait until the Nov. 13 home game against Toledo to try to become eligible. In 1996, the Cardinals, coached by current Indiana coach Bill Lynch, lost to Nevada in the Las Vegas Bowl.

The Hoosiers managed to take a 24-10 halftime lead despite two fumbles and an interception by Lewis, who had six turnovers in the team's previous two losses to Wisconsin and Penn State.

Following Lewis' first fumble, the Cardinals drove 52 yards in seven plays, capped by Chris Clancy's 4-yard run, to take a 10-3 lead with 1:51 left in the first quarter.

Indiana tied the score at 10 early in the second quarter on Lewis' 60-yard touchdown pass to Ray Fisher. The Hoosiers tacked on two more scores before halftime, the first a 58-yard interception return by defensive back Chris Phillips; the second a 20-yard pass from Lewis to James Hardy.

After the teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter, Lewis' fourth scoring pass, a 25-yarder to Fisher, gave Indiana a 38-17 lead with 14:54 left.

The Hoosiers, who had lost their previous three games, won their 20th consecutive game over a Mid-American Conference opponent.


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