Central Michigan's Brunner tosses school-record 485 yards and four TDs in win

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Central Michigan left its best player on the bench Saturday and didn't miss him at all.

Backup quarterback Brian Brunner threw for a school-record 485 yards and four touchdowns, then ran 1 yard for the go-ahead score to send the Chippewas past Indiana 37-34.

Central Michigan (7-2, 5-0) won its fifth straight overall, this one coming without last year's Mid-American Conference offensive player of the year, Dan LeFevour, who sat out with a sprained ankle.

Indiana (3-6, 1-4 Big Ten) set a dubious record -- losing twice to MAC teams in the same season for the first time in school history. In September, No. 16 Ball State also won in Bloomington. The Hoosiers must now win their final three games to become bowl eligible, and even that wouldn't guarantee a second straight postseason trip.

Brunner was 35-of-53 on a day the two-time defending MAC champs managed just 37 yards rushing.

Ben Chappell was 8-of-16 for 156 yards with one touchdown and one interception for Indiana, Marcus Thigpen ran six times for 109 yards and two scores, and linebacker Matt Mayberry tied the Hoosiers' single-game record for sacks with four.

Brunner threw three touchdown passes in the first half to keep Central Michigan tied at 21.

Then, when the Hoosiers misfired in the second half, Brunner and the Chippewas took advantage.

Indiana appeared headed toward victory when Ben Chappell hooked up with Ray Fisher for a 64-yard TD pass on Indiana's second play of the second half.

Brunner didn't blink. His seemingly harmless screen pass to Antonio Brown late in the third quarter changed everything. Brown caught it in the middle of the field, ran left, then cut right and sprinted to the end zone, waving at the Hoosiers defenders when he crossed the goal line to make it 28-28.

That drew a 15-yard penalty on the kickoff, and Indiana answered with Demetrius McCray's 3-yard TD run.

But the momentum swung when Austin Starr's extra point was blocked.

The Chippewas responded with a 48-yard field goal from Andrew Aguila on their next possession, and then Brunner masterfully drove Central down the field again, scoring on a 1-yard plunge with 8:52 left to give the Chippewas their only lead of the game.

Indiana never threatened again.