ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Michigan's tuneup turned into quite a test.
Trailing by eight, Ball State threw an incomplete pass into the end zone with 2:46 left and couldn't connect on a heave from midfield on the final play, allowing the second-ranked Wolverines to escape with a 34-26 victory Saturday.
Michigan (10-0) let its guard down - maybe the Wolverines were looking ahead to the much-anticipated game Nov. 18 at No. 1 Ohio State? - and allowed the Cardinals (3-7) to make a late charge in a game they were expected to lose by five touchdowns.
Mike Hart ran for 154 yards and a touchdown, and teammate Brandon Minor rushed for 108 yards and another score to help the Wolverines avoid a shocking upset. Chad Henne was 17-of-24 for 155 yards with a touchdown and an interception that Ball State ran back for a score in the first quarter.
Ball State's Nate Davis was 18-of-34 for 250 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Michigan trailed for just the second time this season - 9-7 in the first quarter - then seemed to pull away with 17 points on three consecutive drives in the second quarter for a 24-9 lead.
The Cardinals of the Mid-American Conference showed they didn't plan to go away quietly by driving for a field goal late in the first half to pull within 12.
The Cardinals drove deep again with a chance to score a touchdown and a 2-point conversion that would've tied it late in the game.
Davis' pass from Michigan's 7 on fourth down was wide of Dante Love, giving the Wolverines the ball back with a chance to run the clock out.
Ball State got the ball back at its 45 with 16 seconds left. After an incomplete pass went off of two receivers' hands, Davis avoided a sack with another incomplete pass. With 1 second left, he threw a pass into the end zone that was intercepted by Ryan Mundy.