Ball State tops Indiana in thriller
By Andy Proffet Post-Tribune correspondent September 15, 2012 11:32PM
Indiana safety Drew Hardin (8) tackles Ball State running back Jahwan Edwards (32) during an NCAA college football game in Bloomington, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/The Herald-Times, Chris Howell)
Updated: October 17, 2012 6:54AM
BLOOMINGTON — The hottest ticket in Bloomington on Saturday night? A parking spot around Memorial Stadium.
Inside Indiana’s home stadium, besides the red and white worn by both teams, the hot color was yellow. As in all the penalty flags the home team was getting called for.
And the visitors from Muncie got the chance to make the drive back home with a third straight victory in the series.
The Cardinals dominated the third quarter, then made an improbable comeback with 49 seconds to play to win 41-39.
Both teams are 2-1.
Ball State entered Saturday night’s game with the nation’s eighth-best rushing offense.
The Cardinals then opened the game with five straight passes.
When Ball State finally ran, it paid off. Jahwan Edwards ran for 13 yards, then Jamill Smith dashed 30 yards on the next play.
The two runs set up Ball State’s first touchdown, a 2-yard pass from Keith Wenning to Zane Fakes. It was the first touchdown pass of the season for the Cardinals.
Wenning added a second touchdown pass in the first quarter, a 34-yarder to Willie Snead to put the Cardinals ahead 14-3. Of Ball State’s 18 first-quarter plays, 11 were passes.
The Hoosiers battled back to take a 17-14 lead, but the Cardinals tied it on a 51-yard field goal by Steven Schott, then regained the lead on a 1-yard TD run by Jahwan Edwards.
But Cam Coffman, making his first start at quarterback for the Hoosiers, guided his team to a touchdown just before halftime. His 3-yard pass to Cody Latimer brought IU within 24-23. And when a Ball State penalty on the PAT moved the ball closer, Indiana coach Kevin Wilson sent his offense back onto the field.
Stephen Houston dove in for the two-point conversion, and IU led 25-24 at halftime.
The third quarter was all Ball State, however, with the Cardinals scoring on two more touchdown passes. The first saw receiver Jamill Smith complete a 12-yard scoring pass to Wenning, and Wenning later connected with Fakes for the second time, this one an 11-yard score that put Ball State ahead 38-25.
The Hoosiers turned to freshman Nate Sudfeld at quarterback to start the fourth quarter, and he managed to lead the Hoosiers back to the lead.
Sudfeld completed a 70-yard TD pass to Cody Latimer to cut the lead to 38-32, then guided the Hoosiers to the go-ahead score with a 2-yard TD pass to Shane Wynn. Mitch Ewald’s extra point gave IU a 39-38 lead.
But there was too much time left for Ball State.