Four assists and four forced turnovers lead ball condition to 45-20 WMU win
Game Recap: Football |
KALAMAZOO, Michigan – Another quick start on offense and stronger defensive play helped the Ball State football team tie their Mid-American Conference record with an impressive 45-20 victory over Western Michigan on Saturday afternoon at Waldo Stadium. .
For the second weekend in a row, the fifth-year senior quarterback Drew plitt found an open receiver in the Cardinals’ opener (3-3, 1-1 MAC) in scrum. This time it was the first year catcher Jalen McGaughy who would carry the pass and run into the end zone for a 75-yard touchdown, just 11 seconds into the game, to give Ball State a 7-0 lead over the Broncos (4-2, 1-1 MAC ).
It was the first of four touchdown passes of at least 21 yards for Plitt, who finished the game with a record 310 yards in the air. Plitt has now thrown for at least 300 yards in a MAC game six times in his career, with today’s total being his fourth best overall effort in the league.
On the other end of two of those touchdown passes was the senior wide receiver. Yo’Heinz Tyler who led all receivers with 93 yards. Tyler’s first touchdown was a 21-yard grab that tied the score at 14 with 11:05 left in the second quarter. The second was a 24-yard hitch that pushed the Cardinals into the lead 31-20, effectively sealing the victory.
Plitt’s other touchdown pass was a 33-yard strike to the fifth-year senior. Justin hall for what turned out to be the winning score at the end of the third quarter. Hall, who finished the game with three catches for 49 yards, also ran a five-yard one with 9:35 left in the game. Hall now has 16 receptions and five rushing touchdowns in his career.
The score cap, and an impressive performance for the Ball State defense, was the fifth-year senior safety Brett Anderson II who picked up a fumble and ran it 18 yards to give the game its final score of 45-20.
It was the fourth turnover of the afternoon for a Broncos team that only returned the ball twice in the first five games of the season. In fact, the junior inside linebacker Clayton coll’s The interception of WMU quarterback Kaleb Eleby as WMU looked to regain the lead late in the third quarter was Eleby’s first choice in 188 passing attempts.
Eleby’s last interception was in Muncie, in Ball State’s 30-27 victory on December 12, 2020 to win the 2020 MAC West Division title and a spot in the 2020 MAC Championship game.
Ball State Senior Fifth Year Jaylin thomas would add a second interception to the Cardinals’ stat line on the next possession. Those four WMU turnovers, starting with a forced fumble by the fifth-year senior Bryce cosby in the second quarter, led to 28 points in total.
In addition to turnovers, the Cardinals defense made a pair of big red zone saves and forced the Broncos to settle for field goals for their last two scores. The first save came halfway through the second quarter when WMU scored the first goal of the seven. The second save came at the start of the third quarter when WMU scored the first goal of the four.
In addition to his forced fumble, Cosby led the BSU defense with 10 tackles, including a sack. Coll finished the night with seven tackles and his 25-yard interception return, while Thomas had eight tackles to go along with his pick.
Second-year Redshirt defensive lineman Tavion Woodard also had two forced fumbles, including one returned by Anderson for a touchdown.
The senior redshirt kicker also factored in Ball State’s score. Jake chanove who connected on a 34-meter field goal at the end of time in the second quarter to tie the game at half-time.
Ball State will make a return trip to Michigan State next Saturday when it travels to Ypsilanti for a 2 p.m. kickoff against Eastern Michigan at Rynearson Stadium.