FINAL: BALL STATE 41, INDIANA 39: Steven Schott 42-yard field goal at the gun after a controversial completion call awarded to Willie Snead at the IU 25 with one second remaining.
Indiana 39, Ball State 38, 0:49. Holy friggin’ mackerel. IU gots 77 yards on 6 plays, aided by a couple of pretty obvious interference calls on BSU, and scores on a 2-yard slant from Sudfeld to Shane Wynn. Sudfeld hit Kofi Hughes, who made a leaping catch, for 17 yards on a 4th and 7.
Ball State 38, Indiana 32, 4:07. Hmmmm. After IU’s defense stuffs BSU on a 4th-and-1, Sudfeld throws 70-yard TD pass to Cody Latimer. What looked over ain’t.
End third quarter: BALL STATE 38, INDIANA 25. IU, which gained 343 yards in the first half and scored 25 points, gained just 32 yards and got shut out in the third quarter.
Ball State 38, Indiana 25, 4:11. Cardinals went 71 yards on 11 plays, really looking like they are gaining control of the game, with the scoring play a perfectly thrown short post to
Ball State 31, Indiana 25. BSU gets great field position, yet another personal foul call on Murphy in a dead-ball situation, and scores on a 12-yard throw-back pass from wideout Jamill Smith to quarterback Keith Wenning. Kenny Mullen looked in position to make a play for IU on the TD but didn’t look back for the ball.
HALFTIME: INDIANA 25, BALL STATE 24.
Indiana 25, Ball State 24, 0:05. Coffman converted a couple of crucial 3rd downs with nice throws as IU went 78 yards in 15 plays to close out the half, capped by a patient 2-yard TD throw to Cody Latimer. Because BSU had 12 men on the field on the PAT formation, Indiana opted to go for 2 from closer in, and made it on a Stephen Houston run off right tackle.
Ball State 24, Indiana 17 4:35. Jahwan Edwards plunges in from 1 yard out, following a penalty on IU’s kickoff return, a bad 3-and-out with Coffman off target, a bad punt by Mitchell Voss, an unsportsmanlike conduct call on Mark Murphy after the punt, and then yet another interference call on IU, third time on a 3rd-and-goal from the 6 on an uncatchable ball. This officiating crew is one of the Big Ten’s most over-officious and is proving it relentlessly.
Indiana 17, Ball State 17, 7:35. Steve Schott nails a 51-yard field goal for BSU to tie it. The 52-yard drive was aided by an absolutely bogus interference call on IU cornerback Kenny Mullen.
Indiana 17, Ball State 14, 13:30. Cam Coffman looks cool as a cucumber leading IU 73 yards in 9 plays to retake the lead. Out of the diamond formation, Coffman to a wide-open Kofi Hughes for a 9-yard TD pass. Coffman is now 13 of 16 in the air for 133 yards and a TD.
End first quarter: BALL STATE 14, INDIANA 10
Big stop for IU defense on next series. Zach Shaw made a nice tackle on Edwards from behind on a 1st-down play, limiting him to 1 yard, and then the Hoosiers got Wenning and Snead to misread a cornerback blitz on third down.
Ball State 14, Indiana 10, 4:20. Points fast and furious now. IU takes just five plays to go 75 yards. Stephen Houston started the drive with a 45-yard scamper off left tackle, and scored untouched from 13 yards out off right tackle. We could be here awhile tonight, folks.
Ball State 14, Indiana 3, 5:47. Disastrous start for Indiana’s defense continues. Mullen fried on bomb for TD. 14-3 Ball State 5:47 1Q. Offense fails on 4th and 1 at its own 45 and Ball State capitalizes almost immediately.
Ball State 7, Indiana 3, 9:05. It’s hard to imagine Indiana’s defense looking any worse than it did on BSU’s second series. Twice, the Cardinals broke runs when the Hoosiers seemed to be in good position to make a play, but couldn’t get off blocks, first on Jahwan Edwards busting it up the gut for 13 and then Jamil Smith taking an end-around right for 30 to the IU 2. Both times the ball came loose, but both times replays confirmed the runners were down. Then the Hoowiers totally blew a coverage to leave tight end Zane Fakes wide open for a 2-yard TD pass.
Indiana 3, Ball State 0, 12:06. It was just a 5-yard false start by Ted Bolser, but enough to help stall a promising opening drive for IU. Instead of 6, which the Hoosiers nearly got on their first play as Cody Latimer took a wide-receiver screen left 36 yards and nearly to the house, they had to settle for Mitch Ewald’s 46-yard field goal.
Pregame: The nation’s eighth-ranked rushing team. Its top two tailbacks averaging over 8 yards per carry. Its huge offensive line harboring the second-most career starts of any line in the country. A veteran quarterback who shredded Indiana a year ago.
A lot of Big Ten teams have merited that sort of description over the years, but these are the Ball State Cardinals, who have won their last two games in their series with IU, including spoiling Kevin Wilson’s head coaching debut last season.
Needless to say, IU has a challenge on its hands, and doubtless also has plenty of motivation. Will it be 3-0 with some big momentum heading into the Hoosiers’ ensuing bye week, or 2-1 coming off a bummer?
Stay tuned. Promises to be a fun game to watch. I’ll be offering period musings and clinical observations here, and on Twitter at htograham. Thanks, as always, for checking in.