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Early turnovers doom Ball State in 30-20 loss to Indiana

Cardinals unable to overcome early errors.

NCAA Football: Ball State at Indiana Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Hoosiers forced three turnovers in the first half and built a 20-0 halftime lead, cruising to a 30-20 win over the Ball State Cardinals Saturday in Bloomington, Indiana.

Ball State received the opening kick, ran two plays, and fumbled the ball deep in their own territory. Indiana turned that into three points.

A Cardinal three and out followed before Indiana quarterback Richard Lagow found Nick Westbrook for a 43 yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 10-0.

The Hoosiers would add another first half touchdown when Lagow found Luke Timian from 10 yards out with 3:42 remaining in the second quarter. On the ensuing drive, Ball State quarterback Riley Neal would be picked off on the first play, and the Hoosiers would tack on a field goal to build the 20-0 lead.

Indiana would stretch the lead to 30-0 before Ball State finally got on the board. Morgan Hagee connected on 22 yard field goal with 3:37 remaining in the third quarter.

The Cardinals made things interesting in the fourth quarter. Hagee added another field goal to make it 30-6, then returned a blocked punt for a touchdown with just under 13 minutes remaining to cut the lead to 30-13.

Ball State would find the endzone for the first time Saturday when Neal found for a five yard touchdown with just over three minutes remaining in the game. An unsuccessful Cardinal onside kick followed, and Indiana closed out the 30-20 win.

Ball State is back in action next week. The Cardinals open up at home against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels on Saturday. Indiana gets a week off before a road matchup with Wake Forest on September 24th.