Luckily for the Ball State Cardinals (3-1), things were much different in the last three quarters than they were in the first quarter in their 31-27 victory over the Florida Atlantic Owls (1-3).
After an hour long lightning delay, Florida Atlantic wasted no time grabbing a 14-0 lead over Ball State. However, things changed for Mike Neu’s squad after the first 15 minutes.
Ball State scored 14 straight to begin the second quarter to steal back momentum and nod the game up at 14. However, down by 7 with seconds left in the first half, BSU missed a field goal that would have cut the Owls’ lead down to 4 at halftime. The Cards trailed 24-17 at the half.
Just minutes into the second half, after a long review and a few bolts of lightning in the distance, the referees we’re forced to stop play for the first time since before the opening kickoff.
Ball State would tie the game once again late in the third when Cardinals’ quarterback Riley Neal found Corey Lacanaria for a touchdown to tie the game at 24.
However, with a bit under 10 minutes to play in regulation, Florida Atlantic retook the lead. FAU kicker Greg Joseph hit a 48-yard field goal that put FAU ahead by a score of 27-24.
After failing on their next offensive position, Ball State punted back to FAU, who’s offense proceeded to march downfield to the Cardinals’ 30-yard line. Facing a 4th & 1, the Owls went for it, and missed, giving the Cardinals much needed momentum.
Unfortunately, the game went into a weather delay shortly afterwards, threatening Ball State’s building momentum.
However, after the delay, Ball State moved right down the field, with KeVonn Mabon making a tremendous play to set Ball State up with a 1st & Goal, and on the very next play, Riley Neal found the endzone with his feet, giving Ball State a 31-27 lead.
On the next possesion, Zach Ryan intercepted Florida Atlantic quarterback Jeff Driskel’s pass and the Cardinals’ offense ran out the clock.
Riley Neal led Ball State in passing with 252 passing yards on 23-37 passing with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception.
Ball State’s defense held FAU to 445 total yards, while the Cardinals put up 490 yards of offense.
Ball State hosts 0-4 Northern Illinois next week, while Florida Atlantic makes the short trip down to Miami to play 0-4 Florida International next Saturday.