The 2018 season had some twists and turns for the Miami RedHawks but they ended up (probably) making their second bowl in three seasons after a 42-21 victory over the Ball State Cardinals in the Redbird Rivalry. Alonzo Smith had a career night on senior night as he rushed for 213 yards and a trio of scores, which was needed due to an injury to all-purpose back Kenny Young. The RedHawk defense made a statement after a lackluster start to the game with four sacks and picks from both Zedrick Raymond and Mike Brown.
The game was pretty tight in the first half as Ball State opened up the scoring with a 22-yard run from Justin Hall in the first quarter while Miami answered on the ensuing drive with a one-yard scoring plunge from Gus Ragland. The Cards seemingly took control of the game with consecutive touchdowns: a nine-yard scamper from Drew Plitt and a 22-yard strike from Plitt to Drew Miller.
However, Miami finally came alive on a series of gambles as Smith scored on 56-yard rush on fourth-and-one and Ragland found Dominique Robinson for a four-yard score with 0:05 left in the half to tie the game at 21-21. The RedHawks continued their offensive dominance in the second half with three unanswered touchdown as Ragland gave Miami it’s first lead with another one-yard QB sneak while Smith ripped of scoring runs of 47 yards and 2 yards.
Miami still needs Ohio to beat Akron and for Buffalo to lose to Bowling Green in order to represent the MAC East in the MAC Championship, but the odds are good that the ‘Hawks will play one more game this season. Ball State, on the other hand, finish the season with a 4-8 record but have an exciting young nucleus led by Plitt to lead the program in 2019.