KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Ball State University football team (5-4, 3-2 MAC) fell 45-35 to Western Michigan (4-5, 3-2 MAC) Saturday afternoon in Mid-American Conference action at Waldo Stadium.
"Give Western Michigan their due credit," Ball State first-year head coach Pete Lembo says. "They have some really good players. We had some problems today, but some of that was due to playing a good football team. We played a little better in the second half, but it was frustrating because we did not get better in places."
After playing to a 7-7 tie in the first quarter, Western Michigan and Ball State combined for 49 second half points to end the half with the Broncos leading 35-28. WMU managed to outscore the Cardinals in the second half 10-7 to claim the 45-35 victory.
The Cardinals scored late in the fourth quarter off an 8-yard touchdown pass from Keith Wenning to wide receiver Jack Tomlinson, which brought Ball State within a touchdown (42-35) of the Broncos at the 5:50 mark. The touchdown was Tomlinson's first of the season.
The Ball State defense held Western Michigan to a field goal with under two minutes remaining in the game, but the Cardinals were unable to score for the remainder of the contest.
"We were aggressive on offense today," Lembo says. "We thought we had to score touchdowns because we were in a high scoring game. Western Michigan is a good team with a good offense. We made too many mistakes today. We have to get better and that is on me. We have some really good kids, and we have to get them playing better."
Western Michigan's defense held Ball State scoreless in the third quarter, while the Broncos managed only one score increasing their cushion to 42-28 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Cardinals orchestrated two touchdowns with only a minute remaining in the first half after Wenning found wide receiver Briggs Orsbon with 52 seconds on the clock for a 14-yard score and then again after Ball State capitalized on a Joshua Howard interception, which resulted in a 16-yard TD pass to Orsbon with 8.7 seconds left bringing Ball State within 35-28 to end the half. The interception was Howard's third of the season and fourth of his career.
Wenning threw 35 completions for a total of 335 with three touchdowns. Orsbon had 10 receptions for 103 yards and two TD's. Scott recorded his first 100-plus rushing game of his career.
- - Ryan Hartke recovered his first fumble of his career in the first quarter.
- - Jason Pinkston forced his third fumble of his career and first of the season in the first quarter.
- - Jahwan Edwards scored his ninth rushing touchdown with 7:33 remaining in the first quarter to tie the score 7-7.
- - Travis Freeman recorded his fifth career sack in the first quarter and fourth of the season.
- - Barrington Scott had his first rushing TD of his career to open up the second quarter.
- - Briggs Orsbon caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Keith Wenning in the second quarter and a 16-yard TD pass for his third and fourth touchdown receptions of the season and his 10th and 11th for his career.
- - The two TD's from Orsbon was the first multiple touchdown receiving game for the senior.
- - The two TD passes for Wenning marked his fifth multiple passing touchdown game of the season and the eighth of his career.
- - Joshua Howard had his third interception of the season and fourth of his career in the second quarter.
- - Aaron Morris recorded his first career interception.
- - Jeffery Garrett recorded his first career interception in the fourth quarter.
- - Jack Tomlinson scored his first touchdown of the season and seventh of his career in the fourth quarter.
- - Barrington Scott rushed for over 104 yards which is a career high surpassing his old record of 63 yard vs. Indiana at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Western Michigan 7, Ball State 0
11:29- Alex Carder 40-yard touchdown to Jordan White. John Potter kick good.
11 plays, 82 yards, 3:31
Ball State 7, Western Michigan 7
7 plays, 54 yards, 2:30
Ball State 14, Western Michigan 7
10 plays, 71 yards, 5:04
Ball State 14, Western Michigan 14
10:56- Alex Carder 3-yard touchdown pass to Robert Arnheim. John Potter kick good.
7 plays, 32 yards, 2:56
Western Michigan 21, Ball State 14
9:12- Robert Arnheim 61-yard touchdown pass to Jordan White. John Potter kick good.
4 plays, 87 yards, :50
Western Michigan 28, Ball State 14
8:13- Tevin Drake 4-yard touchdown run. John Potter kick good.
3 plays, 11 yards, 41 seconds
Western Michigan 35, Ball State 14
2:08- Tevin Drake 20-yard run. John Potter kick good.
5 plays, 92 yards, 1:51
Western Michigan 35, Ball State 21
8 plays, 80 yards 1:16
Western Michigan 35, Ball State 28
5 plays, 41 yards, :27
Western Michigan 42, Ball State 28
6:44- Alex Carder 4-yard TD run. John Potter kick good.
10 plays, 70 yards, 3:51
Western Michigan 42, Ball State 35
9 plays, 66 yards, 3:22
Western Michigan 45, Ball State 35
1:55- John Potter 40-yard field goal.10 plays, 70 yards, 3:51