TOLEDO, Ohio - The Ball State University football team (7-3, 4-2 MAC) pulled off a 34-27 upset over No. 23/25 and Mid-American Conference leader Toledo (8-2, 5-1 MAC) Tuesday night at the Glass Bowl.
The Cardinals now have won four straight under the guidance of second-year head coach Pete Lembo for the first time since the 2008 season.
"It doesn't get any better than this," said Lembo. "Our guys just hang in there and keep battling. We're not a great team, but we're a team. We're together. We ride out the highs and lows and we keep believing.
"I thought we had a great gameplan coming in. We overcame three turnovers and that's hard to do whether it's at home, on the road or against a team that's this good."
Sophomore running back Jahwan Edwards ran for a 15-yard score with 1:43 left on the clock to put the Cardinals ahead by a touchdown. The Cardinals defense then forced the Rockets to turn the ball over on downs to secure the win.
Edwards exceeded 100 yards for the fourth straight game as he went over 1,000 yards for the season. Junior quarterback Keith Wenning threw three touchdowns for the fifth time this year and now has 20 TD tosses on the season for the third-most in school history.
Defensively senior linebacker Travis Freeman and teammate sophomore defensive end Nick Miles led the team with 11 tackles. Miles also had a sack and a tackle for loss.
The game went down to the fourth quarter, as Toledo took its first lead of the game at 27-24 with 14:56 to play when Terrance Owens crossed the goal line. It didn't take long for Ball State to tie the game back up at 27-27 on its next possession with a 30-yard field goal from senior kicker Steven Schott.
Wenning threw two of his touchdown passes to junior receiver Jamill Smith, who scored on the first possession of both halves.
His second-half TD grab broke a 17-17 tie at the break to put the Cardinals on top 24-17. Toledo then scored on a 22-yard field goal from kicker Jeremiah Detmer to make it a 24-20 ball game before Owens' TD run and Schott's field goal.
The win for Ball State was its first over a ranked opponent since the 2001 season. That win also came against Toledo.
The Cardinals started off strong in the first quarter Tuesday when Wenning hit on 12 of his first 13 passes with two touchdowns. Smith and Connor Ryan both caught TDs to give Ball State an early 14-0 advantage.
The Rockets got on the board at the 1:30 mark in the first period after Owens threw a 24-yard TD pass to Bernard Reedy. Toledo continued to carry its momentum into the second quarter when Detmer kicked a 29-yard field goal to make the score 14-10.
The Cardinals were held to only a field goal in the second quarter, which came after Ball State linebacker Tony Martin returned a Rocket fumble 54 yards. Toledo ended the half with a Cassius McDowell 4-yard touchdown with 54 seconds on the clock.
The Ball State defense then forced Toledo to go three-and-out twice and turn the ball over on downs twice on its six possessions in the second half.
Ball State football will play Ohio University in its last home game of the season Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN2 or ESPNU.
Ball State 7, Toledo 0
10:50 - Keith Wenning 6-yard touchdown pass to Jamill Smith. Steven Schott kick good.
11 plays, 82 yards, 4:10
Ball State 14, Toledo 0
4:21 - Keith Wenning 25-yard touchdown pass to Connor Ryan. Steven Schott kick good.
7 plays, 87 yards, 3:12
Ball State 14, Toledo 7
1:30 - Terrance Owens 24-yard touchdown pass to Bernard Reedy. Jeremiah Detmer kick good.
Ball State 14, Toledo 10
12:33 - Jeremiah Detmer 29-yard field goal.
8 plays, 66 yards, 3:04
Ball State 17, Toledo 10
4:13- Steven Schott 24-yard field goal.
6 plays, 4 yards, 2:33
Ball State 17, Toledo 17
:54- Cassius McDowell 4-yard touchdown run. Jeremiah Detmer kick good.
8 plays, 84 yards, 3:13
Ball State 24, Toledo 17
9:15- Keith Wenning 3-yard touchdown pass to Jamill Smith. Steven Schott kick good.
10 plays, 61 yards, 4:30
Ball State 24, Toledo 20
1:52- Jeremiah Detmer 22-yard field goal.
14 plays, 75 yards, 5:11
Toledo 27, Ball State 24
14:56- Terrance Owens 4-yard touchdown run. Jeremiah Detmer kick good.
4 plays, 25 yards, 1:45
Ball State 27, Toledo 27
9:41- Steven Schott 30-yard field goal.
12 plays, 58 yards, 5:11
Ball State 34, Toledo 27
1:43- Jahwan Edwards 15-yard touchdown run. Steven Schott kick good.
11 plays, 86 yards, 4:19