Ball State players rally together before the opening quarter against Northern Illinois on October 1 at Scheumann Stadium. NIU defeated the Cardinals 31-24. Grace Hollars // DN
Ball State football vs. Buffalo quarter updates
The Cardinals started the fourth quarter with a conversion on third down. Quarterback Riley Neal later hit receiver KeVonn Mabon on a swing pass, which Mabon took 44 yards down to the Buffalo 7-yard line. Neal ran it in on the next play, and Ball State increased its lead to 28-14.
Buffalo went for it on fourth down on its next drive, but it fell incomplete. Ball State took over at its own 33-yard line after the turnover.
Behind running back James Gilbert, the Cardinals got into Buffalo territory before the drive stalled. Sophomore Morgan Hagee hit a 34-yard field goal, and Ball State pushed its lead to 31-14 with 4:56 remaining.
The Bulls responded on their next drive, as quarterback Tyree Jackson and K.J. Osborn hooked up for a 39-yard score. The call was upheld after review, and Buffalo cut the Ball State lead to 31-21.
Ball State ran out most of the remainder of the clock, however, and sealed the win.
Ball State defeats Buffalo, 31-21.
Ball State got the ball to start the second half, and sophomore Riley Neal stayed in at quarterback despite two picks in the first half.
The Cardinals moved the ball close to midfield, but running back James Gilbert was stopped for a loss on 4th-and-1. After the turnover on downs, Buffalo took over at the Ball State 47-yard line.
Seniors Sean Wiggins and Martez Hester came up with a huge stop on 4th-and-1 on the Bulls' next drive, giving the Cardinals the ball back at their 25-yard line.
Neal started the drive with a fade pass to freshman Damon Hazelton Jr. down the left sideline. Gilbert then busted a 50-yard run up the middle to put Ball State inside the Buffalo 5, and Neal capped it off with a rushing touchdown. Kicker Morgan Hagee made the extra point to tie the score at 14-14.
Buffalo had a 36-yard passing touchdown wiped out by penalty on its next drive, and ended up getting nothing out of it. After the punt, Ball State took over at its 11-yard line.
Gilbert continued his strong game and season, as the sophomore broke off an 80-yard rush touchdown. His second score of the game, plus the extra point, made it 21-14 in favor of the Cardinals.
The Cardinals got another fourth down stop on the Bulls' next drive. Defensive end Joshua Posley had the initial hit, and linebacker Sean Wiggins finished it off to give Ball State possession.
Ball State is facing a 3rd-and-4 as the third quarter runs out.
With one quarter remaining, Ball State leads Buffalo 21-14.
Ball State forced a Buffalo punt to start the second quarter.
Sophomore running back James Gilbert got the ball twice for five yards to start the drive, but Riley Neal's pass on third down was incomplete, leading to a punt.
After a Buffalo punt, Neal found fifth-year senior Cywettnie Brown down the right side for 43 yards, equaling the longest pass play of the season for Ball State. Neal was sacked a few plays later, however, and lost the ball. A big return by the Bulls was wiped out by penalty, and they began at their own 43-yard line.
Another three-and-out, and Ball State regained possession at the 12-yard line with 9:04 left.
Buffalo started its drive at the Ball State 27 after another punt, and drove it down inside the 5-yard line before stalling. Kicker Adam Mitcheson missed a 21-yard field goal attempt, and the game remained tied at 7-7.
The Cardinals responded with a couple first downs on their next drive. Facing a 2nd-and-7 from the 44-yard line, Neal was hit on the throw and it was intercepted for Ball State's second turnover of the day.
The Bulls took advantage, driving eight plays for 60 yards and a touchdown. After picking up a short fourth down, quarterback Tyree Jackson found Malcom Robinson in the end zone for a 13-yard score. After the extra point, Buffalo led 14-7.
Ball State made the most of the little time left in the half. Senior Teddy Williamson broke off a 23-yard run around the left side to start the drive, and Neal found freshman Damon Hazelton for three straight completions. After a delay of game penalty, Neal was picked again to end the half.
At the end of the first half, Buffalo leads Ball State 14-7.
Ball State won the coin toss, and chose to defer to the second half. Buffalo started its opening drive at the 25-yard line after the touchback.
The Cardinals forced a quick three-and-out to start the game on defense. After the punt, the offense took it 55 yards over nine plays capped off by a 1-yard James Gilbert touchdown. Ball State ran it eight times and passed once on the drive.
After the extra point, Ball State led 7-0 with 10:30 left in the first.
Buffalo started its next drive at its own 9-yard line. The offense picked up a few first downs before redshirt freshman quarterback Tyree Jackson found wide receiver Malcom Robinson over the top for 35 yards. Jackson connected with tight end Mason Schrek on three straight passes to end the drive, including a 7-yard touchdown.
The point after attempt was good, and the home team tied the game at 7-7 with 6:31 left. The Cardinals took over at their 30 after the kickoff.
Ball State entered Buffalo territory with a 25-yard completion from sophomore quarterback Riley Neal to fifth-year senior receiver Aaron Hepp, but the drive stalled. Kyle Schmidt's punt sailed into the end zone, and Buffalo took over at its own 20-yard line.
After another 3-and-out by the Bulls' offense, the Cardinals took over at their own 45 with 3:48 left.
Ball State also had to punt, and Buffalo got it at the 8-yard line. The Bulls were about to face a 3rd-and-3 as the quarter expired.
After one, Ball State and Buffalo are tied at 7-7.