It may sound like a broken record but big plays once again decided a Ball State football game. Unlike previous weeks though, the Cardinals found themselves on the wrong side of the big plays against the Kent State Golden Flashes. The player making most of those big plays for the Golden Flashes was their freshmen quarterback Joshua Cribbs.
Unlike most quarterbacks though Cribbs did most of his damage not with his arm, but with his legs. While Cribbs only passed for 95 yards, he ran for 147 on only 11 carries. Only Ball State's Marcus Merriweather rushed for more yards on the day with 160. Merriweather did that on 35 carries.
"He is a quarterback, but at the same time he is a running back," Ball State sophomore linebacker Lorenzo Scott said of Cribbs.
Cribbs first big run of the day came on the Golden Flashes' first drive of the game when he ran from 29 yards out for a touchdown.
"There were times I thought we had him hemmed in but he just pulled away from us. He is a real threat," Ball State's head coach Bill Lynch said.
Lynch said that the Cardinals had spent all week in preparation for Cribbs.
"We practiced as hard as we could to try to prepare for it, but he was every bit as good as we thought coming into the thing," Lynch said.
The Ball State defense felt prepared coming into the game on Saturday, but was simply unable to contain Cribbs.
"He is a great quarterback," Scott said, "We knew what to expect. We just didn't get the job done."
On Kent State's second scoring drive, Cribbs made two more big plays with his legs. First, he broke across midfield into Cardinal territory on a 39 yard run. Four plays later, he took the ball 21 yards down to the Ball State 2-yard line, allowing the Golden Flashes to score on the next play.
Cribbs, Kent State's leading rusher and passer this season, gave credit to his coach for his success on the ground against Ball State.
"The coach called the play and all we had to do was execute it," Cribbs said.
Cribbs' made yet another large gain with his feet early in the third quarter when he ran for 33 yards before being pushed out of bounds by Ball State's Jesse Avant.
"We haven't played a quarterback with that kind of speed," Lynch said.