Cards tame Huskies

Ball State defeats Connecticut for third-straight time.

STORRS, CONN. - A 95-yard drive in the fourth quarter by the University of Connecticut sent Saturday's game into the Cardinal's third overtime appearance in the team's history.

Saturday was the first time the team played an overtime game away from home and extended its undefeated overtime record to 3-0 with a 24-21 win. The win, which came in front of Memorial Field's largest ever attendance of 16,849, also improved the Cardinals' record to 2-2 overall going into the Mid-American Conference schedule.

The last time the Cardinal's played in overtime was during the 1997 season when the faced Central Michigan. The Cards defeated the Chippewas 37-34. The year before the football team beat Ohio in overtime 30-27.

"Our mentality is, we can't let them score," junior Jesse Avant said. "Not a field goal, not a touchdown, not anything, because our offense did their job, and we gave them that last touchdown in the fourth quarter towards the end of the game, so we had a job, and that was to not let them in."

Ball State had the first chance in overtime to score, and ended the drive with a 37-yard field goal from junior placekicker Mike Langford. The win came when Husky's placekicker Marc Hickok missed a 37-yard field goal in attempt to answer to the Card's score in overtime.

"I made a field goal, that was about it," Langford said. "I did what they asked me to, I did what I was supposed to do, and it went through."

The Huskies struck first when sophomore quarterback, Dan Orlovsky threw a 27-yard touchdown pass. This was the first touchdown the Huskies have ever scored against the Cardinals. Last year the team scored on a field goal and safety, and the year before that the Huskies were shut out.

The Cardinals followed with the next drive to tie the game when junior quarterback Talmadge Hill hit senior tailback Marcus Merriweather for a 38-yard touchdown.

Hill completed 15 of 26 pass attempts for 156 yards, two touchdowns as well as two interceptions. Merriweather played parts in the passing game as well.

Merriweather caught five passes for 70 yards and one touchdown. On the ground, he rushed for 124 yards and scored one touchdown on the ground as well.

Shortly into the second half of the game, cornerback Jesse Avant read a Orlovsky pass to the sideline and picked it off for his first interception of the season. Avant returned it 39 yards to the 9 yard line. The Cardinals scored shortly after putting them up 21-14 in the third quarter.

"I basically did my job," Avant said. "I read the out-route and came up and made a good play."

With only a bit over four minutes left in the game, Orlovsky led a 95-yard drive down the field. The Huskies tied the game at 21 with 29 seconds left in the game, and would lead to the overtime victory.

"That was a huge win for us, against what we felt like was a really good football team, that was playing well, play with confidence after winning the last two weeks," Lynch said. "I'm sure they went into this with confidence that they can beat us, and they really played hard, and they played well, but our kids hung in there and I was really proud of our defense."

The Cardinals will return home next week when the face Northern Illinois to begin its conference schedule.

"We definitely wanted to win in September, that was one of the goals we set for ourselves," Talmadge Hill said. "We got some momentum going into a big game next week against Northern, so we're excited about that and we're happy with where we're sitting right now."


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