James Gilbert got the final three carries of the Ball State drive, capping it off with a 3-yard touchdown run. It was Gilbert's third touchdown of the game, his career high. Morgan Hagee's extra point tied the score at 24-24 with 12:26 left in the game.
Anthony Maddie and Northern Illinois responded right away, however. He found Kenny Golladay down the right side for a 23-yard score, putting the Huskies up 31-24 with 11:14 remaining on the clock.
Ball State put together a drive that got into Northern Illinois territory, but Riley Neal was sacked on third down. Senior Kyle Schmidt pinned the Huskies at the 3-yard line with a bouncing punt.
The Ball State defense got a stop, but the offense couldn't get anything going and Schmidt punted again with 4:38 left in the game.
Northern Illinois picked up a couple first downs on the ground, and ran off the rest of the clock for the victory.
Northern Illinois defeats Ball State 31-24.
Northern Illinois kicked off to Ball State to start the second half. Riley Neal was almost picked on second down, but the Huskies still forced a punt.
The Huskies got it down to the Cardinals' 22-yard line with a big run by Joel Bouagnon, but Christian Hagan missed his second field goal of the game, this time wide right. Ball State took over at its own 22-yard line.
After a Ball State punt, Northern Illinois started threatening again. Running back Jordan Huff got the Huskies down to the Cardinals' 25 with a 28-yard run, and Anthony Maddie connected with Kenny Golladay for a first down a few plays later.
Maddie was looking for Golladay on a back-shoulder pass in the left corner of the end zone, but Marc Walton came up with a big interception that gave the Cardinals possession at the 25-yard line.
Ball State turned it over on downs, however, and Northern Illinois got the ball back at its own 41. The Cardinals forced a fumble that was originally called down by contact, but overturned on the review.
Ball State is facing a 3rd-and-4 at the Northern Illinois 32-yard line as the time runs out.
After three, Northern Illinois leads Ball State 24-17.
Redshirt sophomore Josh Miller missed a tackle to start the second half, but got back up and forced the ball up. Senior Corey Hall recovered at the Northern Illinois 44-yard line.
Riley Neal continued his hot start, finding freshman Damon Hazelton for 22 yards and junior Corey Lacanaria for 18. James Gilbert capped off the drive with his second touchdown of the game, this one from three yards out. Ball State took a 17-10 lead after the extra point.
The early shootout continued when Northern Illinois took over, as quarterback Anthony Maddie found star receiver Kenny Golladay early and often on the drive. The pair connected for a 14-yard score to tie the game at 17-17 with 11:16 left in the quarter.
After a Ball State punt, Northern Illinois took over at its own 34-yard line.
The teams traded punts before the Huskies got things going late in the quarter. Running back Joel Bouagnon ran for 12 yards on 3rd-and-2 to keep the drive alive, and Maddie found Christian Blake on another third down in Ball State territory. Ball State corner Marc Walton was called for a pass interference that put Northern Illinois at the 1-yard line.
Bouagnon punched it in from two yards out, and the Huskies took a 24-17 lead with 1:26 left in the half.
With Ball State attempting to put some points on the board before the half, Neal found Mabon for a first down on 4th-and-6. Morgan Hagee's 50-yard field goal attempt was no good as time expired, however.
At the half, Northern Illinois leads Ball State 24-17.
Ball State won the toss, and elected to defer to the second half. Northern Illinois received the ball to start the game.
The Huskies came out in an up-tempo offense led by starting quarterback Anthony Maddie. He was 2-5 for 17 yards on the drive, along with an 18-yard rush. Maddie did miss an open receiver down the middle of the field for what would've been an easy touchdown, however.
The drive stalled, and junior Chris Hagan missed a 43-yard field goal attempt. Ball State took over at its own 26.
Ball State sophomore quarterback Riley Neal started the drive with a 16-yard pass to senior KeVonn Mabon. He also had a pass to freshman Damon Hazelton dwon the right sideline for 28 yards. His pass fell incomplete on third down at the 9-yard line, however, and the Cardinals settled for a 26-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead.
Northern Illinois started its next drive with a 34-yard completion from Maddie to wide receiver Kenny Golladay down the left sideline, but didn't get much more after that. Hagan's kick was good this time from 41 yards to tie the game at 3-3 with 8:33 left.
Sophomore running back James Gilbert turned the corner for 23 yards on Ball State's next play. After that, things started going backwards. The Cardinals lost yards on three straight plays before Kyle Schmidt punted it away to the Huskies 32.
Northern Illinois ran a fake punt around midfield on its next possession, but Ball State was all over it for a 1-yard loss and a turnover on downs.
Neal hit some big pass plays and got Ball State inside the 10-yard line. But the Cardinals got a little too creative on 1st-and-goal, as wide receiver Corey Lacanaria threw a pass off his back foot that was intercepted.
Maddie broke loose up the middle for a 75-yard touchdown run a few plays later, and Northern Illinois took a 10-3 lead.
Ball State didn't waste much time answering Northern Illinois' touchdown. Neal hit redshirt sophomore Devin Reece for a 31-yard catch and run down to the 11, and Gilbert ran it in on the next play. Morgan Hagee's extra point tied the game at 10-10 with under a minute left.
At the end of the first quarter, Ball State and Northern Illinois are tied 10-10.