MUNCIE, Ind. -The second half of the college football season hasn't gone quite the way Ohio University had hoped.
Wednesday night at Scheumann Stadium, Ball State scored 31 of the final 34 points of the second half and recorded its fifth straight victory after defeating the Bobcats, 52-27.
Following a 7-0 start to the season, Ohio has slipped to 8-3 and 4-3 in the East Division of the Mid-American Conference.
One of the few bright spots for Ohio last night, running back Beau Blankenship, rushed for 161 yards on 21 carries and scored three touchdowns. His 58-yard touchdown run in the opening stages of the second half put the Bobcats in front, 24-21.
Ball State (8-3, 5-2 MAC West) answered immediately on the ensuing drive and took the lead for good at 28-24 when Jahwan Edwards' 68-yard run on the first play from scrimmage set up Kelly Page's 3-yard touchdown pass to Zane Fakes at the 12:05 mark of the third quarter.
Later in the half after the two schools traded field goals -a 38-yarder from Ball State's Steven Schott and a 34-yarder from Ohio's Matt Weller - the Cardinals made use of a short field thanks to a lapse on special teams by the Bobcats.
Ball State 52, Ohio 27
Ohio (8-3, 4-3 MAC East) 3 14 7 3 -27
Ball State (8-3, 5-2 MAC West) 7 14 10 21 -52
O: Matt Weller 47 field goal, 6:55, 1st
BS: KeVonn Mabon 13 pass from Keith Wenning (Steven Schott kick), 2:07, 1st
O: Beau Blankenship 1 run (Weller kick), 13:50, 2nd
BS: Willie Snead 42 pass from Wenning (Schott kick), 12:00, 2nd
O: Blankenship 2 run (Weller kick), 10:41, 2nd
BS: Kelly Page 7 run (Schott kick), 2:17, 2nd
O: Blankenship 58 run (Weller kick), 12:45, 3rd
BS: Zane Fakes 3 pass from Page (Schott kick), 12:05, 3rd
BS: Schott 38 field goal, 1:52, 3rd
O: Weller 34 field goal, 12:15, 4th
BS: Horactio Banks 23 run (Schott kick), 11:57, 4th
BS: Fakes 13 pass from Page (Schott kick), 8:14, 4th
BS: Jahwan Edwards 28 run (Schott kick), 2:18, 4th
Ohio: First downs: 20. Rushes-yards: 40-231. Passing yards: 252. Total yards: 483. Passing: 24-34-1. Fumbles-lost: 0-0. Penalties: 5-50. Punts: 4-42.0
Ball State: First downs: 29. Rushes-yards: 39-357. Passing yards: 231. Total yards: 588. Passing: 22-28-0. Fumbles-lost: 0-0. Penalties: 1-10. Punts: 3-32.7.
Ohio: Rushing: Blankenship 21-161, Tettleton 14-47, Patterson 4-21, Vick 1-2. Passing: Tettleton 22-30-0, 236 yards; Vick 2-4-1, 16 yards. Receiving: Patterson 2-74, Futrell 5-59, Cochran 3-36, Waters 3-29, Bussey 5-25, Tettleton 1-13, Foster 3-11, Blankenship 1-5, Clark 1-0.
Ball State: Rushing: Edwards 17-169, Banks 14-135, Page 4-34, Donigan 3-15, Wenning 1-4. Passing: Wenning 16-20-0, 173 yards; Page 5-7-0, 41 yards; Smith 1-1-0, 17 yards.
Next game: Ohio at Kent State, Friday, Nov. 23; Ball State at Miami (Ohio), Friday, Nov. 23
Jamill Smith's 46-yard kickoff return was assisted by a pair of 15-yard Ohio penalties, giving Ball State first down at the Bobcat 23. On the very next play, Horactio Banks took the handoff and found the end zone for a 38-27 Cardinal advantage with 11:57 still remaining in the game.
Ohio was unable to manufacture a sustained drive and went three-and-out on its next two offensive series, which Ball State turned into seven points on both occasions. First on Page's 13-yard touchdown completion to Fakes and again on Edwards' 28-yard TD run with 2:18 left in the fourth quarter.
Ball State finished with 588 yards of total offense, including 357 on the ground. Edwards finished with 169 yards on 17 carries, while Banks added 135 yards on 14 attempts.
Cardinals starting quarterback Keith Wenning completed 16-of-20 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns before leaving the game with an injury in the second quarter.
Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton connected on his first 12 attempts of the game and finished 22-of-30 for 236 yards. The junior was sacked four times in the first half, with the last one coming on the final play as the Bobcats were trying to set up for a field goal just before time expired.
Ohio travels to Kent State one week from Friday (Nov. 23) to close out the regular season.