Ball St. takes care of Hoosiers again 41-39
By MICHAEL MAROT
AP Sports Writer
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) Quarterback Keith Wenning put Ball State in position to beat Indiana on Saturday night. Kicker Steven Schott completed the mission.
The junior quarterback threw three touchdown passes, caught another and moved the Cardinals 44 yards in the final 49 seconds to set up Schott's winning 42-yard field goal as time expired to give Ball State a 41-39 victory at Indiana.
The Cardinals (2-1) have now beaten their bigger, better-known in-state rival three straight times. Ball State improved to 3-49 all-time against BCS-conference schools, with all three wins coming against the Hoosiers in the last four years, two in Bloomington.
But the difference Saturday was Wenning's composure in the second half.
He didn't allow the Cardinals to get rattled during the first-half shootout, didn't get overly concerned when the Hoosiers (2-1) scored on a 2-point conversion run with 5 seconds left in the first half to take a 25-24 lead and didn't fret when the Hoosiers rallied from a 38-25 deficit to a 39-38 lead with two touchdowns in the final four minutes.
Instead, Wenning went right back to work, completing passes of 14 yards, 12 yards and an incomprehensible 18-yard catch by Willie Snead, who made a diving catch and slid out of bounds with 1 second to go. Officials reviewed the play and the call on the field was upheld, moving the ball from the Indiana 43 to the Indiana 25, drawing boos from the crowd.
On the play before that, the officials had added 1 second to clock when Ball State called its final timeout.
Schott then calmly knocked the ball through the uprights, sending excited Ball State players rushing onto the field as they jumped up and down.
Wenning finished the game 26 of 44 with 222 yards. He carried six times for 40 yards and made his first career reception - a 12-yard TD catch from receiver Jamill Smith to give Ball State a 31-25 lead in the third quarter.
For the Hoosiers, it was a frustrating finish.
They rallied from a 14-3 first-half deficit to take a 25-24 halftime lead, then fell behind 38-25 late in the third quarter and couldn't anything going until Cameron Coffman was replaced in the fourth quarter by true freshman Nate Sudfeld.
Coffman, making his first major college start, was 24 of 35 for 251 yards and two TDs before leaving the game early.
With starting quarterback Tre Roberson out with a broken left leg and Coffman out for an undisclosed reason, Sudfeld took over and rallied the Hoosiers.
He threw a 70-yard TD pass to Cody Latimer with 4:03 to go, and after getting the ball back with 1:42 left, took the Hoosiers 77 yards in six plays -- with the help of three pass interference penalties. Sudfeld capped the drive with 2-yard TD pass with 49 seconds left in the game.
But Wenning wasn't finished and masterfully set up Schott for the decisive field goal.
Updated September 16, 2012