Updated Thu, Nov 15, 2012 12:16 am
Ball State rushed for 357 yards against the depleted Ohio defense Wednesday en route to a 52-27 victory. The Bobcats struggled to get anything going for them and were outscored 21-3 in the fourth quarter.
More injuries: Entering the game, Ohio had 13 season-ending injuries. In the first half, defensive tackles Carl Jones and Neal Huynh went down on the same play and were carted off together. They didn’t return to the game, and it hurt the Bobcats.
Defensive struggles: The defense had several mishaps throughout the game. A misread on an option play allowed backup quarterback Kelly Page to run into the end zone untouched. There were several missed tackles throughout the entire game. On Horactio Banks’ 23-yard rushing touchdown, the Ball State running back was able to escape Corey Hasting's grasp to give the Cardinals a 38-27 lead.
The defense gave up 588 total yards and 357 on the ground. The Cardinals’ 52 points were the most scored against the Bobcats the entire season. The previous high was 34 to Massachusetts.
Quarterback situation: Coach Frank Solich went to Derrius Vick for two possessions in the fourth quarter, which lasted five plays. After going three-and-out in his first possession, Vick reentered the game with 2:18 remaining and threw an interception on the second play.
Solich appeared to be searching for a spark in the offense, but a quarterback controversy could arise from this situation. Tettleton was 22-for-30 for 236 yards, while Vick was 2-for-4 for 16 yards and an interception.
Bright spot: Ohio running back Beau Blankenship has inched closer to the Ohio single-season rushing record after running for 161 yards. That puts the redshirt junior at 1,355 yards on the season, which is 79 yards away from the record.
Blankenship also ran for three touchdowns against the Cardinals, which ties him for eighth with 11 single-season rushing touchdowns.
Key quote: Blankenship on team's second half collapse: "I don't really know how to put it in words. It just fell apart. We just got to come together. We just got to refocus and just figure some stuff out because this isn't the team that we are. We can play way better than this. We should be playing way better than this. We just got to fix it."
Next up: With a bowl game bid on the line, Ohio travels to Kent State next Friday for the regular season finale. Kent State is currently undefeated in the MAC and features the explosive Dri Archer at running back, who will be a tough test for the defense.