Ball State hands Rockets tough loss
Ranking short-lived for Toledo
TOLEDO, Ohio – Toledo waited 11 years to get back into the national rankings. In less than 3 days, the Rockets likely got knocked out.
Jahwan Edwards scored untouched on a 15-yard run around left end with 1:43 left to propel Ball State to a 34-27 victory over No. 23 Toledo on Tuesday night, ending the Rockets' eight-game winning streak.
Edwards' run capped an 86-yard drive after Ball State's beleaguered defense had stopped the Rockets (8-2, 5-1 Mid-American Conference) a yard short on David Fluellen's run on fourth-and-2 at the Cardinals 15.
Keith Wenning completed 29 of 42 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns, but was intercepted three times for Ball State (7-3, 4-2).
Fluellen ran for at least 200 yards for the third game this season, carrying 34 times for 200 yards and a touchdown.
Toledo jumped into The AP Top 25 this week for the first time since 2001.
Edwards finished with 105 yards on 16 carries.
The victory helps Ball State, which had already qualified for a bowl, get an even better postseason trip. The loss knocks Toledo out of a possible first-place tie with Northern Illinois in the MAC's West Division.
Ball State held the Rockets for a three-and-out to open the second half and then promptly marched downfield with Wenning completing 6 of 9 passes, capped by a 3-yard scoring pass to Jamill Smith for their second TD connection of the game.
The Cardinals clearly made some changes on defense at halftime. Toledo mustered just six yards on their first eight plays of the second half, punting the ball away twice without a first down.
But then Owens carried the Rockets out of their problems. He scrambled for 12 yards on third-and-nine at his own 21 and then led them to a first down at the Ball State 7. The drive stalled there, however, and Jeremiah Detmer kicked a 22-yard field goal to cut the lead to 24-20.
On the next offensive play, Wenning was picked off for the third time – throwing behind a receiver with linebacker Dan Molls grabbing the interception. A sack and two runs left the Rockets facing a fourth-and-1 at the Cardinals 16 on the first play of the fourth quarter. With the defense crowding the line, Fluellen took a handoff and burst off the left side untouched for Toledo's first lead of the game.
Ball State came right back with a time-consuming drive for Steven Schott's second field goal to knot things – again – at 27 with 9:41 left.