Broncos Stalled by Cardinals

In the first ever Saturday night game played at Ball State Stadium in Muncie, Indiana the Western Michigan University Broncos dropped their MAC opener 41-14 to the Ball State Cardinals. Aided by a change at quarterback late in the first quarter the Cardinals were seemingly able to score at will to the delight of most of the 17,710 fans in attendance.

Redshirt sophomore Joey Lynch started for the Cardinals at quarterback. After Lynch managed to direct the Cardinals to a total of 9 yards in the Cardinals' first two drives, Head Coach Brady Hoke decided to bring in true freshman Cole Stinson. The Cardinals scored on 7 of their last 10 possessions. One of their drives they failed to score on was only because Brian Jackson missed a 27-yard field goal try that sailed wide right.

While junior wide receiver Dante Ridgeway was voted the Player of the Game it was Stinson who was able to get the Cardinals off the ground and they never looked back. Stinson finished the game completing 17 of 31 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns. All three of his touchdown passes found Ridgeway. Ridgeway's first touchdown went for 44 yards with 4:30 left in the first half. Ridgeway didn't score again until the fourth quarter when he hauled in a 69 yard bomb from Stinson just 10 seconds into the quarter and just under five minutes later he caught a 6 yard pass that put the Cardinals up 34-14. Ridgeway led all receivers catching 5 pass for 217 yards and 3 touchdowns. Ridgeway covered more yards with his 9 catches than the Broncos quarterbacks of redshirt juniors Ryan Cubit and Robbie Haas combined to throw for. Cubit completed 23 of 34 passes for 203 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was sacked four times. Haas completed his only pass attempt late in the fourth quarter. Haas and freshman tight end Mike Onaga hooked up for a six yard strike.

The Broncos failed to go deep on all but one pass play and that one pass play was a 34 yard strike to junior Greg Jennings that went for the Broncos second and last touchdown of the game. Junior tight end Tony Scheffler led all Broncos receivers with 6 catches for 68 yards and scored the Broncos first touchdown on a 12 yard pass from Cubit.

On the ground the Broncos were out gained on the ground too with the Cardinals racking up 158 yards to the Broncos 89. Trovon Riley led all rushers gaining 95 yards on 24 carries. However Scott Blair and Charles Wynn combined for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Blair had 65 yards and scored on an 11-yard run just over three and a half minutes into the second quarter. Wynn rushed for 63 yards and his touchdown came on a 3 yard run with 2:38 left in the contest.

Since the Broncos opening game win against the University of Tennessee-Martin they have been outscored 197-41. The Broncos are off this week and return to action on October 9 when they play their first home game in over a month, a 7:00pm clash with MAC West rival Toledo in the annual Southwest Fest game.

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