MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — Jack Knight kicked a 22-yard field goal with 29 seconds left, to cap a 17-point, fourth-quarter run, and Ball State rallied to beat Western Michigan 30-27 on Saturday to reach the Mid-American Conference title game for the first time since 2008.
Ball State (5-1) will attempt to slow down Jaret Patterson and No. 24 Buffalo for the MAC championship on Friday.
Drew Plitt threw for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter for Ball State. He connected with Yo’Heinz Tyler from 13-yards out and Justin Hall scored from 55 yards on the first play of the Cardinals’ next possession.
Ball State went on a 10-play, 41-yard drive to take 2:17 off the clock and set up Knight’s go-ahead kick. Western Michigan appeared to score on a wild final play, but it was called back for an illegal forward pass. Western Michigan kept the final play alive with a series of laterals, surviving an apparent fumble in which Ball State’s sideline rushed the field.
Western Michigan led 20-13 at halftime and went up by 14 early in the third quarter on La’Darius Jefferson’s 1-yard run.
Plitt finished 22 for 33 for 249 yards and three touchdowns. Hall had 10 catches for 175 yards and two scores.
Jefferson carried it 25 times for 159 yards and a score for WMU.