Ball State tops UB in MAC Championship, 38-28


Ball State quarterback Drew Plitt (9) crosses the goal line for a touchdown during the first half of the Mid-American Conference championship NCAA college football game against Buffalo, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

DETROIT, M.I. (WIVB) — For the second time in three years, the UB Bulls took the field in the MAC Championship game, and for the second time in three seasons, the Bulls fall short of the MAC title as Ball State downs 23rd ranked UB.

On the second play of the game, Kyle Vantrease hits Antonio Nunn who gets the first down and takes it 54-yards into the red zone for the Bulls. Four plays later, it’s none other than Jaret Patterson who bullies his way over the goal line for his 19th touchdown of the season. Bulls take a 7-0 lead on Ball State just six plays into the game.

The Cardinals tie it up on an 11 play, 75 yard drive of their own, but it doesn’t take long for the Bulls to find the end zone again. Vantrease hits Trevor Wilson for a 24-yard touchdown to bring UB up 14-7 where the score would stay at the end of the first quarter.

Second quarter action now, the Cardinals tie it up yet again by taking it 80 yards in 10 plays and finish with a touchdown thanks to a group push by the entire offense to tie the game at 14 a piece.

Yet again, the Bulls waste no time getting back on the board. First, Vantrease tosses it 57-yards to Wilson who brings it down on the one yard line, then Vantrease keeps it himself for the QB keep touchdown on the very next play. UB takes a 21-14 lead.

This one is turning out to be a shootout! Ball State puts together back-to-back touchdown drives to take their first lead of the game, 28-21. That touchdown marked the first time this season that the Bulls trailed.

Things didn’t get better for the Bulls on the next possession. With less than a minute left in the half, the UB offensive line allowed their first sack of the season, and as Vantrease is being brought down, Christian Albright knocks the ball out of his hand and then scoops it up and takes it to the house.

Ball State led 35-21 at the half.

The Cardinals would open up the second half by extending their lead with a field goal to take a 38-21 lead over Buffalo.

Towards the end of the third quarter, the Bulls get a shot of life in the form of a massive 67-yard touchdown run by Kevin Marks Jr. to bring UB within 10. Bulls trail 38-28.

After Vantrease tosses an interception, the UB defense steps up immediately. James Patterson goes up and snags an interception of his own!

The UB offense could not get back in the end zone again. The Bulls fall to Ball State in the MAC Championship.

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