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UB vs. Ball State / How the Bulls lost

Game Analysis: The Bulls didn't lose this game with 29 seconds remaining. They lost it when they were overwhelmed at the line of scrimmage in the first half. What transpired over the opening 30 minutes was inexcusable. This is a Ball State team that had lost 21 of its last 28 games. Yet the Cardinals looked invincible in the early going. What were the Bulls doing, still relishing that victory over Stony Brook?

Turning Point: Two fourth-down completions by sophomore quarterback Keith Wenning brought Ball State back from the dead. The first came on fourth-and-13 from the UB 37, the second on fourth-and-7 from the UB 16 with less than a minute remaining. Big step forward for him.

Player of the Game: When a sophomore quarterback leads you on a 75-yard, game-winning drive over the final 6:19, he gets the game ball. Wenning finished 24 of 36 for 226 yards and two touchdowns. And the passing game was supposed to be Ball State's weakness.

Stat Watch: Khalil Mack was a wrecking ball in the second half and finished with 11 tackles, plus two tackles for losses.

What It Means: This was the MAC opener for both. UB now probably has no room for error the rest of the way, not a good position to be in when it has Temple and Miami (Ohio) on the road.

What's Next: Bulls face their second Big East foe of the season when UConn visits UB Stadium at 6 Saturday night.

-- Bob DiCesare