MUNCIE, Ind. – With 311 yards on the ground, an efficient performance from quarterback Ozzie Mann in his starting debut and a stout defensive effort, the Ball State football team rolled to a 30-10 win Saturday over Colgate.
The Cardinals (1-0) won their season opener for the fifth consecutive season. Ball State limited Colgate (0-1) to only 227 yards and nine first downs in front of the home crowd at Scheumann Stadium. The nine first downs were the fewest by a Ball State opponent in nearly 14 years.
“We faced some adversity and we responded well,” Ball State head coach Pete Lembo said. “It was a tight game for a while and nobody panicked. We stuck to the game plan. Overall a good solid day, and a lot of guys played a lot more football today than they have in a while. Hopefully, it was a good learning experience for them.”
Horactio Banks and Jahwan Edwards topped 100 yards rushing in the same game for the second time in their careers with Banks going for 134 and Edwards for 109. Edwards scored the 40th touchdown of his career, extending his own school record.
Mann accounted for the team’s first two touchdowns, finding Kevonn Mabon and Aaron Hepp for first-half scores as the Cardinals built a 20-7 lead at the half. A third potential TD toss was instead ruled Mann’s only interception of the day when receiver Chris Shillings came down with dual possession with a Colgate defensive back in the endzone.
“He was Ozzie,” Lembo said. “He was not a whole lot different than practice and just another day at the office. He identified things well, and he managed the clock well. Some of the shorter passes were on target and gave our receivers the chance to catch the ball and run. He was in control of the offense and we were operating like Ball State football operates.”
Scott Secor kicked three field goals on the day to account for the rest of the Ball State scoring. His third field goal plus Edwards’ touchdown in the third quarter extended the lead to 30-7 before Colgate added a fourth-quarter field goal.
Mabon caught a career-high 11 passes for a career-best 110 yards, making his return to the field after being sidelined by injury three games into the 2013 season.
James Travellin scored the only Colgate touchdown of the day on a 4-yard run in the second quarter, while quarterback Jake Melville threw for 137 yards for the Raiders.
Ball State will hit the road for the first time next week, traveling to face Iowa of the Big Ten. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CT (3:30 ET) with the game to be televised by ESPN2.