Omboga returning punts:Thomson Omboga returned a punt 49 yards in the first quarter to spark the Tigers. After a sluggish first offensive series, Omboga’s return gave Missouri excellent field position on Ball State’s 33. The drive ended in a 20-yard Joe Tantarelli field goal for the first score of the game.
Fourth down stand:
The Tigers’ defense came up with a big play in the second quarter to halt a Ball State drive. Trailing 17-0, the Cardinals decided not to punt on fourth-and-three at Missouri’s 38. Cornerback Shirdonya Mitchell applied a jarring hit to wide receiver Terry Moss to force an incompletion.
Coleman and Franklin connect:
Backup quarterback Brandon Coleman entered in the fourth quarter and showed his ability to throw the deep pass. True freshman William Franklin streaked down the right sideline on a fly route and caught Coleman’s pass for the first touchdown of both players’ careers.
Slow start on both sides of the ball:
On the first possession of the game, Ball State drove easily on Missouri’s defense until a false-start penalty on third down stopped the Cardinals and forced them to punt from their own 47. The offense also struggled to open the game, going three and out, with Brad Smith’s five-yard run its longest play.
After false starts badly hurt Missouri in its loss to Troy, the Tigers looked to avoid mental mistakes Saturday. They were successful except when consecutive false-start penalties in the fourth quarter forced a punt.
The Cardinals struggled in almost every facet of the game. They had 142 yards of total offense, punted 10 times and allowed 471 yards on defense.