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BUFFALO BEATS BALL STATE

Ball State is undefeated no more.Buffalo, which entered the game a heavy underdog at 7-5, was propelled by two long fumble returns for touchdowns to a 42-24 upset in the MAC championship game, and the Cardinals fell to 12-1.”It’s going to hurt for a little bit, but our kids will bounce back and be resilient and get ready for what’s next,” Ball State coach Brady Hoke said.Ball State had a 17-14 lead in the third quarter and appeared to be controlling the game, but when quarterback Nate Davis tried to dive into the end zone to give the Cardinals a 24-14 lead, he instead fumbled, and Buffalo’s Mike Newton picked it up and ran it 92 yards for a touchdown that gave Buffalo a 21-17 advantage. Buffalo then added a 74-yard fumble return for a touchdown later in the third quarter.Buffalo coach Turner Gill deserves a great deal of credit for guiding the Bulls to an 8-5 season. Before Gill came along in 2006, Buffalo had won 10 games in seven seasons of Division I-A football. Now the Bulls are conference champions.Buffalo will play in the International Bowl in Toronto. Ball State will most likely play in the Motor City Bowl.

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