BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Richard Lagow threw three touchdown passes in his home debut, and Indiana's defense forced two more turnovers as the Hoosiers held off Ball State's fourth-quarter flurry to hold on for a 30-20 victory Saturday.
Lagow, a junior college transfer, was 17 of 28 for 266 yards with no interceptions as Indiana (2-0) snapped a three-game losing streak in this series. The Hoosiers have won four of their last five, this one by flipping the script.
Instead of following Devine Redding's lead on the ground, Indiana beat the Cardinals (1-1) through the air.
After converting a fumble recovery into an early field goal, Lagow beat a blitz and threw a gorgeous 43-yard TD pass to Nick Westbrook for a 10-0 lead. Lagow then hooked up with Luke Timian on a 10-yard TD pass in the second quarter.
Griffin Oakes made it 20-0 at halftime with a 49-yard field goal as time expired, and Lagow started the second half with a 79-yard TD pass to Westbrook to make it 27-0.
— Indiana University (@IUBloomington) September 10, 2016
Ball State (1-1), which allowed the first 30 points, rallied with 20 points in the fourth quarter but never got close enough to seriously challenge the Hoosiers.
Cardinals quarterback Riley Neal was 15 of 30 for 231 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Redding carried 26 times for 110 yards, his fifth consecutive 100-yard game.
Ball State: The Cardinals have a long way to go to compete with college football's big boys. After rushing for 325 yards against Georgia State, Ball State managed just 371 yards in total offense, most of it in the fourth quarter, and fumbled away its first scoring chance -- at Indiana's 3-yard line.
Indiana: The Hoosiers have been impressive in their first two games, winning both in typical Big Ten fashion -- -- putting away Florida International late in the Miami heat and never giving the Cardinals a chance Saturday.
Ball State: The Cardinals host Eastern Kentucky, an FCS playoff contender, next weekend and will need their defense to play much better against a team that topped the 40-point mark five times last season.
Indiana: The Hoosiers get an extra week to fix the kinks before hosting Wake Forest. Indiana needs to build momentum with a daunting start to Big Ten play looming. They host No. 12 Michigan State on Oct. 1 and visit No. 4 Ohio State on Oct. 8.