DETROIT, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Second-half fumble returns totaling 166 yards by Mike Newton and Sherrod Lott Friday lifted Buffalo to a 42-24 upset victory over No. 13 Ball State.
The outcome in the Mid-American Conference Championship game ended Ball State's hopes for an unbeaten season. The Cardinals came into the game with a 12-0 record, but fell victim to their own mistakes.
Ball State quarterback Nate Davis was responsible for five turnovers.
Buffalo, coached by former University of Nebraska quarterback Turner Gill, improved to 8-5. Half their wins this year have come in overtime.
Ball State appeared to have taken control of the game in the third period when it grabbed a 17-14 lead and was in position to score again. But Davis was hit hard just short of the goal and the ball bounced back to the 8-yard line, where Newton scooped it up and sprinted for a touchdown that put the Bulls in front for good.
The Cardinals again moved into position to score on their next possession, but a bad snap in a spread formation was kicked around before Lott grabbed it and went 74 yards to give Buffalo a 28-17 lead.
Buffalo added fourth-quarter touchdowns on an 8-yard throw from Drew Willy to Naaman Roosevelt and a 1-yard run by James Starks following a failed Ball State onside kick.