BY DONNIE HARMON | Ball State Sports Link
The Bronze Stalk is staying in Muncie, as Ball State was able to take down Northern Illinois 31-25, in large part due to the efforts of wide receiver Yo’Heinz Tyler.
It was a fantastic performance for the junior out of New Orleans, as he set a new career high in receiving yards (108).
Despite eventually accounting for over half of the Cardinals’ yards through the air, it was a quiet first half for Tyler and the Ball State offense as a whole.
With a long pick 6 by Cardinals corner Amechi Uzodinma ending a fairly long Huskies drive, the lengthy drive by NIU to end the half meant that the Ball State offense was not on the field for the final 8:15.
Tyler finished the first half with just two receptions for 11 yards.
Tyler was unable to be contained in the second. This became clear on the first drive, as he had three receptions for 26 yards, including a big 12-yard snag for a first down to set the Cardinals up at the Huskies 3-yard line (although there would be an interception on the next play).
Tyler has increased his volume as a pass catcher significantly this season. Through his first two seasons, he was known as a big play threat, as he was third in the MAC in yards per reception (18.7) in 2019.
However, entering the 2020 season, his career high in receptions was just four, which he has matched or surpassed in every game, including a career best eight receptions in Week 1 against Miami.
While Tyler left his stamp on the first three quarters with a slew of quick catches, he showed off the big play ability he is known for in the fourth quarter.
On a quick pass from quarterback Drew Plitt, Tyler would make a cut past a defender and then juke a Huskie in open space, eventually being taken down at the NIU 13 after a gain of 64, the longest play of the game and of Tyler’s career.
Two plays later, Tyler used his 6-foot-3 frame to box out the corner in the end zone, catching the pass from 7 yards out, his second touchdown of the year.
That score put Ball State up by a decisive 28-14 lead, as they held on to win 31-25. Tyler finished with seven receptions for a career high 108 yards and a score.
Ball State will look to win their 3rd straight game Saturday as it hits the road to take on a 2-1 Toledo team.