The Zips improved to 5-3 overall and 3-1 in Mid-American Conference action, while BSU fell to 4-4 overall and 1-3 in the league.
Woodson finished with . . .
Sophomore RB Van Edwards led the Zip on the ground with a career-high 16 carries for a career-high 112 yards and a touchdown, his first 100-yard rushing performance.
Senior WR JoJo Natson had his second 100-yard receiving game, finishing with 109 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions.
Defensively, sophomore LB Ulysees Gilbert led the defense with a career-high 17 tackles, including a career-best 12 assists, while CB Alvin Davis added a career-high 15 tackles.
BSU scored on the opening drive as QB Riley Neal ended a 13-play drive with a one-yard rush for the score. Neal finished the game with 187 yards, going 23-of-34 with an interception.
On UA's opening drive, the Zips marched up to the BSU 23-yard line before fumbling the ball, and the Cardinals led, 7-0, after the first quarter. They added to that in the second quarter with a 21-yard field goal by Morgan Hagee to take a 10-0 lead.
Edwards put the Zips on the scoreboard, capping an eight-play drive with a 45-yard run to the end zone. Redshirt sophomore PK Tom O'Leary made it a three-point game, 10-7.
BSU scored again on its next drive as RB James Gilbert scampered 18 yards for a touchdown, giving the Cardinals a 17-7 advantage.
Over the last three minutes of the first half, the Zips marched down the field for three first downs, including an 11-yard pass to Natson, an 11-yard rush by Woodson, and an 18-yard run by Edwards, but time ran out before reaching the end zone. Ball State held a 17-7 edge at intermission.
In the first drive of the second half, the Zips went for it on a fourth-and four on the BSU 29. Woodson connected with Lane on a 28-yard reception, putting the ball on the one. Junior QB Tra'Von Chapman came in for one play and rushed one yard into the end zone, capping a 10-play, 65-yard drive to pull Akron within three, 17-14.
UA held BSU on its next drive as the Cardinals were forced to punt.
Akron took over and got its first lead with 20 seconds to go in the third as Woodson connected with Natson on a 23-yard pass to give the Zips a 21-17 lead.
The Zips added insurance in the fourth stanza with a 14-yard touchdown pass from RB Manny Morgan to WR Austin Wolf to put the Zips ahead 28-17.
The Cardinals came charging back, scoring on a 17-yard reception and adding a two-point conversion to trail by three, 28-25, with 5:18 remaining.
Akron responded with 2:22 to go when Woodson found junior WR Jerome Lane for the final touchdown, a three-yard score, putting UA ahead 35-25.
Ball State drove the field in hopes of another score. But with 45 seconds to go on Akron's 18, Neal threw a pick to UA's Jordan George to seal the outcome.
Akron, one win away from bowl eligibility, will play its second MAC road game in a five-day span when the Zips visit Buffalo on Thursday, Oct. 27, for a 7:30 p.m. match-up at UB Stadium.
Ball State, which has now dropped three of its last four contests, returns to action Tuesday, Nov. 1, when it hosts No. 20 Western Michigan.
(Courtesy of BSU Athletics)