Mayer’s second career scoring pass was a 14-yard laser to Coldiron, a redshirt freshman, in the back of the end zone under the goalpost, helping them take a 24-21 lead into the fourth quarter. That play completed a 98-yard drive.
Mayer made it three touchdown passes in three drives with a 12-yard throw to fourth-year junior wide receiver Jalen Walker with 9:48 left in regulation.
Justin Hall and Caleb Huntley each scored two touchdowns for Ball State in the teams' only inter-division game of the MAC’s six-game season.
Miami is scheduled to play at Buffalo on Tuesday. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. The Bulls, who won at Northern Illinois on Wednesday, were picked in a preseason poll of MAC media members to win the East Division.
Gabbert left the game after being sandwiched by two Ball State defenders while trying for a first down on third-and-9 play. He lay on the artificial turf for several minutes while being attended to before walking off the field under his own power and later to the RedHawks locker room with 12:33 left in the second quarter. The 2019 MAC Freshman of the Year did not return.
Ball State senior safety Bryce Cosby was penalized and disqualified for targeting.
Mayer, who played in high school at Covington (Ky.) Catholic, took over for Gabbert and threw his first career completion to fourth-year junior tight end Adam Mehelic while leading the RedHawks to a game-tying score on fifth-year senior running back Kahn’s 2-yard run with 11:03 left in the second quarter.