The Ball State Cardinals head to West Point, NY this weekend to take on the Army Black Knights. The term “must win” gets thrown around pretty frequently in the sports universe, but this time, we actually mean it. Ball State has simply GOT to win this game. In order to turn this season around, avoid an 0-4 start before conference play, and make fans in Muncie reconsider their Regulator-esque angry mobs googling “Stan Parrish Address”, the Cardinals have got to avoid mistakes, problems, and most notably… a loss.
There’s lots of things to consider for this weekend’s game. How will this team respond on the road in a hostile environment? Is there reason to think that situation will breed more success than the friendly confines of Scheumann Stadium? Who starts at QB? Who finishes at QB? Is this the game where Stan Parrish wins his first game as Ball State head coach? The resounding answer to all of that is “Who the hell knows?!” But we do know a little about Army…
Series History: Ball State and Army have met only one other time in football . The Black Knights posted a 41-21 win at Army in 1999.
Army Head Coach Rich Ellerson: Coach Ellerson (Hawaii ‘77) is in his first season as the Black Knights head coach and his 10th season as a collegiate head mentor. He came to Army after spending the last eight seasons as the head coach at Cal Poly. Ellerson spent the 1996 campaign as the head coach at Southern Utah. He owns a 1-1 mark at Army and a 61-42 career coaching record.
GameDay at Army: In 2007, Sports Illustrated ranked Army’s Michie Stadium as the seventh best college venue in all sports. In 1999, Michie Stadium was ranked as the third best sports venue of the 20th century in a Sports Illustrated poll.
Scouting the Black Knights
. . . Army is 1-1 after opening the season with a 27-14 win at Eastern Michigan before falling 35-19 at home to Duke last Saturday
. . . Patrick Mealy leads Army in rushing with 208 yards and one touchdown in two games
. . . Mealy is averaging 104.0 yards per game and 13.9 yards per rush.
. . . Quarterback Trent Steelman has completed 4-of-11 passes for 36 yards, while Carson Williams has completed 8-of-18 passes for 91 yards and one TD
. . . Damion Hunter has caught five passes for 35 yards, while Ali Villanueva has four catches for 68 yards and one touchdown.
. . . The Black Knights posted a 3-9 season in 2008.