On Saturday, UVA proved the age old truth that turnovers kill as Ball State cruised to a 21-point thrashing en route to a 48-27 beatemdown. In epic meltdown fashion, though, it wasn’t just the four Cavalier turnovers. They were massive, sure, but their accompanying side dishes of penalties (13 for 93 yards) and countless drops by the receiving corps of UVA made this a nearly forgone conclusion. With all the negative on UVA’s side of the ledger, if this wasn’t a 20+ point win, I may have even been a little disappointed. To go on the road and have me come away with that potential attitude is so amazing, my head might explode even contemplating it. So instead, we will just cruise right past that paradigm shift in this program.
Some in the media and the blogosphere will call this an upset, and by strictest definition it was, as the Cards were a five point underdog at kickoff. But those that know college football knew that the gap in talent between this ACC team and this MAC team isn’t your usual one. This wasn’t a case where flukes and weirdness led to an upset. As is often the case, the better team just won. Do the turnovers and negatives from UVA make that more likely? Of course. But anyone who thinks that BSU played their A game while UVA mailed it in hasn’t been paying attention. In fact, I’d say if the little things don’t go BSU’s way, it’s still a victory, albeit by a smaller margin. And that’s a great thing. An enjoyable thing. Not Dancing on the Ceiling worthy like the CMU game in 2008, but we’re getting close to a game of that magnitude.
I’m sure the importance of this win for the program and the season will sink in a bit more and we’ll be back with Final Word tomorrow, but for now, it’s celebratin’ time. On the road. ACC. Domination. Feels good.
Some other thoughts on the win…
- The mantra of this team this year is “Anything. Anytime. Anywhere.” but it might as well be “Overcome” as time and time again the Cards prove that this is not a situation where the 1s are just a good unit and problems are hidden further down the depth chart. The last few weeks have seen a rash of injuries and in turn inexperienced players find the field, and find it well they do. Take the offense… missing KeVonn Mabon, Connor Ryan, and Chris Shillings and the offense doesn’t miss a beat. Quake Edwards out for a game or two? No worries, Horactio Banks has you covered. It speaks volumes to the depth and coaching in Muncie and it isn’t something that should be happening in a MAC team. Enjoy it.
- Speaking of Quake Edwards, he had a massive day and was one of the primary reasons this “upset” was possible. 155 yards and 3 TDs proves his GrownAssMan-ness and also sets the mark for rushing TDs in a Cardinal career, passing Marcus Merriweather. Excellent job, Quake.
- While we’re on the subject of records, Keith Wenning did his share of rewriting Saturday also, setting the career passing yardage mark eclipsing Nate Davis. Some will say Nate had less to work with and he didn’t get a senior season. Pay them no mind. Some will call me crazy, but I’ll go ahead and stake my claim that Keith Wenning is the greatest to ever call the shots in Muncie. When 346 yards passing and a couple TDs is just another day at the office, you have something special.
- In what has become a theme this season, Jordan Williams impressed again going for 159 yards on 9 catches with a TD. We were one of the first to tell people that Williams was going to be a star, and as I said on Twitter on Saturday, he’s making me look a heck of a lot smarter than I am.
- Special shout out to the BSU defense, who has taken their fair share and then some of the criticism this season. They had a great effort today and created momentum and opportunities with their created turnovers. You can’t have good defense without a good offense, and vice versa.
- Pitiful attendance for UVA with an announced crowd of just over 38,000 and for an ACC team (even a middling one against a MAC opponent) that’s not a good number. When (not if) Mike London is let go, a lack of support from the fanbase will be one of the reasons.
- Kirk Herbstreit called a BSU upset this morning, so he looks quite smart. I’ve never felt so dirty after a victory.
- I have never seen such armchair coaching for a BSU game as I did with this one. The decision to go for it on 4th down in the third quarter was largely and roundly criticized on social media, and it seemed like with the exception of Kelly Page, I was one of the few notable BSU tweeters to stick up for the decision of Lembo and crew to go for it. Granted, it worked out exceptionally well when Jeffery Garrett picked off a UVA pass that led to an Edwards TD that put the Cards up for good, but even if it worked out differently, it was still the right call. We’ve always said “In Lembo We Trust” and that applies here. Live it. Love it.
- I think I’m guilty of this more than anyone else as I fret and hand wring and pace, but teams like this don’t come along all that often, and we’ve seen two in the past five seasons. My goal going forward for 2013 is to not nitpick the little things or simply look forward to the bigger things. OTP’s slogan for the rest of 2013 is “Enjoy the Ride”. Because I’m not sure when we’ll see another one like this again.
Final Word tomorrow. Enjoy your evening. Go Cards!