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AFCA Honors Ball State Football for Graduation Rate

BSULogoLet it not be said that Ball State football doesn’t put the “student” in student-athlete. Sure, other institutions may be competing for national championships and Bahamas Bowl berths, but some of those programs have athletes that I would assume probably wear Velcro shoes and can’t spell their team name correctly without looking at their sweatshirt. Not the case in Muncie, sports fans, as today the American Football Coaches Association honored your Ball State Cardinals for their graduation rate being over 90% for the football program.

Think that’s not impressive? You’re wrong. The Cardinals are one of only 13 teams in the country to achieve that kind of classroom success. To the Ball State release!

Ball State’s football program was recognized by the American Football Coaches Association as one of only 13 schools in the country to graduate at least 90 percent of its student-athletes in the latest NCAA Graduation Success Rate Report.

Of the 13 football playing Mid-American Conference schools, Ball State was one of only two to have a GSR score of at least 90 and is the only state school in Indiana to graduate over 90 percent of its 2007 class in the six years allowed for GSR purposes.

Among the football student-athletes including in this time frame for Ball State were Capital One Academic All-Americans Briggs Orsbon and Zane Fakes. Twenty-one of the Cardinals during this six year time frame were named to the MAC All-Academic team, while six were honored on the Capital One Academic All-District squad.

Congrats to the Cards and I hope someone put some of those good grade cards on the football office’s refrigerator.

Cardinals End Season On High Note, Upset Bowling Green

BSULogoI think with Friday’s 41-24 upset victory over MAC East Champion Bowling Green that included:

  • Bowling Green needing two plays (a 75-yard run a 96-yard kick return) to jump out to a 14-7 lead (after an Ozzie Mann 62-yard TD pass of his own)
  • Bowling Green taking a 21-7 lead with 9 minutes to go in the 1st quarter
  • Ozzie Mann starting his first game since October 4’s loss at Army in place of injured Jack Milas

we can officially call 2014 the absolute weirdest damn season that I can remember covering this team. Fluke plays, freak injuries, upsets of favorites, being upset as the favorite, this season officially had everything possible. And let’s not forget the record-breaking year and career that Quake Edwards turned in.

For Friday’s game, a game that admittedly both Jason and I thought would end the Cards’ season on a bit of a sour note, it is a ray of hope for fans to take away from this season and the coaching staff to go out and recruit on for the next class. After losing a slew of NFL-caliber talent and a deep senior class, the Cardinals still managed to pull a .500 record in the MAC, which (being honest, here) seemed somewhere just short of impossible after the loss to Western Michigan dropped the Cards to 1-5.

But a funny thing happened on the Cards’ way to irrelevancy this season, as QB1 was bestowed to Jack Milas and the Cards at pulled Ws in four of their last six. There’s plenty of opportunities for the pessimistic fans among us to cherry-pick the games that were basic coin flips that could have easily gone the Cards’ way (Iowa, WMU, and UMass at bare minimum) but that would be overlooking the Cards victories that could have easily gone the other way as well. Plus, it takes away from the stellar finish to this season for this senior class.

It’s funny how as a season progresses expectations and definitions change. If you had told me at the beginning of the season this year would be a 5-7 experience, I’d have been a tad bit unhappy and unsatisfied. Now, after the early losing streak and the (at times) complete unsatisfying experience known as Ball State football, I’m thrilled with 5-7 and just about ready to drive to Muncie to celebrate and tongue kiss whoever I see. Alas, it’s Thanksgiving break, so that would be a fruitless endeavor.

Friday’s BG win was a return to the Cardinal brand of football we have come to sort of expect and get awfully used to. It was a balanced attack through the air and the ground, and kudos to Joey Lynch for putting together a gameplan and playcalling that allowed the Cards to thrive. The Cards had no turnovers, no significant mistakes or penalties, dominated the time of possession, and most importantly in the second half: got the hell out of Quake’s way.

Edwards finishes his Cardinal career in true Quake-ian fashion, gashing the Falcons for 165 yards and 2 TDs. It is a fitting end to the career of the school’s career rushing leader, career rushing TDs leader, and career attempts leader. They don’t make ‘em like Quake much anymore, so count your blessings you were able to see him play.

The focus around these parts will shift a bit over the next few weeks to season recaps, lookaheads to the NFL futures of our graduating Cardinals, and trying to put an appropriate bow on this season. We’ll be there right there with you for all of it. More on BG tomorrow, but for now, it’s just enjoying this win, some leftover turkey and such, and just generally being in a much more pleasant mood than I expected to be at this particular juncture. So thank you Cards, for this game, this season, and everything else. Final word tomorrow, Go Cards!

Better Know: Bowling Green

Better Know Logo 200On Friday, Ball State closes out their 2014 season on the road against MAC East champion and sure-to-be-bowling Bowling Green. For Bowling Green, they are looking to continue their successful season and have at least one more contest after BSU: The Marathon MAC Championship in Detroit. For Ball State, this Friday’s contest is an opportunity to close 2014 out on a high note, in a season where high notes have been few and far between for the Cardinals. A victory puts the Cardinals at 5-7, but more importantly, also 4-4 in the MAC. With the injuries, staff turnover, and random fluke bad luck that has plagued the Cards this season, a .500 in-conference finish would be nothing short of staggering.

Lengthening those upset odds (Vegas has BG as 9-point favorites) is the fact that current starting Cardinals QB Jack Milas was removed from the previous EMU game with a wrist injury and is listed as “out” on this week’s depth chart, joining a whole host of other Cardinals. Who won’t be there isn’t as important as who will be, namely the newly re-annointed QB1, Ozzie Mann. So it’s Ozzie Football time again for Friends of the Feather.

Kickoff time on Friday is 1pm at Doyt Perry Stadium, and you can catch the game on ESPN3. Of course, before you do that, you should learn about BG, and that’s where we come in. Time to Better Know: Bowling Green!

Team: Bowling Green Falcons
Record: 7-4 (5-2 MAC)
Ranking: Unranked
Head Coach: Dino Babers
Series: BG leads 20-8-1
Last Meeting: 2009, a 31-17 BG win

Bowling Green Head Coach Dino Babers
… is in his first season as BG’s head coach, coming to the Falcons after a successful stint as head coach at FCS Eastern Illinois, where he was 19-7.
… his first year at Eastern Illinois was a worst-to-first turnaround and year two was a 12-2 record and a #2 national ranking.
… had the best offense in FCS both of his seasons at the helm of Eastern Illinois.

When it comes to BG versus the Cardinals
… BG is in the midst of six straight victories over the Cardinals.
… the last Cardinals victory over BG came in 1996, a 16-11 win at Bowling Green.
… in games played in Bowling Green, the Falcons have an 11-5 advantage.

The Bowling Green Falcons
… will honor 17 student-athletes on Friday as part of their senior day festivities. This particular group of graduates have led the Falcons to back-to-back MAC Championship Game appearances.
… will compete in Detroit on December 5 against a yet-to-be-determined MAC West opponent for the conference crown.
… are 3-0 this season in the week following a loss. Last week, the Falcons were defeated 27-20 last week at Toledo.

Better Know: Eastern Michigan

Better Know Logo 200I remember in years past that an Eastern Michigan game, more often than not, was one of the penciled in Ws on the schedule when the MAC released the conference slate for the coming football season. I know the platitudes and such about “Any given Saturday” and the whole respect your conference opponent thing, but I think it’s safe to say from an objective point of view that as the MAC has progressed from midweek novelty to significant BCS busting power that has the P5 conferences on perpetual upset alert that one boat was left behind by the rising tide: the EMU Eagles.

The good news for EMU is that it appears their boat is finally on the upswing, as new coach Chris Creighton is pulling out the stops to make EMU competitive, marketable, and noteworthy for something other than being the team you try to schedule for homecoming. If he can’t do it, I question whether anyone can, and frankly, the systemic and institutional roadblocks at EMU make even the hurdles at Ball State seem manageable.

On Saturday, it’s Senior Day at the Scheu and there’s a chance for BSU to gain a small bit of momentum before closing the season on Black Friday at Bowling Green. It will be an emotional afternoon as most home finales are, but for the 2014 campaign, I say good riddance and bring on 2015. Before we close the book, though, there’s still 120 minutes of football to play this season and it’s time to Better Know the Eastern Michigan Eagles.

Team: Eastern Michigan Eagles
Record: 2-8 (1-5)
Ranking: Unranked
Head Coach: Chris Creighton
Series: Ball State leads 32-21-2
Last Meeting: Ball State defeated EMU 51-20 in Ypsilanti in 2013

Eastern Michigan Head Coach Chris Creighton…
… is in his first season as the Eagles’ head coach, after a successful stint at Drake University where he departed with the highest win percentage in program history.
… is not a stranger to the Hoosier State, having spent seven seasons as the head coach at Wabash College. He also served four years as the offensive coordinator at Manchester College.
… has a career record of 141-53, and if you take away the 2-8 this season for EMU it’s even more impressive.

When it comes to EMU versus the Cardinals…
… this contest will be the 56th meeting between the teams.
… Ball State holds a three game win streak over the Eagles, but their last win against Ball State did come in Scheumann Stadium, an overtime win in 2010.
… that 21-point EMU comeback in the 2010 win was the largest comeback in EMU school history.

The Eastern Michigan Eagles…
… have landed senior tight end Tyreese Russell on the midseason Mackey Award Watchlist for the nation’s top tight end. He leads the Eagles in receiving with 29 catches for 393 yards.
… have a gamechanger on defense, with tackle Pat O’Connor leading the MAC in sacks and ranking 2nd in the conference in tackles for loss.
… put the special in special teams, blocking six kicks so far this season, 5 of them kicks, one of them punts.

Saturday. 2pm. Senior Day. Is there any more reason needed than that?!

Ball State vs. Eastern Michigan: By the Numbers

By the Numbers200On Saturday, the Cardinals will play their final home game in the 2014 campaign, and though most are ready to close the book on this football season, there is still significant things for which to play, most notably, a win for the seniors. Though an EMU blasting (and ultimately even an upset of BG next week) won’t completely eradicate the negativity of the first part of this season, it will do wonders to help bolster the argument that this season’s results are an aberration and not the expected norm without NFL talent on the roster.

The rationale for this season’s results are easy to pinpoint. Lost coordinators, lost personnel, a healthy dose of unhealthy injuries, and a steeper than expected learning curve for Coaches Lynch and Kelly have put the Cards at 3-7 and scrambling after a road loss to UMass that ended the Cards’ chances at .500 and a longshot bowl berth.

This Saturday’s contest, slated for a 2pm kickoff at Scheumann Stadium is your final chance to see Jahwan Edwards and a whole host of other seniors suit up for the Cardinals for the final time at home. Vegas puts the Cardinals at 17-point favorites, but the numbers we’re concerned about is the statistics. EMU and BSU by the numbers…

Eastern Michigan @ BSU:
National Stat Rankings & Statistics
NCAA Stat BSU EMU
Scoring Offense 94th (24.6)
127th (13.6)
Rushing Offense 93rd (141.9) 87th (146.4)
Passing Offense 86th (208.7) 126th(129.3)
Total Offense 108th (350.6) 126th (275.7)
Scoring Defense 68th (27.2) 121st (39.4)
Rushing Defense 93rd (188.5) 117th (229.2)
Passing Defense 72nd (230.4) 111th (274.0)
Total Defense 82nd (418.9) 122nd (503.2)
Sacks 116th (12.0) 120th (10.0)
Sacks Allowed 19th (12.0) 111th (30.0)
Turnover Margin 26th (+6) 123rd (-13)
3rd Down Conv. % 96th (36.3%) 111th (34.0%)
Opp. 3rd Down Conv. % 93rd (42.1%) 121st (48.5%)
Red Zone Conv. % 39th (86.5%) 128th (50.0%)
Opp. Red Zone Conv. % 12th (71.7%) 17th (73.1%)
Punting 57th (41.6) 55th (41.7)
Fewest Penalty Yards Per Game 22nd (41.0) 69th (54.0)

I’ve been doing this a long time, and frankly, I can’t remember a more statistically overmatched team than EMU. The numbers above have little to do with BSU and everything to do with EMU. They’re bad. Real bad. Anything less than a Cardinal dominating win and I’m going to be a bit disappointed. It’s time to blow the stench of this season’s frustrations and missed opportunities out the door. 2pm. Scheumann Stadium. See you there.

It’s UMass Day. Yay?

BSULogoSo it’s gameday for Ball State Nation. And it’s been severely lacking in content for the Minutemen for a whole host of reasons, most notably for some real-world issues that your site leadership is dealing with. However, the world doesn’t stop and start at our convenience so at least some cursory information on the Minutemen seems warranted, no?

UMass is 2-7 overall and 2-3 in the MAC. They started out this year with six losses, won two, and then lost last week at Toledo. The bad news for BSU fans is that their losses (outside of Penn State and Boston College) were all exceptionally close. We’re talking 19 points total, and that’s against the likes of Toledo, Bowling Green, and Vanderbilt (along with Colorado and Miami (OH)). So it’s highly likely that this could be the best 2-7 team there is in college football.

The game itself comes down to UMass’ passing attack against BSU’s defense. The Minutemen in true MACtion fashion are averaging 331 yards a game, good for 6th in the country. That isn’t a real positivity-inducing bullet point considering the failures of BSU’s defense this season. There’s also some notable parts missing for the BSU defense, namely Eric Patterson, who broke his arm last week against NIU. However, Ben Ingle, injured the week before is listed as “questionable” so YOU’RE SAYING THERE’S A CHANCE!

The internalized lead up to this game for me is eerily reminiscent of the games that were the norm before CPL and crew arrived in Muncie, where we were simply praying that the Cardinals could limit mistakes and do just enough to win. In some respects, that’s kind of what I’m hoping for. With three games remaining, (UMass, EMU, and @ BG) a victory would do wonders to propel the Cards to a somewhat respectable final record and perhaps even some positive momentum heading into the offseason devoid of a Bowl for the first time in two years. It’s still possible the Cardinals could finish .500, though it would require a 3-0 record over their final three, but most fans would likely be thrilled with that considering how the Cards started 2014.

So how do we get that W? I would think it comes down to:

  • Acceptance by the offensive coaching staff that the strength of the offense starts with Jahwan and ends with Edwards. Quake is putting up monster numbers when (in the mantra of Ryback) they FEED HIM MORE. I would even say that with a good batch of Quake runs and an offense that moves the ball well against UMass’ overmatched defense, it may go a long way to fans jumping back on the Lynch-train after a season with some considerable ups and downs.
  • The defense playing a bend but don’t break Hokian effort that the 08 Cards made famous en route to 12-0. Give up three instead of seven. Allow a play or two, but never for scores. Nut up when the time comes. Simple, really.
  • Provide some sort of spark. Whether that’s a big return on the special teams, a turnover, something. There has to be something (preferably early in the game) that gets the Cards on the positive side of the ledger.

The worst thing about tonight’s game? It’s in Massachusetts, where I assume there will be roughly 17 BSU fans come out and teams from Indiana usually don’t fare well (See: Colts, Pacers, etc.). So there’s that. 8pm kickoff on ESPNU. Be there or be square.

Scott Secor Named Semifinalist for Groza Award

BSULogoIt’s been an evolving season of bright spots for the Cardinals, but I’d say one of the more consistent things about this 2014 season has been the performance of senior placekicker Scott Secor. As we’ve mentioned, it’s likely that Secor will have set the single-season record for made field goals when 2014 is complete, and it’s now being noticed by people outside of the Cardinal football family as it was announced Thursday that Secor has been named one of 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award, given annually to the nation’s best kicker.

Per the BSU release…

MUNCIE, Ind. – Scott Secor, a senior placekicker for the Ball State football team, has been named one of 20 semifinalists for the 2014 Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Award presented by the Orange Bowl, according to the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.

The award is named in honor of one of the all-time great kickers in football history who played 21 seasons for the Cleveland Browns and set numerous franchise records and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974.

Secor is tied for first in the nation with 21 field goals this season and entered the week first in the nation in field goals per game (2.63), 10th in scoring (10.4) and 3nd in field goal percentage (.808). His 21 field goals this season rank third on Ball State’s single-season list and is four behind the school record of 25 held by John Diettrich in 1985 and Steven Schott in 2012. Secor made a career long 55-yard field goal at Central Michigan this season and tallied a career best five field goals in Ball State’s win over Akron earlier this season.

Semifinalists will be voted on by Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches, media relations professionals, past Groza finalists, and national and regional football writers to select three finalists. These finalists will be announced Nov. 24, and honored at the 23rd annual Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Awards Banquet Dec. 9, in West Palm Beach, Florida. The winner will be announced live on ESPN at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show Dec. 11.

Secor is the only kicker from a Mid-American Conference school named to the list of semifinalists for the award.

The Cardinals will play at Massachusetts Wednesday on ESPNU before returning to Scheumann Stadium in Muncie, Ind., for a Nov. 22 home game vs. Eastern Michigan and finishing the regular season Nov. 28 at Bowling Green.

The last Cardinal I remember making it to the finalist stage for a national award was Scott Kovanda for the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation’s best punter. Kovanda didn’t win, but he was there for the big hullabaloo of the end of season awards. Good luck to Scott, and I’d say he’s quite deserving, you know, by leading the nation in field goals.

Final Word: Akron

The Final Word 200On Saturday at the Scheu, it was an absolutely picture-perfect day for college football. Bright sun, blue skies, and not a cloud to be found anywhere in sight as the Cardinals looked for win #3 and their second in a row for the 2014 campaign. Leading up to the game, both myself and Jason had emphasized what a massive game it was. With a win, the Cards were still alive for post-season play, albeit on somewhat thin ice, they were still in contention for the MAC West, albeit needing help from others, but most of all, there would be signs of fight and positivity to move forward on.

A loss would have been disaster, and I don’t use that term in some sort of hyperbolic sky-is-falling overreaction. No, it would have been for all intents and purposes a complete disaster that in some respects would have been devastating to the first three years of the Lembo regime in Muncie. The packed houses, loud and boisterous crowds, and appearances on “hot lists” of Coach Pete Lembo would cease and BSU would fall, yet again, into the pile of nonfactors and irrelevants that populate the mass majority of mid-major college football.

The naysayers would tell you that was an almost foregone conclusion heading into Saturday’s game. Akron came in at 4-3, winners of three of their last four, and already with a road win at Pitt on their resume. Their passing game was strong, their defense stout, and even the wearers of the rosiest Cardinal glasses would tell you there were some significant questions about BSU. Passing defense first and foremost, ability to close out a game right up there, and a whole host of other things that weren’t even on the worry radar the last three seasons thanks to an experienced team led by Keith Wenning, Willie Snead, and a host of other vocal put-it-on-me kind of Cardinals. The naysayers were convinced that this was just going to be another loss.

But a funny thing happened on the Cardinals’ way to obscurity, and dare I say, these young Cardinals may very well have grown up in front of our very eyes with their 35-21 victory. In many ways, the first half was what we’ve seen most of this season: missed opportunities; missed chances; and a defense that was anything but a minor imposition to the wishes of the opposing offense. But in one of the most Jekyll & Hyde performances I can remember, the second half was a symphony of success. The offense ran roughshod over the Zips and the defense was a holy terror on turf. Is it possible that the evolution of this iteration of the Cardinals only took the halftime period to come to realization?

With youth comes inexperience and ignorance. Uncertainty on checks, packages, and audibles, but perhaps most importantly, these Cards had to learn how to win. How to get an opponent on the ropes and not let up. Being able to do that in come-from-behind fashion is just a nice little bonus.

The story of the game was the Cardinals defense and the five turnovers they created, which is by no means a sustainable strategy. However, the things that are both noteworthy and repeatable were the performances of Jahwan Edwards against an Akron rush defense ranked 33rd nationally before Quake’s 121 yards and a TD Saturday, and the performance of Jack Milas to put playmakers like Jordan Williams and the aforementioned Quake in a position to make plays. Milas continues to grow, continues to impress, continues to win and frankly, that’s really all that matters.

Saturday was something more than a football game. It felt like a rebirth. I distinctly remember the feeling I got in the Scheu media room after Indiana State. The tension was palpable and frankly, I was dreading having to hear CPL explain an unexplainable loss and see the pained looks on the players’ faces as they fielded questions from the media assembled. Saturday was 180 degrees different. Folks were smiling, jokes were made, CPL was all smiles, pleasantries, and pats on the back. It wasn’t an atmosphere befitting how the season started, and it was most definitely not the atmosphere expected at halftime, but it was most assuredly the atmosphere that this team deserved after Saturday’s performance and the struggles and growing pains they’ve had to endure through this season. Much like a bad break up, time heals all sorts of holes and growth issues, but time takes time. And so, your final word on Akron…

catharsis (n.)
a purification or purgation that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension

Some other notes on the victory…

  • Though we noted above that generating five turnovers was not a sustainable strategy, this was the second consecutive game the Cardinals did just that. The ten turnovers in the last two games is the most in a two-game stretch since at least 2000.
  • After Akron’s first four possessions, the defense allowed zero points and only 111 yards.
  • Scott Secor’s 5 made field goals set a Scheumann Stadium record and matched a school record for most field goals in a game.
  • Should Secor make 4 more field goals on the year, he will tie John Diettrich and Steven Schott for season makes with 25. His 21 made field goals puts him #1 in the country for made field goals this year.
  • Quake Edwards has 828 yards on the season and sits just 172 yards short of his third 1000-yard season, a feat only accomplished by Marcus Merriweather, the person Quake took the career rushing record from last week.
  • Speaking of Quake, with his next TD he will pass Ian McGarvey as BSU’s leading scorer. Quake currently sits at 282 and McGarvey has 287.
  • Jack Milas’ rookie success continues as through three starts he has 749 yards, 6 total TDs, and most importantly, 0 INTs.
  • The 15-point comeback (from 21-6) was the 7th largest deficit overcome for a victory in school history.
  • The victory on Saturday was BSU’s 14th in their past 17 MAC games.

BSU/NIU Comin’ to Your TV

Well we’re comin’ to your TeeeVeeeeeee……..

Big and Rich GamedayI doubt there will be Big, Rich, Cowboy Troy, the goth lesbian guitar player, or the gauge-in-ear DJ fella at the Ball State-NIU game on Wednesday November 5, but there will be someone (ESPN2) coming to our city (Muncie) and broadcasting the Bronze Stalk game live and in glorious high definition. The Cards will roll into the matchup with the Huskies at 3-5 and fresh off their second straight win. The Huskies come in at 6-2 with losses to Arkansas and Central Michigan at home, the same CMU that BSU just beat on the road. It’s also of note that BSU is not mathematically eliminated from the MAC West race, but will need some help. A loss against NIU would make that no longer the case. Kickoff on the 5th is set for 8pm. Mark your calendars and make your plans to join us.

 

Initial Reactions to Ball State-Akron [POSTGAME VIDEO]

OTP Logo 200

That is how you win a ballgame, kiddies. The collection of people who thought Ball State would walk out of the Scheu with a two touchdown win could probably fit in a small room somewhere in the bowels of the stadium. That’s not what matters and certainly not what happened today, though, as the Cards walk out with a 35-21 win, a 3-5 record, their second straight win, and a heaping helping of momentum.

First and foremost, my initial reaction is “WINS ARE FRIGGIN’ AWESOME!” and much more enjoyable than losses. The last time I was in the post game presser it was after Indiana State and this one was considerably different, considerably more positive, and there wasn’t an uneasy thing sort of hanging in the air as everyone wondered how CPL and the Cards were going to explain that loss away.

My second reaction is that I said all week that Akron is maybe the worst 4-3 team in the country. It’s good to be proven right as Akron showed time and time again in the second half why they are now the worst 4-4 team in the country. The pessimists in the fanbase were convinced that the offense couldn’t move the ball, the defense couldn’t stop the Zips, and it was just a matter of time before even more of the sky continued to fall. The tale of two halves showed what this team is capable of and every good team has a moment people can point to as “The Moment” when things sort of fell into place. Today’s win is certainly capable of just that very thing.

Third, if you haven’t seen Quake Edwards in person, make sure you check out a game before he leaves Muncie after this season. The amount of punishment he both doles out and takes through the case of his weekly running back duties is astounding. The fact that he’s both effective and durable is a testament to both Quake and the training staff. He’s now 9th in the MAC in career touchdowns, 1st in school history for yards, and 2nd in school history for 100-yard games.

Obviously getting five turnovers in one half of football isn’t a sustainable gameplan going forward, but damn it was nice to see today from the Cardinals. Whether it was stalwart defense from the boys in Cardinal and White or Akron just falling apart or some combination of the two is sort of a moot point, as the only thing that ultimately matters is that Ball State beat a MAC East contender that was 4-3 and lauded as a strong conference opponent. Akron coach Terry Bowden, ever the master of the obvious said, “The turnovers and all the mistakes in the second half were our melt down.” Yep.

How about Jack Milas?! While happy as can be that he is coming in to his own at the helm of this offense it does raise some questions about why that move wasn’t made sooner.

Overall, this game was exceptionally odd. Between the three straight interceptions, the other turnovers, questionable spots, shaky reviews, stupid penalties, and a whole host of other things, I fully expected this to fall in line with the rest of 2014 and see the Cardinals fail to be on the good end of any 50-50 type of situation.

The final reaction is that it is a testament to the integrity of these players and coaches to continue to perform week in and week out despite the lack of support they have from the student body and community at large. On a picture-perfect fall Saturday, only 7617 made it out to The Scheu. I understand this team’s record is not the dazzling wonderment it has been in recent memory, but that is absolutely no excuse. Wonderful performance from the team, pathetic performance from the fanbase.

Those are my initial reactions, let’s hear from CPL and select players…

Part 1…

Part 2…

Part 3…

 

More coming tomorrow for sure like Final Word and an in-depth look at the win, but this feels awfully good. I would normally be dreading a two and a half hour drive home, but between the W and the Pizza King I’ll have along with me, it’s going to be a breeze.

 

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