• OverThePylon

    OTP covers Ball State University sports from the blog perspective in the most overzealous manner possible, proving that as long as there is someone with enough free time you can obsess over anything.
  • Connect to OTP

  • OTPcast on Itunes

  • Help the Pylon

  • Donate to OTP

    A donation to OTP helps keep the site afloat and Cards fans connected. 50% of all donations sent to Cardinal Varsity Club as well. Help the Cards and your favorite blog in one fell swoop!

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?!

About these ads

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
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.


Ball State-Akron Live Thread

OTP Logo 200It’s time for another home game for the Cards and OTP is live from the box in Scheumann Stadium. It’s been an adventurous home season for the Pylon, as a family death and Fearless Leader vomiting his guts out have kept us away aside from the Indiana State debacle. That was the premier of the fancy new Live Thread format here at OTP. It was not an awesome debut. So, we’ll try to shake up the mojo this week as the Cards get the 4-3 Akron Zips. Refresh this page often as we’ll be updating throughout the day with our usual panache.


  • It’s an absolutely gorgeous day at the Scheu. Though it’s picture perfect for football, you wouldn’t know it from the tailgate lots or the stadium stands. Let’s say it’s sparse, and I feel like even “sparse” is overselling the situation here.
  • Coolest moment of the day was sitting down and within maybe 5 minutes hearing Morry Mannies chatting down the row. Still a legend and still the voice of the Cards.
  • Akron wins the toss, defers to the 2nd half. BSU will get the ball to open the game. Also, the Zips helmets are quite shiny. Like, ocular-ly offensively so.
  • BSU with the red jerseys, red pants, white numerals, and white helmets. That should be the last sartorial tweet of the day.


  • We said on the lead up to this week’s game that it would need to be the Milas show, and so far, that has been the case. First drive for the Cardinals leads to a Scott Secor field goal and it’s 3-0 good guys. 3 straight completions to open the drive moved the Cards to the Akron 30 before stalling out, but that’s a good sign. With a presence through the air, Quake should find the sledding at least somewhat manageable against a stout Akron run defense. 3-0 BSU
  • We also said on the lead up that stopping Akron through the air and specifically when the Zips hit the red zone are absolutely critical. Akron is one of the worst teams in the FBS in red zone scoring conversion. They didn’t show it that first drive. One long completion down the middle seam (as usual), and a touch pass from Akron QB Tommy Woodson to TE Anthony Ritossa and it’s 7-3 AKR
  • BSU forced to punt and Akron quickly moves the ball deep in to Cardinal territory. Three quick passes and the Zips are inside the BSU 30.
  • After forcing a 4th and inches with a questionable spot, Akron converts on the BSU 13 and takes the next play to the house on a Conor Hundley sweep. Typical fashion for this season, with just fluke luck and the 50-50 moments never seeming to go the Cards way save for a Secor kick in Mt. Pleasant last week. 14-3 AKR
  • First quarter comes to a close and the Cards have some work to do. Offense needs to find a rhythm and the defense needs to disrupt Akron’s.


  • So the story of the first quarter has been two giant “questionable” spots from the officials in critical third downs. One led directly to 7 points, and the second drive is still unfurling. I guess the only thing to expect from MAC officials is the unexpected. Much like the worst version of Big Brother.
  • After a drive that had a little bit of everything from Quake getting the mojo going to dumb penalties on both squads, Cards have to settle for a 20-yard Scott Secor field goal. Getting points? Good. Cutting the lead to one possession? Also good. Settling for field goals against an explosive MAC offense isn’t a sustainable strategy. Cards need to hold the Zips on this drive and put points on the board before the half or it’s going to be a long afternoon. 14-6 AKR
  • Another drive, another Akron touchdown. This Zips offense is humming right along. It’s been a balanced rush/pass effort and to be honest, the BSU defense hasn’t played poorly save for a couple plays. Hasn’t mattered to the Zips and it’s just been a consistent good performance. They also get the ball to open the 2nd half, so the next drive is critical for the Cards to either score or make it to half. Preferably both. 21-6 AKR
  • Giant completion down the sideline to Jordan Williams and he shows again why he’s one of the best in the conference. Pretty timed ball from Milas as well. Followed by a KeVonn Mabonn on the reverse and he finds the end zone on a 13-yard scamper. Absolutely critical must-score drive and the Cards came up big. 21-13 AKR
  • Ball State defense with a giant three-and-out to give the offense a chance. Fair caught at the 11, and the Cards move it quickly down the field, thanks in large part to a roughing the passer call on the Zips followed by an offsides. Gives Secor a shot from 46 out, pushes it wide right as the half comes to a close. But still, the spark this offense showed on the final drive is encouraging. Akron gets the ball to open the 2nd half.


  • Reading through the tweets and messageboards, the BSU defense is getting absolutely crushed online. They do step up and force a punt on Akron’s 1st 2nd half possession. After the touchback, the offense takes over on the 20, down 8, needing to grab the momentum.
  • BSU drive stalls out, and the Secor field goal is pushed wide right. Immediately followed by a Ben Ingle interception. Cards need a score here.
  • Cards work it down inside the 10, have to settle for a 23-yard Scott Secor field goal. Disappointing given the strong need to get 7s here rather than 3s but points are points I suppose. 21-16 AKR with 6:32 to go.
  • Zack Ryan wasn’t the intended receiver, but he made the wide open catch on the Akron INT. A heavy does of Quake, mixed with some Akron penalties, a botched review on a potential drive-extending Jordan Williams catch, and the 3rd quarter comes to a close with a Scott Secor 27-yard field goal to come.


  • And the final quarter opens with said Scott Secor kick, straight and true and the Cards pull within a field goal of the outright lead. 21-19 AKR
  • Cards force a defensive stand and an Akron punt, then put up their own three and out. Of course, that’s followed by a muffed Akron punt return and a Jack Milas QB keeper touchdown because that’s just the way this game was scripted, don’t you know? 2-point conversion is no good, but BSU has the lead with under 12:00 to go. 25-21 BSU
  • After a blocked punt, Cardinals convert with a touchdown run from Quake Edwards, running the score to 19-0 good guys since the half. We are under 7 minutes to go and it’s 32-21 BSU. I would think an argument could be made that Akron has certainly tried their best to give the game away, but credit to the Cardinals for being able to capitalize.


OTPcast 6.13

OTP Cast Logo200We’ve got our pod, we’ve got our cast
Tied to me tight, tie me up again
Who’s got their earbuds in my friend
Into your heart, we’ll beat again

Sweet like candy to my soul
Ball State rocks and Ball State rolls
Lost for the Cards we’re so lost

Jason and Alan are back to break down the victory over Central Michigan and preview the pending contest at home versus Akron. Can the Cardinals make it two in a row?! They also touch on the UNC academic scandal, the FSU/Notre Dame epic game, and whether or not Jason (who recently flew out west) is worried about catching ebola. All that and more in OTPcast 6.13!

Couple of different ways to hear this puppy. Viewing OTP in a feedreader? Then visit the site or download the mp3 from iTunes by clicking here. Leave us a rating on iTunes if you like what you hear! Enjoy…


Ball State vs Akron: By the Numbers

By the Numbers200I remember when Ball State was caught smack in the middle of a 20+ game losing streak. I said to my current girlfriend at the time that if the Cardinals could ever find the victory train, the mental breakthrough may rattle off a couple of wins. If memory serves me correctly, once the streak was ended that’s exactly what happened. After a win last Saturday on the road against CMU, and now returning home to face Akron, the same could very well be argued for with little rebuttal from opposing views.

Akron has been in some respects surprising in that they were quite awful for a significant period of time, winning just six games total for the 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 seasons. Last year saw Terry Bowden improve the Zips to 5-7, and some were even pointing to Akron as the darkhorse contrarian pick for the MAC East if you didn’t want to pick BG.

The Zips come in to Saturday with a 4-3 record with their biggest win on the road against 4-3 Pitt. Their three other wins were against FCS Howard, Eastern Michigan, and Miami, all at home. Their losses are Penn State and Ohio on the road and Marshall at home. So in all reality, they have no shameful losses and the majority of folks are picking Akron to win this weekend. Vegas opened the line with the Zips as a 1-point favorite, but that has since shifted to two. Let’s see what the other numbers say…

Akron @ BSU:
National Stat Rankings & Statistics
NCAA Stat BSU Akron
Scoring Offense 91st (25.7)
105th (23.1)
Rushing Offense 81st (151.7) 107th (125.0)
Passing Offense 89th (210.1) 38th(266.0)
Total Offense 106th (361.9) 85th (391.0)
Scoring Defense 75th (27.4) 12th (18.1)
Rushing Defense 103rd (197.0) 33rd (131.4)
Passing Defense 51st (218.7) 59th (226.1)
Total Defense 76th (415.7) 44th (357.6)
Sacks 122nd (5.0) 16th (21.0)
Sacks Allowed 28th (10.0) 73rd (15.0)
Turnover Margin 16th (+6) 16th (+6)
3rd Down Conv. % 75th (39.6%) 112th (33.0%)
Opp. 3rd Down Conv. % 92nd (42.4%) 32nd (34.0%)
Red Zone Conv. % 60th (84.6%) 126th (64.3%)
Opp. Red Zone Conv. % 12th (71.0%) 9th (70.0%)
Punting 47th (42.2) 17th (44.5)
Fewest Penalty Yards Per Game 28th (45.6) 121st (81.9)

So Ball State has a 7-9 disadvantage with one draw in the above statistics but given that Akron’s record is 4-3 with a 2-1 MAC mark, I would have expected the difference to be considerably more lopsided. The biggest concern is Akron’s great at passing the ball for chunks of yardage, but once they get in the red zone they struggle to put points on the board. That’s a critical point of emphasis for the defense. They also are stout defensively, more so against the rush than the pass, so it may be a Milas kind of afternoon for the Cards. Kickoff at the Scheu on Saturday is 2pm and we’ll see you there.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 989 other followers