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Previewing BSU-Army

Will we win? I don't know.

Will we win? I don't know.

Normally, in this space on Friday before gamedays, we run something smarmy, sarcastic, and pithy about how everything about BSU rocks and everything about our opponent is teh suxorz. Frankly, we could take the high road and claim we didn’t do that today for Army over some high ground standing that we shouldn’t make fun of service academies, etc. While that may be true, the normal Cardinal Preview is absent this week for one simple reason… to hopefully break an absolutely dreadful cycle.

In terms of streaks, the superstitious sports fan will tell you that they happen for a multitude of different reasons. The type of beer you drink, the way you put your socks on, where you sit to watch the game, what you do pre-game, during game, etc. apparently all has a dramatic effect on the outcome. I can’t say I, or Edge, have a ton of pre-game festivities that are uniform from week to week, but one that we do have is the Cardinal Preview… and it’s time to try and shake the tree of destiny a bit to see if the outcome on Saturday is any different.

This, of course, is not a permanent thing. It may very well not work. But frankly, I’m getting desperate. Watching this team the last two games perform significantly under last year’s levels and even markedly under the already lowered expectations for this season has left a pretty bitter taste in my mouth. Not the bitter taste of an all night session of Natty Light capped with Super Nachos from Bamba’s… but close.

The offense? Anemic. The defense? Underwhelming. The coaching? Puzzling. Frankly, short of some long field goals and a couple of decent punts, this season has been, by and large, irrelevant. The lack of success has bred a sort of constant tension and animosity amongst the fans of this program, as some begin to take shots at Coach Parrish, the administration, and worst case, some of the players. It’s not surprising, as two exceptionally frustrating losses have definitely formed an atmosphere for discontent, disappointment, and outright hostility.

Frankly, this sort of illness, this cancer of fan anger, is easily solved and certainly treatable… take one victory and call me in the morning. Simple to recognize, hard to deliver, like most things in life. In no way reducing that difficulty is the sheer importance of this particular game, the potential defining moment of this season. A loss, and the already thin ice and fan apathy hit record levels. A win, and a temporary peace passes over the place. A Pax Cardinalo, if you will.

This Army team is a decent team but not unbeatable. They’ve played Eastern Michigan and Duke, going 1-1, hardly the murderer’s row of wins that would strike fear into the hearts of opponents. The biggest factor in determing a win for these Cardinals rests solely on the shoulders of the team wearing red and white. Defensively, they face a triple option attack that they have seen before in contests with Navy. Offensively, there are weapons there, they just need to reveal themselves.

The crux of this game will be found in the trenches. A decent push from the offensive line to protect Kelly Page or Tanner Justice as well as open holes for Quale Lewis will mean a Ball State win. An inability to do that, as has been the case all season long, means an Army win. It really is as simple as that. Can they do it? Sure. Will they do it? Who knows.

Alan’s Prediction:
Ball State 21
Army 20

Alan’s Haiku:
Cardinals on the road?
Needs a much different outcome
No roadkill allowed

Edge’s Prediction:
Ball State 10
Army 31

Edge’s Haiku:
Cardinals take flight
But if Stan attacks the ground
Ball State just might win

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