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Stream of Consciousness: NIU

bronze stalk

The winner has to take this? Gah... you can have it, NIU.

Another game, another loss, another example of Ball State coming up just short as Northern Illinois beat the Cardinals 26-20 tonight in Dekalb. The first quarter saw the Cardinal offense do well and the defense get burned. Ironically, those roles would be reversed as the game progressed.

The defensive pass coverage? Not so great. The passing game? Not so great. The offensive line? Very much not so great. But yet, like almost every game this season, here was Ball State in a position to win this game as the clock wound down in the 4th quarter. Could bitter and angry fans point to the officials who “missed” a call as NIU fumbled on the goal line? Perhaps. But this was not a game lost on that particular possession. This was a game lost in the small things throughout the 4 quarters that Ball State simply couldn’t get done, just as they’ve failed to do all year.

The fact that we played a MAC game, on the road, against a one-loss in conference team down to the wire despite countless things that went against the Cards gives me hope, but it is a hope that wanes with each loss, no matter the circumstances, the situations, or the would-a’s, should-a’s, or could-a’s. Eventually, this team has to close games. They have to play through bad breaks or just avoid them all together. When that happens, then this team will be competitive with any team on their schedule. We can only hope it happens over the next two weeks against Central or Western Michigan.

So here we sit at 1-9, and while 8 of those 9 could have easily went the other way, that doesn’t make it any easier. Perspective will hopefully come by tomorrow and we’ll have more then. Congrats to the Northern Illinois Huskies on a hard fought win.

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