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Ball State Spring Game Wrap Up

Photo Credit: Greg Fallon (The Star Press)

Pete Lembo and the Cardinals at the 2011 spring game

Alright… I have a confession to make. Despite running this website, lauding the Cardinals, and basically pissing Cardinal and White, I have never been to a Ball State spring game. To be fair, when I was in college (98-02) the football Cardinals were a Charles Barkley-esque turrrible. In fact, I’m not even sure ChuckWagon’s butchering of that adverb is quite the level of suck that the Cards rolled out in my early years. Being in the midst of a national attention-getting 21-game losing streak has the propensity to diminish the buy in of a student body that has better things to do on sunny spring days, like rate the females 1-10 on our giant dry erase board as they ran by on Riverside Ave. I’m not proud… that we missed the game, not that we objectified women. That part was awesome! But I digress. After college, the Cards got good but my attendance at the spring game still was an 0-fer. In my defense, I had moved to the East Coast. So making a 10 hour drive for a glorified practice seemed not only impractical but also exceptionally costly. This year is the first year that I actually contemplated going, and man oh man, I should have.

From the crowd size (between 1000-1200) to the festivities (coaches speaking to the crowd, etc) to seeing the future of this program live and in person, it seems from all accounts that the spring game was truly a celebratory and positive even for the football Cardinals, a tone and feeling that hasn’t been felt around this program since about game #2 of 2009.

Personnel-wise, there’s still a number of questions, but the answers are slowly but surely coming into focus. QBs Keith Wenning and Kelly Page split time as the starter during the spring game, but Lembo gives a slight edge to Wenning to be the starter when fall opens. Neither looked dominant, both had moments of positive and negative, but consider Wenning to be the clubhouse leader at this point as QB1 for the Cards. The other key position battle came at placekicker, where nothing has been announced, but Steven Schott did put a 49-yarder through the uprights with room to spare. Scott Secor also nailed a 38-yarder. Placekicking accuracy and distance like that makes the offensive strategy inside the 35 a little different, with the ability to take some risks knowing that three points are a probability. Perhaps the most dominant performance came from senior Briggs Orsbon, competing in his final spring game, who excelled regardless of who was throwing him the ball, as he pulled in a TD pass from Kelly Page and had a long gain inside the five-yard line from Keith Wenning.

With the spring game wrapping up, that means the offseason is really upon us now. 131 days until the season opener against the Hoosiers on 9/3 in Indy, and we plan on using each and every one of those to get you prepped for the coming season. As always, we’ll be prepping you on the Cardinals and the national landscape for the 2011 season, rocking out the weekly OTPCast, and hopefully doing some cool new things with multimedia. We’ll also be putting out a BSU all-decade team of the 00’s. Keep on reading, and we’ll keep on rocking your socks.

Go Cards!

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