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Cards Top EMU, Become Toledo Fans For Now

Photo credit: Kurt Hostetler, The Star Press

Keith Wenning took a beating, but led the Cards to a win and Bowl eligibility

It was certainly a marketed fact by both BSU and EMU that there may be no more an improved team in FBS than the Eastern Michigan Eagles. Improved or not, the Cards chalked up their 6th win of the season Saturday by trumping the Eagles 33-31 behind the leg of Steven Schott. I was unable to watch the game since I attended the Maryland-Virginia game, but when I got a text from Edge that said, “Steven Schott For Heisman” I knew I was in for an enjoyable Sunday recapping a win instead of trying to find positiveness in a loss.

The stat line for the Cards wasn’t pretty as they were outgained 501-375 in total yards and gave up 300+ yards rushing. Despite that though, Keith Wenning again proved himself as a standout game manager, making the throws he needed to make when he needed to make them and limiting mistakes. Tori Gibson exploded for 142 yards and a TD on seven catches, making gameplanning for the Cardinals offense a frustrating experience. Between the bevy of receivers that are capable of busting loose or the three-headed rushing attack of Edwards, Scott, and Donigan, this offense is impressive and getting tighter game by game.

The special teams for the Cardinals again proved to be quite special indeed and was perhaps as important to the victory as any other area. Scott Kovanda (per usual) clocked in with 42+ yards per punt and Steven Schott was remarkable. 4/4 on field goals, 3/3 on extra points, and a flawless execution of the kicking game. It’s amazing to see just how much this staff’s preaching special teams has worked its way down to the players and the unit and watch that precision translate to victories.

The Cards now find themselves at 6-4 and 4-2 in the MAC, but do need some help to ensure a post season berth. Until the defeat last week by Western Michigan, the Cardinals were in control of their own destiny. With the WMU loss, the Cardinals lost that position, but can regain it with a Toledo Rocket win over Western on Tuesday night. A WMU loss means a BSU defeat of Toledo and NIU in the two remaining contests makes the Cardinals MAC West champions and headed to Detroit to play for the conference title. The harder part of that equation is the BSU W’s, but Tuesday night would be the first domino to fall for a BSU championship. Go Rockets!

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