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Final Word on CMU

The Final Word 200Last night at Scheumann Stadium was just about perfect. Admittedly, I (and truthfully most everyone else) expected a dominant performance from the Cardinals. This was a CMU team that wasn’t exceptionally talented, they aren’t extremely well-coached, and they had a slew of injuries that put them at a marked disadvantage. But then the hands of fate began to intercede, or so it seemed. First came the rain, football’s great equalizer. The slippery stuff that makes the passing game tricky and footing even more so. Then came the news of a possible return for one of CMU’s biggest weapons.

Pre-game there was a buzz on Twitter that running back Zurlon Tipton would be dressed and ready to play for the Chips last night. Tipton at his best, is one of the conference’s best, and his injury in week 1 (a broken ankle) set the tone for a disappointing 2013 for CMU. There was hopes that his triumphant return would make the difference between a W and an L. It certainly didn’t. (More on his return below)

Ball State did what every fan has been hoping for all season, and that’s start hot. The Cards certainly did that, seemingly unaffected by the weather woes in East Central Indiana, jumping out to a 21-0 lead as the second quarter started. Everything about their performance was stellar. Perhaps most stellar of all though was the dominance exerted by the offensive line. The offense was humming along in large part thanks to the fact that the hogmollies were straight BLOWING people off the line of scrimmage. It was the most dominant line of scrimmage performance I can remember since Indiana in Lucas Oil Stadium.

In the end, Keith Wenning did what Keith Wenning does, Willie Snead did what Willie Snead does, and Horactio Banks and Jahwan Edwards went for over two hundred on the ground. Even the defense was at least decent when it had to be. All that adds up to another 2013 day after gameday where we sit smiling about a 44-24 victory and wondering what’s in store for this version of the Cardinals. Like Pete Lembo said in the post-game, “Another day at the office…” So the final word for CMU is…

indefectible (adj.)

  • not liable to fault or imperfection; faultless

Some other thoughts on the win…

  • Horactio Banks might be one of my favorite players on this team, largely because you had best not blink when he touches the ball. He reminds me a little of Corey Sykes and the combination of Edwards and Banks is eerily similar to Quale and Sykes. Banks went for 143 and a score last night and probably could have went for 200 had they pushed it, or you know, Quake hadn’t rushed for 90 of his own yards.
  • Keith Wenning had his second straight game under 300 yards, but since he threw for 299 and 4 scores in a 20-point win that wasn’t even that close, I guess I can let it slide. I’m obviously a homer, but I’d take Wenning over every other QB in this conference right now. Yes, even the one up the road in Dekalb.
  • Jamill Smith got back in gear Wednesday night and was one broken tackle away from making our pregame prediction of a return TD come true. He also caught 6 balls for 91 yards and a TD. Part of the success of the Lembo/Skrosky offense is having multiple weapons all capable of scoring and demanding attention from the defense. Snead, Smith, Williams, Fakes, etc. all need to be cranking to really make this offense motor.
  • If you haven’t watched Coach Pete Lembo’s post-game press conference, I suggest you do it. I have never seen CPL so prickly. I think the personal fouls and the defensive breakdowns put him in a bit of a sour mood, and then when someone asked about NIU rather than CMU, it was on like donkey kong. CPL even pulled a Les Miles, put the hand up, and stopped a reporter mid-sentence. God, I hope it was someone from The Star Press. They’re the worst.
  • Also in that presser linked above are three things CPL doesn’t believe in: 1.) That it’s difficult to play on the road 2.) That there’s such a thing as a let down game. 3.) Acknowledging anything down the road. It’s around the 12:30 mark of the presser. Check it out. I think you’ll like it.
  • Wenning and Snead were asked about whether practicing without an indoor practice facility made them a better team on tricky weather nights. Jo Ann Gora snuck that reporter in. Guaranteed.
  • The weather definitely had an effect on the attendance. The announced crowd was 9,494 and in truth, it was probably less than that. I hate it for the players, the athletic department, and the Dance Marathon people who worked their rears off to try to make Project 10,000 a success. Sometimes mother nature has different plans and that sucks.
  • Why CMU decided to burn an almost guaranteed medical redshirt for Zurlon Tipton for 8 yards on 5 carries on a poor weather night is beyond me. Clearly, either CMU isn’t a players first program or Tipton is leaving at the end of this year come hell or high water. Either way, I think it’s a crummy decision. If the same situation was present for BSU and Lembo burns a redshirt for Banks or Quake to finish out a crummy season, I would be livid. I hope the CMU fans are.

Now the Cardinals have to get ready for Northern Illinois and Heisman hopeful Jordan Lynch in what is being dubbed the Game of the Year in the MAC, and in some respects, may be as watched as the BSU/CMU game in 2008. It’s everything you could possibly want in a mid-week MAC game and frankly, anything you could even think of happening I wouldn’t discount. 55-52 shoot out? Wouldn’t shock me. 20 point blow out for either team? Wouldn’t surprise me in the least. Defensive struggle that ends in single digit scores? Ok… that would shock me. Bring on NIU and Go Cards!

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2 Responses

  1. Jokes on you. Game ends in a 3-0 BSU win in OT! šŸ˜›

  2. I wouldn’t like it, but I’d take it. At this point, a W is a W.

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