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Ball State-Akron Live Thread

OTP Logo 200It’s time for another home game for the Cards and OTP is live from the box in Scheumann Stadium. It’s been an adventurous home season for the Pylon, as a family death and Fearless Leader vomiting his guts out have kept us away aside from the Indiana State debacle. That was the premier of the fancy new Live Thread format here at OTP. It was not an awesome debut. So, we’ll try to shake up the mojo this week as the Cards get the 4-3 Akron Zips. Refresh this page often as we’ll be updating throughout the day with our usual panache.

PREGAME

  • It’s an absolutely gorgeous day at the Scheu. Though it’s picture perfect for football, you wouldn’t know it from the tailgate lots or the stadium stands. Let’s say it’s sparse, and I feel like even “sparse” is overselling the situation here.
  • Coolest moment of the day was sitting down and within maybe 5 minutes hearing Morry Mannies chatting down the row. Still a legend and still the voice of the Cards.
  • Akron wins the toss, defers to the 2nd half. BSU will get the ball to open the game. Also, the Zips helmets are quite shiny. Like, ocular-ly offensively so.
  • BSU with the red jerseys, red pants, white numerals, and white helmets. That should be the last sartorial tweet of the day.

1st QUARTER

  • We said on the lead up to this week’s game that it would need to be the Milas show, and so far, that has been the case. First drive for the Cardinals leads to a Scott Secor field goal and it’s 3-0 good guys. 3 straight completions to open the drive moved the Cards to the Akron 30 before stalling out, but that’s a good sign. With a presence through the air, Quake should find the sledding at least somewhat manageable against a stout Akron run defense. 3-0 BSU
  • We also said on the lead up that stopping Akron through the air and specifically when the Zips hit the red zone are absolutely critical. Akron is one of the worst teams in the FBS in red zone scoring conversion. They didn’t show it that first drive. One long completion down the middle seam (as usual), and a touch pass from Akron QB Tommy Woodson to TE Anthony Ritossa and it’s 7-3 AKR
  • BSU forced to punt and Akron quickly moves the ball deep in to Cardinal territory. Three quick passes and the Zips are inside the BSU 30.
  • After forcing a 4th and inches with a questionable spot, Akron converts on the BSU 13 and takes the next play to the house on a Conor Hundley sweep. Typical fashion for this season, with just fluke luck and the 50-50 moments never seeming to go the Cards way save for a Secor kick in Mt. Pleasant last week. 14-3 AKR
  • First quarter comes to a close and the Cards have some work to do. Offense needs to find a rhythm and the defense needs to disrupt Akron’s.

2nd QUARTER

  • So the story of the first quarter has been two giant “questionable” spots from the officials in critical third downs. One led directly to 7 points, and the second drive is still unfurling. I guess the only thing to expect from MAC officials is the unexpected. Much like the worst version of Big Brother.
  • After a drive that had a little bit of everything from Quake getting the mojo going to dumb penalties on both squads, Cards have to settle for a 20-yard Scott Secor field goal. Getting points? Good. Cutting the lead to one possession? Also good. Settling for field goals against an explosive MAC offense isn’t a sustainable strategy. Cards need to hold the Zips on this drive and put points on the board before the half or it’s going to be a long afternoon. 14-6 AKR
  • Another drive, another Akron touchdown. This Zips offense is humming right along. It’s been a balanced rush/pass effort and to be honest, the BSU defense hasn’t played poorly save for a couple plays. Hasn’t mattered to the Zips and it’s just been a consistent good performance. They also get the ball to open the 2nd half, so the next drive is critical for the Cards to either score or make it to half. Preferably both. 21-6 AKR
  • Giant completion down the sideline to Jordan Williams and he shows again why he’s one of the best in the conference. Pretty timed ball from Milas as well. Followed by a KeVonn Mabonn on the reverse and he finds the end zone on a 13-yard scamper. Absolutely critical must-score drive and the Cards came up big. 21-13 AKR
  • Ball State defense with a giant three-and-out to give the offense a chance. Fair caught at the 11, and the Cards move it quickly down the field, thanks in large part to a roughing the passer call on the Zips followed by an offsides. Gives Secor a shot from 46 out, pushes it wide right as the half comes to a close. But still, the spark this offense showed on the final drive is encouraging. Akron gets the ball to open the 2nd half.

3rd QUARTER

  • Reading through the tweets and messageboards, the BSU defense is getting absolutely crushed online. They do step up and force a punt on Akron’s 1st 2nd half possession. After the touchback, the offense takes over on the 20, down 8, needing to grab the momentum.
  • BSU drive stalls out, and the Secor field goal is pushed wide right. Immediately followed by a Ben Ingle interception. Cards need a score here.
  • Cards work it down inside the 10, have to settle for a 23-yard Scott Secor field goal. Disappointing given the strong need to get 7s here rather than 3s but points are points I suppose. 21-16 AKR with 6:32 to go.
  • Zack Ryan wasn’t the intended receiver, but he made the wide open catch on the Akron INT. A heavy does of Quake, mixed with some Akron penalties, a botched review on a potential drive-extending Jordan Williams catch, and the 3rd quarter comes to a close with a Scott Secor 27-yard field goal to come.

4th QUARTER

  • And the final quarter opens with said Scott Secor kick, straight and true and the Cards pull within a field goal of the outright lead. 21-19 AKR
  • Cards force a defensive stand and an Akron punt, then put up their own three and out. Of course, that’s followed by a muffed Akron punt return and a Jack Milas QB keeper touchdown because that’s just the way this game was scripted, don’t you know? 2-point conversion is no good, but BSU has the lead with under 12:00 to go. 25-21 BSU
  • After a blocked punt, Cardinals convert with a touchdown run from Quake Edwards, running the score to 19-0 good guys since the half. We are under 7 minutes to go and it’s 32-21 BSU. I would think an argument could be made that Akron has certainly tried their best to give the game away, but credit to the Cardinals for being able to capitalize.

 

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