FINDING A WAY TO WIN
POZ'S POINTS: Cardinals use familiar method to upset No. 23 Rockets
Tyler Poslosky writes Poz's Points for the Daily News. His views do not necessarily reflect those of the paper or The Daily
TOLEDO, Ohio — As the nation clung to television sets, computers, phones or tablets in an effort to keep a close eye on election night, a small vibration rattled Ohio and trickled down through the heart of Indiana — the result of Ball State shocking No. 23 Toledo on national television.
It was a blistering, frigid night inside the Glass Bowl. But those who couldn’t get away from sports for a night witnessed a mid-major program prosper at perhaps the most opportune time, making a stand and giving itself and its fan base some much-needed jubilation.
“We’re not a great team,” coach Pete Lembo said, following Ball State’s 34-27 triumph over Toledo. “But we’re a team and we’re together. We keep believing.”
Through its ups, downs and everything in between, Ball State believed and found a way.
At times, Ball State looked like a dysfunctional marching band against Toledo, masked by faulty execution, shaky play and no rhythm.
At times, Ball State looked like the dominant team we’ve seen glimpses of all season long. One that torches the opposing defenses and comes up with clutch defensive saves of its own.
Still, other times showed Ball State interlocked in an old-fashioned thriller. One that appeared to come down to the waning seconds before the officials signaled the end of the entertainment.
Shades of everything were on display and the Cardinals launched themselves into the hierarchy of the Mid-American Conference kings.
Throw national television, a top-25 opponent and a pivotal conference showdown at it and Ball State won’t flinch. It won’t shy away or tap out, either. Rather, Ball State will find a way to flourish and battle its way through adversity while still maintaining its plan of adventuring into the deep depths of the college football unknown.
We haven’t seen competitive football of this stature here since 2008, when Nate Davis and company cruised their way to a perfect regular season. We haven’t seen this much elation since former women’s basketball coach Kelly Packard knocked off fifth-seeded Tennessee in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2009.
Lembo has crafted a program that’s giving us something to be excited about, and Ball State’s remarkable win over Toledo is further proof.
After suffering through so much pain and agony over the last few years, we now have something to look forward to — bowl season.
It’s finally time to lace up our bowling shoes, because Ball State has all but punched its ticket.