Ball State football will take the field in a game situation for the first time since November 24, 2015. 

The 14 spring practices leading up to this have allowed head coach Mike Neu and his staff to implement offensive and defensive schemes in preparation for the Spring Game. 

Neu is looking forward to seeing which of his players can handle the game-like situation on Saturday.

“For us, as a new staff, spring practice gives us a chance to get to know our players and to see who is making plays,” Neu said. “Here at the end, we get into a game type of environment ... a lot of times, you want to see who can respond when the lights are bright.”

This year’s format will implement a four-quarter game with a running clock. There will also be game-like competitions in-between quarters to keep the up-tempo atmosphere Neu created this spring.

A new coaching staff brings new offensive and defensive schemes for the players to learn as it wraps up its spring schedule.

“I have been very impressed with their overall knowledge,” Neu said. “The players have been willing to embrace the change. You can tell they have been doing a great job of studying the information we have been giving them.”

Saturday’s scrimmage will be the players' first real chance to show what they learned throughout the spring.

“I am looking forward to just getting a chance to play instead of installing stuff,” sophomore quarterback Riley Neal said. “It is nice to just be football players and get out and play.”

It is not always easy to learn a new system, but the team is buying in and Neu is happy with what he sees from his team.

Ball State is set to return six starters on the offensive and nine of the defensive side of the ball. The seniors are key for the coaching staff moving forward.

“We have a good group of senior leadership,” Neu said. “They will make sure the workouts are what they need to be.”

After Saturday, players have all summer to continue working on their bodies and the playbooks without Neu's help.

Ball State football fans will get a glimpse of Neu in his first game situation at 3 p.m. on April 23 at Scheumann Stadium.