Balance is what head coach Pete Lembo looks for in Ball State’s football team — a balanced plan of attack between the rushing and passing games.
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Early in the season, the running game was the Cardinals' strong suit on offense. The Cardinals have since shifted to a pass-heavy offense led by senior wide receiver Jordan Williams.
Riley Neal had his best game as the starting quarterback against the Northern Illinois Huskies, despite the 59-41 loss.
First QuarterThe Northern Illinois Huskies won the toss and deferred to the second half.Ball State starts three-and-out -- which included two dropped passes from KeVonn Mabon and Jordan Hogue -- but Kyle Schmidt’s punt hits a Northern Illinois player at their 41-yard line.
Ball State will face off against a very similar Mid-American rival, Northern Illinois, Oct. 10.
When Ball State recruited quarterback Riley Neal, they expected him to be their future. Little did they know, that future would begin in the first month of the season.
Second-half adjustments have been key to the Ball State football team's performance both offensively and defensively this season.Head coach Pete Lembo spoke at his weekly press conference on Oct. 6, touching on the team's performance against Toledo.
Late in the first quarter, Ball State was gifted with great field position after Toledo’s punt was partially blocked. At the time, both teams were scoreless, but after this turnover Toledo went on to take over the game. Here’s the anatomy of Neal’s fumble that gave Toledo the momentum.
Week four in the NFL brought even more success for former Ball State football players.Former receiver Willie Snead and former linebacker Jonathan Newsome both found more action on their respected teams, while Eric Patterson found a new home.
Ball State's strong-suit this year on offense has been the running game, but in the Oct. 3 Homecoming matchup, it was quite the opposite. The Cardinals were averaging 232 rushing yards per game prior to Toledo. The Rockets held them to 26 net yards on the ground while they ran for 280 yards of their own.
Five games, four missed field goals.Kicking issues have plagued the Cardinals this season, including this weekend's Homecoming loss against Toledo.
The Ball State football team dropped its Homecoming game to the visiting Toledo Rockets 24-10 on Saturday.Despite the two-score game, the Rockets controlled the game for the most part.
Heading into this week's Homecoming game, the Daily News is debuting a new weekly piece in which we speak to the opposing team's beat writer. Toledo, a team right outside the top 25 in the polls (No. 26), looks to come into Muncie to spoil Ball State's Homecoming.
In its first four games, the Ball State football team took on some tough teams, including nationally-ranked Texas A&M and Northwestern. It won't get any easier when the Cardinals host the Toledo Rockets in a Mid-American Conference tilt at Scheumann Stadium for Ball State's Homecoming weekend. The Rockets are just outside the nation's top-25 after a 3-0 start and wins over Arkansas and Iowa State.
This season, the Ball State offense has been steadily improving with freshman Riley Neal as the starting quarterback. But one thing is hampering the Cardinals from their full potential: missed opportunities and poor conversion rates on third down.
Ball State rushing attack vs. Toledo run defenseBall State: Ball State's ground game is averaging over 230 yards per game and have 10 touchdowns. These numbers look even more impressive with big games against Texas A&M and a top defense in Northwestern. Running back Darian Green has had no trouble running behind Ball State's veteran offensive line.
The Ball State running game has excelled this season, averaging over 230 yards per game through four games.Running the ball takes a team effort, but the Cardinals' attack has been ignited by two players. Head coach Pete Lembo does not "talk in absolutes or extremes," but said it all starts with two players.
After the Ball State football team missed several opportunities on offense throughout the first half, Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson gave Ball State another chance with a fumble right before halftime.
Following his performance against the No. 17 team in the country, Ball State linebacker Ben Ingle has been named the Mid-American Conference West Division Co-Defensive Player of the Week.
On the surface, Ball State's 24-19 loss at No. 17 Northwestern seems like a win.The Wildcats were a clear favorite in the game, and many people probably picked the Cardinals to get blown out.