Five games, four missed field goals.Kicking issues have plagued the Cardinals this season, including this weekend's Homecoming loss against Toledo.
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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.
Coming into Ball State's road contest with No. 17 Northwestern, it looked as if the Cardinals' offense would be in for a long night.Ball State controlled most of the first half, however, and the offense gained 359 yards — 181 on the ground — against the nation's No. 10-ranked defense in a 24-19 loss.
Ball State moved the ball on offense against No. 17 Northwestern's nationally-ranked defense, but missed opportunities cost the Cardinals in a 24-19 loss on the road.
The Cardinals elected to receive the ball to open the game against Northwestern.
The Ball State football team will face a stiff test on the road against Northwestern, as it will battle with the No. 10 defense in the country in Evanston, Ill.Through three games, Northwestern has allowed just 16 points and is allowing 235 yards per game during a 3-0 start. The Wildcats held Stanford to six points and Duke to 10 points last week.
After two subpar showings against Virginia Military Institute and Texas A&M, the Ball State defense improved significantly in its week three win.
Ball State alum and rookie cornerback Eric Patterson played in his first NFL game for the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 21.The 2014 graduate began his professional career by earning a spot on the Colts’ practice squad. He was promoted to the 53-man roster after rookie cornerback D’Joun Smith was placed on the injured reserve/designated to return list on Sept. 18.
A second week of NFL play brought a second big milestone for a former Ball State football player. Former receiver Willie Snead caught his first NFL touchdown for the Saints, while cornerback Eric Patterson was promoted to the Colts' active roster.
In a situation similar to last year, Ball State's backup quarterback has provided a needed spark to the offense.Trailing 17-0 to Eastern Michigan, freshman Riley Neal entered the game for Jack Milas. Neal finished the game 24-28 for 194 yards and a touchdown and added 93 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
Freshman Riley Neal got the Ball State offense going, and the Cardinals used a run-heavy attack to earn a come-from-behind 28-17 victory Sept. 19 at Eastern Michigan.
Gilbert managed to punch it in for the Cardinals from 5 yards out bringing an end to the 20 play, 85 yard 9:49 second drive.