Ball State football team has one more to win, kudos to Hill

Last night I was a Toledo fan.

You know, Toledo -- the team we upset and ripped down goal posts in front of three weeks ago.

You know, Toledo -- the team with the coach I called a looooooser.

Yeah me, I was a Toledo fan last night.

The question obviously is: Why?

Last night on ESPN,Toledo faced Western Michigan, both Mid-American Conference West teams. It was a game that essentially served as a huge chapter in Ball State's book titled, "Quest for a Championship."

It boiled down to this: If Toledo defeated Western, then all Ball State would have left to do is defeat Northern Illinois. If Western defeated Toledo, Ball State would have to win two games, forcing the Cardinals to defeat Northern Illinois and Western Michigan.

So, now you understand why I wore my Rocketman outfit to the newsroom last night.

Not that my support really had much to do with it, but Toledo shut down the Broncos capturing the win with a final score of 41-35.

So now it's official, Ball State is one game away.

First, this week we take on Kent State. Interestingly enough, Kent State is in the East Division of the MAC. That means the game doesn't mean anything in the standings. That means Kent could come to Muncie this Saturday and win by 100 points and we would remain atop the MAC West. This weekend's game isn't completely unimportant, it will help Ball State to get a win for momentum's sake.

The game that stands between Ball State and a MAC West title is the game scheduled for Nov. 17 against Northern Illinois.

It's simple. The Cardinals win that game; the Cardinals become MAC West Champions after starting a season packed with criticism and four consecutive losses.

So, the only way Ball State will not become MAC West Champs is to lose against Northern Illinois and against Western Michigan, the final regular season game of the year.

I would encourage everyone to make their way out to Ball State Stadium this weekend. Sounds to me like you will be watching a future championship team. Might as well say you were a fan before the MAC title game comes to Muncie.

Before I sign off for the week, on a totally different note, Kudos to Ball State quarterback Talmadge Hill this week.

Hill, named Offensive MAC West Player of the Week, completed 14 of 27 passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns against Central Michigan Saturday.

I send kudos to the sophomore quarterback not because of his Player of the Week nod, but because of how he actually played.

He threw to seven different receivers, and the passes were evenly distributed with Billy Lynch having only three as the leader. Not only did he evenly distribute them, he dumped a couple of bombs that most people didn't think Hill was capable of throwing. One throw for 78 yards, one for 38 and one for 37. That's decent anyway you cut it.

Before Saturday's game against Central Michigan, Hill had some trouble turning the ball over with five turnovers in two games. Saturday, he played smarter throwing the ball away when he needed to and scrambling from behind the line when he was pressured.

Oh, one more thing. Just in case there are any critics left out there for Ball State football, choke on this. Ball State has had four MAC West Players of the Week in the past four weeks, there was almost five as Lorenzo Scott got a second nomination for the defensive spot this past week.

If you ask me, it's not too shabby for a team that was in supposed desperate need for some "changes."

Write to Greg at gmfallon@bsu.edu


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