The kicking game was Ball State University's strength just three weeks ago. Now coach Stan Parrish is making a call to the bullpen.
Ian McGarvey missed two of his last three extra point attempts in costly situations. Kickoff specialist Jake Hogue sent one of his kicks out of bounds Saturday at Temple University, something that Parrish said sucked the wind out of the team. Even punter Scott Kovanda had a poor game in Philadelphia, averaging four fewer yards per kick.
"I'm gravely concerned with our kicking game," Parrish said. "I thought it was a strong point three weeks ago, not anymore."
Parrish said that changes will be coming this week. At the start of the year, Parrish said he felt like a baseball manager with his kickers. Now he's ready to make a move to freshman Steven Schott. He will get a chance to either do kickoffs or placekicks Saturday against Bowling Green State University.
"He has not had the opportunity yet with us," Parrish said. "We brought him here to be a kicker. He certainly will get a chance this week. Scott's going to punt, otherwise the jobs are wide open right now."
McGarvey has made 11 of his 13 field goals and has not missed since the third game of the year. His school-record streak of 81 consecutive extra points was snapped against the University of Toledo.
Parrish also said the Cardinals won't use rugby-style punts with the same frequency anymore. Ball State had been using them to combat wind and to kick away from opponents.
"I'm just going to let this kid kick," Parrish said. "We'll use the rugby tactically when we think it's right. We won't overdue it and I think that'll help him."
Special teams isn't the only place the Cardinals will have a new look this week. Freshman cornerback Jason Pinkston will replace junior Koreen Burch in the starting lineup. Burch has been beat for touchdowns twice in two weeks in high-profile situations.
At Temple, Pinkston had the third most tackles for Ball State with five.
Pinkston has impressed the coaches with his improved play.
[He] had a good game," Parrish said. "The learning curve for him is over. He did a great job. That's what we were looking for."
Pinkston has played in four games and has nine tackles. He also intercepted a pass at Auburn University, filling in for an injured Charlie Todd.
Parrish particularly likes the Cleveland native's athleticism.
"He's young but he has a lot of skills," Parrish said. "He's a very confident guy."