FOOTBALL: Reporter's notebook

The nine-game losing streak for Ball State University isn't the first time coach Stan Parrish has encountered a long losing streak. As coach of Kansas State University in the 1980s, Parrish went winless in his final 27 games as head coach.

So what similarities do you see between the two long losing streaks, coach?

"I don't remember," Parrish said. "I really don't. I have done a wonderful job of taking that situation and putting it in my rearview mirror. Probably overdone it, because I don't remember some of the kids that call from time to time."

Parrish said the most important thing about the Cardinals this year is that they haven't quit on the season yet.

"The one thing this team has not done is chuck it in," he said. "I know [captain] Brandon [Crawford] didn't think they finished the game very well, but they played a good second half."

That attitude is probably a credit to Ball State's senior leaders, who have been through losing seasons before.

"It's up to the seniors to keep the team together," senior safety Alex Knipp said.

Senior spirit

Linebacker Sam Woodworth returned to the starting lineup last Saturday against Bowling Green State University for the first time since Opening Night.

The fifth-year senior had two tackles and a pass breakup. Parrish said Woodworth is a hard worker.

"He walked on here, bulked himself up to be a linebacker," Parrish said. "He plays hard, been through a lot."

Woodworth isn't the only senior that has fought through their tough final season at Ball State. None of the seniors wanted to finish their college careers with a disappointing season.

"Those guys are all playing hard," Parrish said. "I give them a lot of kudos every day. These young guys have a lot to look forward to; these guys have a couple weeks. I want to treat them with respect and integrity."

Coaching connection

When Ball State heads to Eastern Michigan University for Saturday's game; it will find a familiar face in Ypsilanti, Mich.

Eric Lewis, the Eagles' defensive coordinator, was the defensive backs coach for Ball state from 2003-2005. After leaving Muncie, Lewis served as an assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers for two years.

He joined Eastern Michigan coach Ron English at the University of Louisville, when English was the defensive coordinator. When the Eagles hired Washington, Lewis followed.


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