The dreary and wet 45-degree Muncie weather couldn't have illustrated Ball State University's football team's season any better. Central Michigan University quarterback Dan LeFevour, who passed for four touchdowns and ran for one, tainted an uneventful and bittersweet Senior Night.
Unlike last season, when Ball State beat Western Michigan University 45-22 during Senior Night, there were no fireworks or fans rushing the field celebrating an undefeated regular season record. For seniors, the 35-3 loss leaves a dissatisfied feeling.
"We shot ourselves in the foot," senior quarterback Tanner Justice said. "It's sad walking off the field knowing that I won't play here ever again. Especially next week when we are away and we won't have the whole team and be able to have the whole group of guys with us. It's just sad, especially when you lose. You want to play your best football at your last home game. Even though it's an away game, we do have one more game to put everything on the field."
Coach Stan Parrish said the atmosphere in the stands was tough for his seniors to witness. The weather coincided with a bleak and almost non-existent fan base. The attendance at Scheumann Stadium was a season-low 5,736 people. That is a difference of 18,125 people when compared to the Western Michigan game one year ago, which broke the attendance record with 23,861 fans in the stands.
"They were good, and we weren't very good," Parrish said. "We mishandled a bunch of plays and couldn't move the ball and that is tough. We helped create no atmosphere. And it's sad for those seniors, because they have done a really good job."
Despite the ho-hum evening, Justice said even with a victory it would not have amounted to the ambience seen last season.
"Last year, going 12-0 with the fireworks and the students rushing the field, there isn't anything like that," Justice said. "If we would have won the game it would have been great, no doubt, but nothing compares to last year going 12-0 and being ranked in the nation. It would have been great, really great to win tonight, but nothing would have compared to last year's game."