FOOTBALL: Ozzie Mann Outpaced Keith Wenning

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Ozzie Mann runs the ball during the game against Colgate on Aug. 30 at Scheumann Stadium. DN FILE PHOTO BREANNA DAUGHERTY
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Ozzie Mann runs the ball during the game against Colgate on Aug. 30 at Scheumann Stadium. DN FILE PHOTO BREANNA DAUGHERTY

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One off-season radically shifted the Ball State football team’s level of success. The Cardinals are 1-4 and looking for answers at quarterback after finishing last season 10-2 and making a second consecutive bowl game appearance. The transition from record-setting quarterback Keith Wenning to recently-benched redshirt sophomore quarterback Ozzie Mann and his redshirt freshman replacement Jack Milas isn’t smooth thus far.

But huge successes take time to develop. Take Wenning, a guy who holds the Ball State career records for touchdown passes and passing yards and now plays for the Baltimore Ravens, for example. He threw 21 passes for 89 yards in his first start — numbers far worse than he averaged in his next three seasons. In Wenning’s defense, he was a true freshman splitting time with then redshirt sophomore Kelly Page.

Mann was neither splitting time with another player, nor a raw freshman. So maybe comparisons shouldn’t be drawn between him and his predecessor. Maybe that 2010 team was worse off than this year’s team in terms of overall talent and ability.

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