Ball State, IU extend rivalry on gridiron through 2020

Senior runningback Barrington Scott celebrates after a run. DN PHOTO BOBBY ELLIS
Senior runningback Barrington Scott celebrates after a run. DN PHOTO BOBBY ELLIS

Joey Lynch experienced the intensity of Ball State’s rivalry with Indiana on the gridiron on Sept. 9, 2006, in Muncie.

His father was an assistant coach for the Hoosiers, adding an extra layer of motivation in the Lynch household.

For the first 30 minutes, son got the better of pops, and with Lynch at quarterback, the Cardinals took a 23-7 lead into the half. As was the case in the previous three matchups between the schools, however, Indiana prevailed, scoring 17 unanswered points in the second half for a 24-23 win.

Lynch finished 15-of-24 for 246 passing yards, three touchdowns and an interception, but Ball State had come up just short against its in-state rivals once again.

About nine years later, Lynch is Ball State’s offensive coordinator, and when the announcement came on March 2 that Ball State and Indiana had agreed to continue the rivalry through 2020, he was excited.

"I think it's great for the state," Lynch said. "When you have two Division I college sports [teams] playing each other, it's something that everyone looks forward to."

The Cardinals and Hoosiers won’t play in 2015, but the two teams are scheduled to meet on Sept. 16, 2016, in Bloomington.

Indiana holds a 4-3 advantage in the series, winning the first four games beginning in 1997. The Cardinals earned their first win of the series in 2008 during their undefeated regular season, and ended Indiana's 20-game winning streak against Mid-American Conference schools.

After winning 42-20 in 2008, the Cardinals defeated the Hoosiers in 2011 and again in 2012.

As a former player, Lynch knows what the in-state rivalry means for the players on his team.

"It's no different from when I played. A lot of our guys have a relationship with the guys over at IU," Lynch said.

From a player’s perspective, there's a different feeling playing a team from Indiana rather than just another school from the Mid-American Conference.

Running back Teddy Williamson won't be around when the Cardinals face off against the Hoosiers, but said he wishes he could be there to rekindle old memories.

"I think it's huge for Indiana to rekindle that rivalry,” Williamson said. “We've beaten them in the past. I know they're a good, Big Ten school ... the atmosphere is going to be great." 


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