Ball State Football (1-2) has a losing record for the first time since 2019, as they fell to Wyoming (3-0) 45-12. The Cardinals could never find a rhythm, as they fell into a 31-0 halftime deficit. The second half was closer, but Wyoming still had the edge and ultimately won the game.
"Obviously, a tough day today," head coach Mike Neu said. "I give Wyoming credit. They played a tough football game. We got off to a slow start on our end. Obviously, too many turnovers to have a chance to climb back into it.”
Here are 3 takeaways from Ball State’s loss.
After not throwing a single interception for an opposing team’s touchdown last season, redshirt fifth-year Drew Plitt threw one in the Cardinals’ third drive of the game.
He ended the day with just eight completions on 14 attempts for 60 yards and took five sacks on the afternoon. Plitt was benched in the second half, and redshirt junior John Paddock got most of the action, completing 13 of his 20 attempts for 82 yards and an interception.
Neu thought Plitt wasn’t handling some of the pressure well enough and wanted to see if Paddock could ignite the offense.
“Too many sacks,” Neu said. “I think there were opportunities where Drew [Plitt] in the worst-case scenario could have thrown the ball away. I thought he was pressing there a little bit too much. I wanted to see if John [Paddock] could provide us with a bit of a spark.”
Establish the run
Both redshirt junior running back Will Jones (10 carries) and freshman running back Carson Steele (13 carries) split the workload almost evenly. Steele ran for 76 yards and a touchdown and Jones ran for 47 yards and a touchdown, which were the Cardinals only two times finding the endzone.
“My mindset was to just run hard and run angry,” Jones said. “That was the same for Carson [Steele] too.”
In the last two games, Ball State has trailed by more than 15 points at the half. The Cardinals were down 24-6 at halftime in last week’s matchup against Penn State and were down 31-0 at halftime against Wyoming.
Redshirt fifth-year senior safety Bryce Cosby said he believes it starts with practice and doing the right things and making the extra effort in game preparation.
“The work, the preparation has to be consistent,” Cosby said. “If we lay down, nothing good is going to come out of that. We just have to keep grinding and stay true to our process.”