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Ball State football comes up short, still finds positives in loss

Cardinals taste defeat against Toledo 13-6 in Kelly’s promising first start.

MUNCIE, Ind. (NewsLink Indiana) — After dropping three games in a row, Ball State Football faces Toledo for their

MAC home opener.

It is a test from the start as rain begins towards the end of the first quarter, but a test that head coach Mike Neu believes the Cardinals are ready for.

“We preach all the time about being a football team that is tough, is hard-nosed, and plays the game nasty but the right way,” Neu said.
But that isn’t enough as Ball State falls in a 13-6 final. Not all is lost though as the Cardinals have a new look on offense with Kiael Kelly earning his first collegiate start at QB. Kelly is the third different starting quarterback for the Cards this season, but despite the loss, Kelly proves that he may be the best option for the squad moving forward.

“Ever since I started playing quarterback, I always wanted to play at the highest level," Kelly said. "This is the highest level I’ve been to so far so to finally get that first start felt good emphatically."

The Cardinal defense continues to improve as well, only allowing 13 points to a Toledo offense that averages 41 per game. Senior linebacker Sidney Houston Jr. believes that there is still room for improvement on the defensive side of the ball.

“Once we can get on the same page, there’s nothing that we can’t do. We know we are a way better team than our record states and he numbers show, but we can’t change that narrative until we do something about it ourselves,” Houston said recounting the defense’s missed opportunities.

Regardless of a 1-6 start, the future under Kelly and a menacing defense looks bright for the Cardinals, a sentiment shared among coaches and players alike.

Contact Jake Dickman with comments at jacob.dickman@bsu.edu