Freshman running back James Gilbert attempts to run the ball down the field during the game against University of Massachusetts on Oct. 31 at Scheumann Stadium. DN PHOTO SAMANTHA BRAMMER

Ball State running backs ready for more after first week performance

The Cardinals rushed for 325 yards — most for a Ball State team since 2012 — and four scores in a 31-21 win over Georgia State Sept. 3. Staying true to its running back by committee approach, three different backs carried the ball and scored a touchdown in the season opener.

Junior outside hitter Sabrina Mangapora celebrates after a score at the game against IUPUI on Aug. 31 at John E. Worthen Arena. Kyle Crawford // DN

Ball State Athletics: Weekend in review

Labor Day weekend meant long road trips for Ball State athletics. Football went down to Georgia and beat Georgia State 31-21 in its season opener. Cross country finished third in the Butler Open in Carmel. Field hockey split its games in Louisville, soccer dropped two games in its California road trip and women's volleyball fell to 0-7 on the season.

Freshman quarterback Riley Neal hands the ball off to freshman running back James Gilbert during the game against the University of Massachusetts on Oct. 31 at Scheumann Stadium. DN PHOTO BREANNA DAUGHERTY

Ball State fights off slow start, runs through Georgia State

Ball State couldn’t catch its breath. Four plays into the game, the offense that chose to receive the ball to start the game was running the wrong way, as Jerome Smith’s black No. 20 jersey trotted into the end zone following an interception and sent the lower level at the Georgia Dome into a frenzy. Three plays later, Riley Neal's third down pass was tipped at the line.

New look offensive line preparing for game action

Chirp: X factors against Georgia State

Ball State secondary vs. Georgia State passing game Last season, the Cardinals’ secondary ranked in the bottom 10 in the nation in passing yards allowed per game, yards per attempt and opponent completion percentage.

The Ball State offensive line prepares to snap the ball during the football game against Georgia State on Oct. 17 at Scheumann Stadium. DN PHOTO ALAINA JAYE HALSEY

New look offensive line preparing for game action

The Cardinals' offensive line only allowed .92 sacks per game last year, good enough for fifth in the nation. But after losing three starters to graduation and their starting center to an injury in the spring, Ball State has a new look on the front line.

The Ball State football team faced the University of Massachusetts on Oct. 31 at Scheumann Stadium. Ball State won the competition 20-10.

Cardinals to play Penn State in 2021

Ball State football and Penn State have agreed to play in Beaver Stadium in 2021. Located in University Park, Pennsylvania, Beaver Stadium is the second-largest stadium in the country with a capacity of 106,572.

Ball State head football coach Mike Neu tells the Boys and Girls Club Youth Leadership Camp the story behind the Super Bowl ring on his right hand and the different styles of leaders invovled in the championship run. He was a scout for the New Orleans Saints when they won Super Bowl XLIV against the Indianapolis Colts in 2009. DN PHOTO COLIN GRYLLS

Neu among speakers at Boys and Girls Club Leadership Camp

Ball State football coach Mike Neu had a simple message for the local middle and high school students at the Boys and Girls Club Youth Leadership Boot Camp. “Our world needs difference-makers, and young people like you need to do something about it,” he said. “This right here is doing something about it.”

No mid-major school has ever won a college football national championship. Since the poll era began in 1936 the two leading conferences in championship victories come from the Southeastern Conference (23) and the Big 12 (20). DN ILLUSTRATION SIERRA THERRIEN

Mid-major football programs choose between FBS exposure, FCS competition

In 2008, Ball State football went a perfect 12-0 in the regular season, launching itself into the conversation for a spot in one of the most coveted bowl games in college football: the Bowl Championship Series. At the time, no Mid-American Conference school had ever played in a BCS game, and Ball State was riding high at No. 12 in the country, entering the conference championship game against a 7-5 Buffalo team. While Ball State was the favorite entering the game, a single 42-24 loss dropped the Cardinals down 10 spots in the NCAA rankings and landed them a spot in the GMAC Bowl, where it lost to Tulsa by 32 points. It is hard for mid-major schools to compare themselves with these Power Five goliaths, but reaching national prominence remains their goal. “Most of what we enjoy most about Division I athletics is that we’re playing at the highest level,” Ball State Athletic Director Mark Sandy said.

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