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Ball State Preview 2006 - Offense

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 7, 2006


Ball State Cardinals Preview 2006 - Cardinal Offense

What you need to know ... Early suspension, no stability on the line, and too many young, inexperienced players contributed to a disastrous season finishing 106th in the nation in total offense averaging 299 yards and 21 points per game. Fortunately, ten starters return helped immensely by a line that should be night-and-day better now that tackles Andre Ramsey and Robert Brewster aren't true freshmen anymore. Joey Lynch has the potential to be one of the MAC's better quarterbacks with a good receiving corps to throw to. There's no power in the backfield, but speed backs B.J. Hill and Larry Bostic can be effective if they get room to run.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Joey Lynch
198-314, 1,982 yds, 18 TD, 7 INT
Rushing: B.J. Hill
82 carries, 421 yds, 2 TD
Receiving: Terry Moss
36 catches, 420 yds, 4 TD

Star of the offense: Senior QB Joey Lynch
Player that has to step up and become a star: Sophomore OTs Andre Ramsey and Robert Brewster
Unsung star on the rise: Ramsey
Best pro prospect: Sophomore TE Darius Hill
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Lynch, 2) WR Louis Johnson, 3) Hill
Strength of the offense: Tight end, experience
Weakness of the offense:
Size in the backfield, quality pass protection

Quarterbacks
Joey Lynch has All-MAC potential with an experienced receiving corps to work with and all five starters returning to the line to give him more protection. Considering all the problems of last year, Lynch had a fine season. Outside of not getting rid of the ball quickly enough, he didn't make many mistakes. Warren Suess is a capable number two man, while 6-7 Zach ones and fellow redshirt freshman Tanner Justice will battle for the number three spot.
The key to the unit: Carve out a little bit of meaningful playing time for the backups in case something happens to Joey Lynch and to get the ball rolling for the 2007 race for the starting job.
Quarterback Rating: 6.5

Projected Starter
- Joey Lynch, Sr. - 198-314, 63%, 1,982 yds, 18 TD, 7 INT
Lynch has the potential to be one of the MAC's best quarterbacks. He had a sensational 2005 under trying circumstances with little support around him and an offensive line that nearly got him killed. He's a good decision maker with an accurate arm, and he's deadly when he gets hot. He won't run for yards, but he has a little bit of mobility. Expect bigger numbers and more deep balls as the line starts to provide better protection giving Lynch more time to let plays develop.

Top Backups
- Warren Suess, Soph. - 6-13, 46%, 67 yds
Suess is a bigger option than Joey Lynch at 6-4 and 206 pounds and is more of a runner, but he's the clear number two man. He saw time in mop-up duty last season and has a little bit of practice experience to rely on.

- Zach Jones, RFr.
Jones is a huge option as the number three man. He's 6-7 and 220 pounds with a big arm. He'll need practice time and reps to be in the mix for the 2007 starting job.

Running Backs
The loss of Charles Wynn takes away a special back that added punch to the offense, but there are quick veterans returning and several options to choose from. B.J. Hill and Larry Bostic are small speed backs who should form a dangerous 1-2 punch, but the backfield needs Brenton Martin or Nick Wedlow to provide more power. The fullback situation is solid with the return of Brad Salyer, but the carries are reserves for the tailbacks.
The key to the unit: Find a steady short yardage back to grind out tough yards and get more big plays from B.J. Hill and Larry Bostic.
Running Back Rating: 5.5

Projected Starters
- B.J. Hill, Soph. 82 carries, 420 yds, 5.1 ypc, 2 TD, 18 catches, 123 yds
Hill was a spot starter last year while Charles Wynn was serving out his suspension, and he had a strong year finishing second on the team in rushing. He's a small, quick back at 5-7 and 181 pounds with good hands and good moves in open space. He was one of the stars of the five-overtime win over Western Michigan with 170 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. He's also a kick returner.

- Fullback Brad Salyer, Sr.- 9 catches 38 yds, 2 TD
One of the MAC's stronger run blockers, the 242-pound senior doesn't run the ball, but he'll get a few catches from time to time. He was part of the suspensions early last year missing plenty of action, and now he returns to be one of the keys to the ground attack.

Top Backups
- Larry Bostic, Sr. - 64 carries, 196 yds, 3.1 ypc, 3 TD, 12 catches, 105 yds
Bostic returned from a knee injury only to be suspended for time last year. He's a fast back with good straight line speed and great hands, but he doesn't provide much power at 5-7 and 189 pounds
- Brenton Martin, Sr. - 2 catches, 9 yards
The former walk-on didn't see anything in the way of carries last year, but that could change this year as he'll provide more power at 221 pounds than the smaller B.J. Hill and Larry Bostic.
- Nick Wedlow, Soph. - 11 carries, 17 yds
It'll be interesting to see how Wedlow's role increases. He fits the mold of the rest of the BSU backs and was a productive player in high school, but he doesn't have special moves like starter B.J. Hill. Even so, he's a tough runner who should get around 50 carries this year.
- Fullback Chris Clancy, Soph.
Brad Salyer is firmly entrenched as the starting fullback, but Clancy can be a part of the offense as a receiver as well as a blocker. He ran for 2,219 yards in high school and could be used as a more of a power runner than Salyer.

Receivers
This should be a plus with three good options at both of the receiver spots and a deep and talented group of tight ends with four solid options. Louis Johnson was one of last year's breakout players, and now he should be in for a big season on the outside with veteran Terry Moss cleaning up everything on the inside. There are good prospects waiting in the wings led by redshirt freshmen Jon Myles and DeAndre Rogers, and solid veterans in Dan Dunford and Bryan Williamson to count on. Tight end is one of the team's biggest strengths with Michael Steinhaus an experienced starter and Darius Hill a pass catching star on the rise.
The key to the unit: Getting a bit more out of the deep passing game and developing the good young prospects into steady performers.
Receiver Rating: 5.5

Projected Starters
- Louis Johnson, Soph. - 28 catches, 413 yds, 14.8 ypc, 1 TD
He's a rail-thin 6-1 and 178 pounds, but he's a speedy deep threat who had a nice first season highlighted by a seven-catch, 132-yard day against Ohio. After being a spot starter last year, he'll hold down one of the starting job from day one as a field-stretcher on the outside.

- Terry Moss, Sr. - 36 catches, 420 yds, 11.7 ypc, 4 TD
Moss led the team in receiving last year as the steadiest target all season long. He's not a gamebreaker, but he's a reliable medium range target with the quickness and experience to always be open. He'll be the team's number one receiver again, especially underneath.

- Tight end Michael Steinhaus, Sr. - 11 catches, 81 yds, 7.4 ypc, 1 TD
Steinhaus didn't make the impact he was expected to as a receiver, but he has good hands and a is a solid route runner. At 6-3 and 256 pounds, he's a physical target who can also block a little bit. 

Top Backups
- Dan Dunford, Jr. - 15 catches, 185 yds, 12.3 ypc, 1 TD
Dunford is one of the team's better athletes able to return kicks as well as take over the starting role on the outside if needed. He's a good deep threat who caught a 64-yard touchdown pass against Bowling Green.
- DeAndre Rogers, RFr.
A good scorer in high school and a champion hurdler, the 6-3 Rogers will be an intriguing option on the outside playing behind Louis Johnson and Dan Dunford.
- Bryan Williamson, Sr. - 3 catches, 24 yds
Buried deep on the depth chart after only playing in three games last year, Williamson will try to get back in the mix after being one of the team's top receivers over the previous few seasons. He's a physical 6-3 and 207 pounds with 60 career catches for 673 yards and three touchdowns. .

- Jon Myles, RFr.
It'll be interesting to see how quickly the team brings Myles along. He's not huge, but he's a physical receiver for the underneath routes adding a bit more size than Terry Moss.
- Tight end Darius Hill, Soph. - 11 catches, 136 yds, 12.4 ypc, 3 TD
The 6-6, 230-pound sophomore is a big-time athlete and certain to push Michael Steinhaus for time at tight end. He became a factor over the second half of the season starting out with a five-catch, 55-yard, one touchdown day against Western Michigan, and now he'll play a major role in two tight end sets.

Offensive Linemen
The line was awful last season allowing 43 sacks and only paving the way for 110 yards per game, but that's primarily because it never got a chance to jell. Early suspensions and starting two true freshmen at tackle made it hard to develop any continuity as the line rarely had the same starting lineup two weeks in a row. Things should be appreciably better with tackles Andre Ramsey and Robert Brewster now experienced sophomores and a good-sized group of guards to help out the running game. Depth is an issue early on, especially at tackle, where there aren't enough athletes to form a steady rotation.

The key to the unit: Continuity. The line needs to keep the same starting five together for a few games. Better pass protection will be the key to the attack.
Offensive Line Rating: 5

Projected Starters
- OT Andre Ramsey, Soph.
Ramsey became one of the line's better players getting the start from day one as a true freshman. He's still developing after coming to BSU as a good 285-pound prospect and has now become a solid, strong 308-pound blocker at left tackle.
- OG Justin Schneider, Sr.
Mostly a tackle early in his career, the veteran spent most of last year shuffling between the two guard spots with a few starts at left tackle. He's the senior member of the line and will get the start at left guard forming a solid side of the line with tackle Andre Ramsey. He's also listed as the backup behind Ramsey.
- C Dan Gerberry, Soph.
Gerberry was one of the line's steadiest players starting every game in the middle. He's a good sized MAC center at 285 pounds and is a good leader for the line.
- OG Dustin Brown, Jr.
The 301-pound Brown is a tough, veteran run blocker who got back into the mix after missing the early part of last year and was a key blocker at both guard positions. He'll get the starting now at right guard and should be one of the team's better maulers. He can play center if needed.
- OT Robert Brewster, Soph.
Brewster started from day one of his true freshman year and has a boatload of potential. He's getting in better shape after coming to BSU at 330. Now he's a leaner 320 and should be better in pass protection.

Top Backups
- G Eric Larrimer, Soph.
Larrimer started out as a reserve tackle before spending last year as a spot starter at guard. He played the first three games at left guard before the starters were able to get back in the mix, and he has the experience, toughness, and 307-pound size to see plenty of action this year..
- G John Purdy, Fr.
He's huge. At 6-6 and 341 pounds, Purdy is a massive prospect at right guard behind Dustin Brown. If nothing else, he'll be an option to go to on short yardage situations to move the pile.

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