Depth Chart |
Ball State finished the season near the bottom in every
meaningful statistical category imaginable with the defense allowing a MAC-worst
459 yards and 37.8 points per game and the offense, hurt mostly by a
young offensive line that tied with Buffalo for the most sacks
allowed in America, was never consistent and averaged a mere 288
yards and 21.18 points per game.
The lack of production on both sides of the ball can be blamed
on one thing: a textbook. While the program never made excuses, the
season wasn't anywhere what it could've been after 16 players were
suspended for several games throughout the first part of the season
because of a book loan program that turned out to be a violation of NCAA rules.
Head coach: Brady Hoke
4th year: 10-24
Off. 24, Def. 27, ST 3
Lettermen Lost: 14
Best Cardinal Players
1. QB Joey Lynch, Sr.
2. SS Erik Keys, Sr.
3. LB Bryant Haines, Soph.
4. P Chris Miller, Soph.
5. LB Brad Seiss, Sr. INJ
6. FS Trey Lewis, Soph.
7. WR Louis Johnson, Soph.
8. TE Darius Hill, Soph.
9. WR Terry Moss, Sr.
10. TE Michael Steinhaus, Sr.
North Dakota State
at Central Michigan
at Miami Univ.
2005 predicted wins
at Iowa L 56-0
Bowling Green L 40-31
at Auburn L 63-3
at Boston Coll L 38-0
at W Mich W 60-57 5OT
Toledo L 34-14
at Ohio L 38-21
at No Illinois W 31-17
Akron W 23-17
at Eastern Mich
L 31-24 OT
Even with all of last year's
issues, the team was competitive in MAC play beating title game
participants Northern Illinois and Akron and coming within an
overtime loss of Central Michigan of finishing a very respectable 5-6.
There aren't any excuses this season for not having a big year with 17
returning starters including ten on offense led by potential All-MAC QB
For a program that hasn't had a winning season since 1996 and has only
ten wins in the three-year Brady Hoke era, it's not exactly the time to
get greedy and start shooting for the MAC title, but there's no reason
this can't be one of the league's sleeper teams doing some damage
throughout the season like Central Michigan and Western Michigan did
last year. Can Ball State be this year's Akron? No, it's still too young
a team to make that kind of leap in a division with Northern Illinois
and Toledo, but expect this to be a fun season with a lot more scoring
and plenty of close, competitive games leading the way to what should be
a fantastic 2007.
It's good early and nasty late with four of the
first five games at home and then a brutal run of five road games in six
before finishing up against Kent State. The Cardinals get a huge break
getting Buffalo and Kent State from the MAC East and get top West teams
Northern Illinois and Western Michigan at home. However, they'd better
count on a late season swoon playing at Miami University, at Michigan
and at Toledo over a three game span.
Senior QB Joey Lynch. He
was running for his life behind a porous offensive line and still
managed to come up with an effective year. He's an ultra-efficient
passer who doesn't make mistakes with only nine interceptions in 25
career games. He's not going to run for any significant yards, but he's
a perfect veteran to lead this experienced, but still young, offense to
a better season.
Senior SS Erik Keys. He's limited in pass coverage and might not be the
best playmaker around, but he's a solid veteran against the run and a
tone-setting hitter when he gets someone in his sights. He'll combine
with Trey Lewis to form one of the MAC's better safety tandems.
to a successful season: Senior NT Tom Kellar. The run defense got
shoved all over the place last season allowing 202 yards per game.
Kellar is a 303-pound strong senior who hasn't done anything yet for a
variety of reasons. He was one of the suspended players last year, but
now he'll be expected to grow into a rock on the nose providing an
anchor the defense desperately needs.
will be a success if ... Ball State comes up with six wins. If the team can go 4-7 last
year with all the problems, then an extra two victories this year with
so many returning veterans is a more-than-attainable goal. To get there,
there needs to be a few upsets along the way and a huge start with all
the top home games over the first half of the season.
August 31st vs. Eastern Michigan. The Cardinals didn't win their
first game last season until mid-October and didn't win their second
game until almost November. Getting off to a great start with a win over
a West Division foe like Eastern Michigan is a must; they can't afford
to give away any home games.
- Second quarter scoring: Opponents 144 - Ball State 44
- Sacks: Opponents 43 for 245 yards - Ball State 16 for 99 yards
- Yards per carry: Opponents 5.0 - Ball State 2.9
The Last Time Ball State…
…played in a bowl game…1996 (Las Vegas Bowl vs. Nevada)
…missed a bowl game…2005
…pitched a shutout…2000 (UConn)
…was shutout…2005 (Boston College)
…scored 50 points…2005 (Western Michigan)
…won a conference title…1996 (MAC)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…Never
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2002 (Marcus Merriweather)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…2004 (Dante Ridgeway)
…had a first-round draft choice…Never