MAC Storylines Blog
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Martello; WAC By Jon Tavares
Toledo (1-4) at Michigan (2-3)
- The Rockets have come apart at the seams the last two weeks. After a
thrilling 55-54 double-overtime loss to nationally-ranked Fresno State,
Toledo was suddenly looking like one of the MAC’s better teams, at least
on offense. But after a 45-16 thumping at the hands of Florida
International and a 31-0 shutout loss to Ball State, the Rockets are
struggling to find their way, particularly on offense. This is the first
in a tough, five-game stretch with four on the road and the lone home
game coming against MAC front-runner Central Michigan.
- After a thrilling come-from-behind win over Wisconsin, the Wolverines
started last week's game with a bang, jumping out to a 14-3 lead on
Illinois. But another game with a poor turnover margin (-2) and a
lacking running game allowed the Illini to go over the top on Michigan's
average secondary for a 45-20 win. Michigan can stop the run well and
leads the nation in net punting, but it still can't move the football
with any consistency. Turnovers remain a big problem. Michigan gets to
tweak against Toledo before heading to Penn State to defend a nine-game
winning streak against the unbeaten Nittany Lions.
Toledo: The Rockets are relative healthy coming into the game
with just one key player banged up. C Buster Garrett was lost to a leg
injury in the Fresno State game, but he may be ready this week.
Toledo's goose egg against Ball State last week was the first time the
Rockets had been shutout by a MAC team since 1985. It was also the first
time in 15 years they lost three straight at home.
Michigan: WR Martavious Odoms is questionable for this weekend's
game and will be limited in practice this week. Brandon Graham is
questionable with a leg infection. WR Junior Hemmingway is still
recovering from mononeucleosis and will not play. RBs Kevin Grady and
Carlos Brown are also questionable, while LB Austin Panter is out.
Toledo has to … force turnovers. The Wolverines are
turnover-prone, and the best way to get the Rockets' struggling offense
out of its current funk is to put it on a short field. After getting
shut out last week by Ball State, just getting on the board will be a
plus. Since 2001, the Rockets are 49-5 when scoring 30 or more and are
7-31 when under 30.
Michigan has to … become more consistent offensively and take
care of the football. Michigan's not producing enough points to just
give away possessions, but there are signs of the spread starting to
come to life. The problem is, it seems to disappear in a hurry, it’s
hardly consistent, and once it's gone, it's been tough to get back.
Keep an eye on … Michigan WR Greg Mathews. Freshman Martavious
Odoms has been super productive so far this year, but since he's limited
in practice and questionable for game time, Mathews needs to become the
go-to target for QB Steven Threet, and Michigan's offense needs his
production to open things up for the running game.
Number to know: 41 ... With a 2-3 record, Michigan is off to its
worst start through five games in 41 years (1-4 in 1967), two years
before the Bo Schembechler era began.
And the winner is … Michigan 37 ... Toledo 13
Michigan (2-4) at Army (1-4)
1:00 PM ET
- After starting the year 1-4 and suffering blowout losses to
league foes Northern Illinois and Toledo, Jeff Genyk’s Eagles bounced
back last weekend, defeating Bowling Green 24-21 on the road. In spite
of a lingering shoulder injury starting quarterback Andy Schmitt was
nearly flawless, throwing for 253 yards and a touchdown in the
come-from-behind win. With the meat of the MAC schedule still ahead of
them, Saturday’s game against Army will provide a critical test to
whether or not the Eagles have really turned a corner in Genyk’s fifth
-After a month of
frustration and disappointment, coach Stan Brock’s Black Knights finally
got their first win of the season last weekend, beating Tulane 44-13
behind a four touchdown performance from fullback Colin Mooney. After
scoring just 37 points through the first four games of the season, the
Black Knight offense finally came alive against the Green Wave, racking
up 291 yards on the ground in the win. While the Cadets have little hope
for a bowl berth, a win against the Eagles this week will go a long way
to proving this program is on the way up.
Eastern Michigan: It
was learned immediately before last week’s game that Eastern Michigan
quarterback Kyle McMahon would be lost for the season after suffering a
shoulder injury against Northern Illinois in week five, forcing head
coach Jeff Genyk to go with junior Andy Schmitt- himself still
recovering from a shoulder injury- last weekend. While Schmitt was
effective in the start, EMU remains thin at quarterback, with tight end
Ben Thayer taking reps as the team’s backup.
Army: Senior fullback
Colin Mooney was honored with the team’s “Black Death” award after his
187-yard, four touchdown performance against Tulane a week ago. The
award, which is given to an Army football player “only
in the cases of exceptional, near perfect play,” was begun in
1988 and reinstated by head coach Stan Brock prior to the 2007 season.
Mooney is the second Army football player to receive the award under
Eastern Michigan has
to…Take away Mooney. The senior fullback has literally been the Army
offense up to this point in 2008, rushing for 416 yards and four scores
on 84 carries. While stopping the 250-lb rock won’t be an easy task for
an Eastern Michigan defense ranked 99th in the country
against the run, if linebacker Daniel Holtzclaw and company can force
Army’s mistake-prone offense to the perimeter they’ll have a much
better chance at forcing the Black Knights into third and long
Army has to…Hit
Schmitt. The 6’4, 238-lb Eastern Michigan quarterback is one of the most
effective dual-threat quarterbacks in the conference when he’s healthy,
but injury concerns have forced him to adapt his game more to a
pass-first approach. With backup Kyle McMahon still nursing an injured
shoulder the Eagle’s are desperately thin at quarterback, and if Army
can get to Schmitt enough times on Saturday they may be able to force
Eastern’s spread option offense exclusively into the passing game.
Keep an eye
on…Eastern Michigan MLB Daniel
Holtzclaw. The leading tackler on Eastern Michigan and the MAC’s
returning leading tackler from a season ago, Holtzclaw is a rock up the
middle for the Eagles, currently averaging just less than 10 stops per
game. He’s sure to be active against an Army offense which rode fullback
Colin Mooney to victory last weekend, and will be the key to shutting
down Army’s option attack.
number to know…119. Average yards Army has been outgained by this
season. Despite a 44-13 win over Tulane last Saturday the Black Knights
were still outgained by 152 yards, relying more on four Tulane turnovers
than outstanding offensive production to win the game.
winner is…Eastern Michigan 28…Army 24.
Ohio (1-5) at Kent
State (1-5) 2:30 PM ET
-Ohio fell to 1-5 on the season this past Saturday, falling 41-20
to Western Michigan on the road. It was another frustrating loss for
coach Solich’s team, which has lost three of the last four after nearly
upending Ohio State in week two. Now 0-2 in conference, the Bobcats will
have to come up with a win this week to keep from falling out of the MAC
- It’s been a tough
first half of the season for coach Martin’s Golden Flashes, who suffered
their latest setback last week in a double overtime loss to Akron.
Despite outgaining the Zips by over 100 total yards, Kent State couldn’t
find a way to finish, missing a critical field goal in overtime to allow
Akron to escape with the win. Now in a 0-2 hole in conference play,
Coach Martin will need an unprecedented run from his team to salvage the
defensive tackle Ernie Hodge may miss the rest of the season after
suffering an ankle injury which kept him out of last week’s game.
Starting offensive lineman Gary Schussler is also out indefinitely after
suffering a similar ankle injury in a week five win over VMI. Starting
quarterback Theo Scott continues to recover from September 5th
surgery on a broken collarbone, and is not expected to be back until
November at the earliest.
Kent State: Star
running back Eugene Jarvis remains doubtful for yet another week of play
after suffering a high ankle sprain against Delaware State in week
three. Jarvis, who led the MAC in rushing last year, has been replaced
by the duo of Andre Flowers and Jacquise Terry, who teamed up for 155
yards on 34 carries last weekend.
Ohio has to…Establish
the running game. With Boo Jackson continuing to be a liability in the
passing game the Bobcats are desperate for another source of offensive
output, and should have success against Kent State’s 100th
ranked rush defense if they can find someone to tote the rock. Donte
Hardin has showed glimpses of big play ability over the past two weeks,
now it’s just a matter of getting him enough carries to take the
pressure off of Jackson.
Kent State has to…Stay
committed to the run. Even with the injury to Eugene Jarvis the Golden
Flashes have been able to run the ball effectively over the last several
weeks, averaging 207 yards on the ground through six games. With a
speedy return of Jarvis unlikely the Kent State offense will have to
make due, as quarterback Julian Edelman will have make the most of his
reads to keep Ohio from keying in on Kent State’s zone based offensive
Keep an eye on…Kent
State quarterback Julian Edelman. The director of Coach Martin’s spread
offense, Edelman showed solid improvement in last weekend’s overtime
loss, both rushing and throwing for over 100 yards. He’s been Kent
State’s best offensive weapon since Jarvis went out with an ankle injury
four weeks ago, and should find success on the ground against an Ohio
defense which is giving up an average of 172 yards rushing a game this
The number to know…207.
Average rushing yards per game for Kent State’s offense this season, the
highest average in the MAC. Even without Eugene Jarvis, Kent State’s
offense has moved the ball effectively on the ground over the last three
weeks , relying more on quarterback Julian Edelman in the rushing game.
Expect the Golden Flashes offense to have its best success of the season
against an Ohio rush defense which ranks 91st in the nation.
And the winner is…Ohio
31…Kent State 24.
Michigan at Buffalo
3:30 PM ET
-Tim Hiller continued to light up opposing conference defenses
again last week, throwing for 347 yards and four touchdowns in a 41-20
win over the Ohio Bobcats. At 3-0 in conference the Broncos are the
hottest team in the MAC, with their lone loss on the season coming to
Nebraska in the opener. While perfect thus far, Bill Cubit’s team can’t
afford to overlook the Bulls this week, as even one conference loss
could leave the door open for MAC West foe Ball State to take a
commanding lead in the standings.
-The Bulls last took to
the field two weeks ago, losing to two-time defending league champ
Central Michigan in a 27-25 thriller. Despite their 2-3 record coach
Gill’s team has looked impressive so far this season, destroying UTEP in
week one while dropping close contests to the likes of Pittsburgh and
Missouri. Still 1-1 in conference play, the Bulls can not only avenge
the Central Michigan loss with a win this week, but can take a major
step towards reaching the conference title game.
Western Michigan: Wide
receiver Jordan White, who has missed each game this season after
tearing cartilage in his knee during the preseason, returned to practice
this week, participating in 7-on-7 drills. His status is questionable
for Saturday’s game. If White returns, he gives Western Michigan’s
potent passing attack (ranked 13th in the country) yet
another weapon, as the 6’2 sophomore caught 19 balls for 217 yards last
lineman Ronald Hillaire continues to be hobbled by a leg injury and will
not play against Western Michigan this weekend. Coach Tuner Gill said in
his weekly media conference that Hillaire could miss the October 18th
matchup with Army as well. Buffalo will however get back junior
cornerback Kendric Hawkins, who Gill said is now 100% after sitting out
the first half of the season with a stress fracture.
Western Michigan has
to…Take James Starks away. The Bronco front seven has been stout thus
far this season, giving up an average of only 131 yards per game on the
ground. While equipped with their own high powered passing attack,
Buffalo’s offense will likely show a renewed effort to involve running
back James Starks in the gameplan, a week after he gained nearly 200
yards in rushing and receiving. If the Broncos can make Starks a
non-factor they’ll go a long way to stifling the Bulls offense.
Buffalo has to…Stay on
Serve. Buffalo’s defense has been good this year, but so has Western
Michigan’s offense. Almost no one has been able to stop Tim Hiller and
the Western Michigan passing game, including the likes of Big 12 member
Nebraska. If Buffalo’s offense can respond and keep the game close
however, it could allow the Bulls’ opportunistic defense to force a
critical turnover which could end up being the difference in the game.
Keep an eye on…Buffalo
running back James Starks. A 2nd team All MAC performer in
2007, Starks got off to a quick start this year with a 179 yard game
against UTEP and a 97-yard rushing performance against Pittsburgh before
a hand injury slowed him through weeks three and four. After coming back
with a 191 total yard performance last weekend he should be back to week
one form, and gives the Bulls a physical presence to attack the middle
of Western Michigan’s defensive front.
The number to know…3.
Despite a 2-3 record, the Bulls are a three point favorite coming into
Saturday’s game against the 5-1 Broncos, who already hold a 2-0 record
in conference play. The Bulls are 1-1 in the MAC, tied for first in the
And the winner
is…Western Michigan 35…Buffalo 24.
4:00 PM ET
-In just the second start of his career quarterback Chester
Stewart threw for 178 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Owls to a
much needed conference win over Miami University. Taking advantage of
four Redhawk turnovers, Temple came out of Oxford with the 28-14 win,
snapping a four game losing streak which threatened to drop the Owls to
the bottom of the MAC standings. With renewed hope, Golden’s Owls will
look to even their conference record this week against the two-time
defending MAC champs.
-While not as
dominating in the early season as some anticipated, the Chippewas have
nevertheless darted out to a 3-2 record this season, including a 2-0
record in conference play. When the Chippewas last took the field on
September 27th they defeated Buffalo 27-25, needing a late
missed Buffalo field-goal to preserve the narrow victory. With league
foes Ball State and Western Michigan looking dominant in the early
going, the margin of error becomes smaller and smaller for coach Jones’
group, which will have to handle a pesky Temple team just to stay on
track in the West.
quarterback Adam DiMichele continues to make progress in recovering from
a shoulder injury suffered three weeks ago, traveling with the team and
beginning to throw again. Coach Golden has indicated that DiMichele
could return as early as an October 21st showdown with Ohio.
Until then redshirt freshmen Chester Stewart will continue to start for
the Owls, who are averaging only 120 yards passing a game without
Central Michigan: Wide
reliever Bryan Anderson (1st Team All-MAC 2007) sat out the
Buffalo game two weeks ago with an injured shoulder, and is questionable
for Saturday’s game against Buffalo. The 6’5 junior was a key part of
the Central Michigan offense through the first four games of the season,
catching 20 balls for 233 yards and a touchdown. Backup wide receiver
Jean Pitts started against Buffalo in Anderson’s place, and will once
again get the call if Anderson can’t go this weekend.
Temple has to…Get the
ball to Bruce Francis. A dynamic playmaker, the Owl wide receiver sealed
the game for Coach Golden’s team last weekend, catching two second half
touchdowns that proved to be too much for the Redhawks to overcome. With
sub 4.4 speed he’s a threat to take the ball to the house whenever he
touches the ball, and gives Temple’s otherwise vanilla offense big-play
Central Michigan has
to…Shore up the pass defense. The Chippewas are currently ranked 114th
out of 119 FBS teams in pass efficiency defense, allowing opposing
quarterbacks to hit on nearly 67% of all passes. With the offense
failing to score with the authority of the 2006 or 2007 squads, Coach
Jones will need better play by his defense (especially in the secondary)
to stop the likes of even average conference passing attacks like
Keep an eye on…Central
Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour. A preseason Heisman darkhorse by some
people’s estimation, LeFevour hasn’t quite lived up to the billing of
his 2007 campaign despite throwing for over 1200 yards with seven
touchdowns through five games this season. Against Temple his legs may
be the more important element of his game however, as he’ll have a
chance to execute the zone read against the nation’s 92nd
ranked rush defense.
The number to know…117.
Rank of Temple’s offense (in terms of total yards) out of 119 FBS teams.
Temple is averaging just 260 yards a game in total offense on the year,
and nearly 18 points per game. They’ll try to get their offensive
production back on track this week, as Golden’s team takes on a Central
Michigan defense which is giving up an average of 30.6 points per game.
And the winner
is…Central Michigan 34…Temple 17.
Miami U at
4:00 PM ET
- The Redhawks fell 28-10 to Temple last week, turning the ball
over four times in the loss. Plagued by offensive inconsistency all
season, quarterback Daniel Raudenbough has been unable to provide a
spark for the Miami offense, which currently ranks 94th in
the nation. While it’s too early to call this game a must-win, the
Redhawks will have to come up with a better performance this week if
coach Montgomery is to
position his team back at the head of the MAC East standings.
- A week after blowing
out league foe Eastern Michigan on the road, Coach Kill’s Huskies went
into Knoxville last week and nearly pulled out a stunner over the
Tennessee Volunteers. Holding the Vols to just 225 yards of total
offense, Northern Illinois ultimately doomed their own chances,
committing 90 yards worth of penalties in the narrow loss. After a one
win showing in 2007 the Huskies have proved they can compete with anyone
so far this year, now its just time to show that they can win
consistently in conference play.
Linebacker Caleb Bostic was suspended for last week’s game against
Temple for “detrimental” conduct to the team, according to a team
spokesman. Bostic, who has been named to the Butkus award watch list for
the Nation’s best linebacker, had recorded 21 tackles prior to his
suspension. His status is questionable for this week, with backup
linebacker Chris Shula (13 tackles last week) expected to make the start
if Bostic does not play.
Illinois: Quarterback Dan Nicholson, who has been starting for the
Huskies ever since a week three injury sidelined week one starter
Harnish, suffered an
injury to his non-throwing shoulder against Tennessee and was forced to
leave the game. Head coach Jerry Kill said that Nicholson would be
evaluated throughout the week, and is currently listing the senior as
questionable for Saturday’s game with Miami. Backup DeMarcus Grady led
the NIU offense for the second half against Tennessee, with the more
mobile Gady rushing for a team high 47 yards on 15 carries.
Miami University has
to…Get consistent quarterback play. It’s been a rotating door between
Daniel Raudabough and Clay Belton through the early part of the season,
with neither showing the ability to give the offense a much-needed
spark. Raudabough was ineffective during the first half against Temple,
while Belton lead the offense on two scoring drives before throwing a
costly interception. With a talented defense behind them, one or the
other quarterback has to step up soon to keep Miami’s bowl hopes alive.
Northern Illinois has
to…Get into the Miami backfield. The Huskie front four has been as good
as they come in the MAC so far this year, holding opponents to just 108
yards rushing per contest while sacking opposing quarterbacks nearly
twice a game. Led by All-everything defensive end Larry English, this
group has the potential to rattle an already struggling Miami
quarterback tandem on Saturday.
Keep an eye
on…Northern Illinois defensive end Larry English. In a performance
against Tennessee last weekend which head coach Kill called “more than
valiant,” English was a one-man wrecking crew, notching up two and a
half sacks in the 13-9 loss, also forcing a fumble in the game. A
candidate for the for
the Bronko Nagurski award, English is one of the premier rush ends for
in the entire country, and will be a factor against a Miami University
offensive line which is giving up nearly two sacks a game.
The number to know…2.2.
average yards per carry allowed by the Northern Illinois defense to
Tennessee last weekend. The Vols rushed for a dismal 69 yards on 32
carries a week ago, unable to penetrate a stout Huskie defense which is
giving up just over 108 yards a game on the ground this year (30th
in the country.)
And the winner
is…Northern Illinois 14…Miami University 13.
at Akron 6:00 PM ET
- A week after destroying Wyoming 45-16 on the road Bowling Green
returned home last weekend, only to fall to what was a one win Eastern
Michigan team by a final score of 24-21. The Eagles have defeated
Pittsburgh and Wyoming in convincing fashion through the first half of
the season, but have been less than impressive in losses to Minnesota,
Ball State, and Eastern Michigan. With a loss last weekend to one of the
worst team’s in conference the Eagles will have to win against one of
the better teams in the MAC East this week to avoid from falling in an
0-2 hole in MAC play.
-Akron overcome three
Chris Jacquemain interceptions, a 413 to 301
total yard deficit, and a late Kent State comeback attempt to
defeat the Golden Flashes 30-27 in two overtimes this past Saturday.
It’s been an up and down ride for the Zips thus far, who stand at 3-3
through the first half of the season. Now with the toughest part of the
schedule behind them, Akron will have the opportunity to take a
commanding lead in the MAC East with a win on Saturday.
Akron: A week after
suffering a scary neck injury in week five, starting running back Andrew
Johnson sat out the game against Kent State last week. He is doubtful
for this week’s matchup against Bowling Green, with senior Dennis
Kennedy expected to get the start. Kennedy was largely ineffective a
week ago, rushing for only 23 on 15 carries.
Bowling Green: It
didn’t take long for the critics to question head coach Gregg Brandon’s
job of getting his team ready to play in the Falcons’ 24-21 loss to
Eastern Michigan this past Saturday, although the 6th year
man was defiant in defending his team’s loss to a seemingly lesser Eagle
team. Saying that close games were part of playing the MAC, Brandon said
he hopes the loss will provide his team with a positive learning
Bowling Green has
to…Establish the running game. It hasn’t been easy with the success the
Falcon’s have had in the passing game and with injuries to piling up at
the running back position, but against the nation’s 112th
ranked rush defense this week the Falcons have to show a commitment to
running the football. If Bowling Green can first establish 6’2 running
back Anthony Tuner going inside, then quarterback Tyler Sheehan should
be able to pick apart the Akron secondary as the game moves along.
Akron has to…Be
more physical in the run game. Like the Falcons the Zips have had a
tough time establishing the running game of their offense through the
early part of the season, with coach Brookheart saying he was
“extremely” disappointing in his team’s ability o manage just 58 yards
on 29 attempts last week against Kent State. If the Zips can reestablish
their running game after last weekend’s disaster, they’ll find it much
easier to for Chris
Jacquemain to spread the ball to the playmakers in the passing game.
Keep an eye
on…Akron QB Chris
Jacquemain. The key to Akron’s success or failure on offense, Jacquemain
has orchestrated the Zip spread attack with mixed results thus far.
While third in the MAC in passing, his nine interceptions to only ten
touchdowns hurt the Zips in losses against Ball State and Cincinnati. If
he can keep from turning the ball over he has more than enough ability
to distribute the ball effectively to his wideouts, giving the Zips a
decided advantage in the passing game.
The number to know…65.8%.
Career winning percentage of Falcon head coach Gregg Brandon against MAC
conference schools. Brandon is 27-14 since coming to Bowling Green six
years ago, better than any other current MAC head coach. Bowling Green
is just 1-2 against Akron under Brandon however, defeating the Zips
44-20 in last year’s matchup.
And the winner is…Akron 31…Bowling Green…30
(6-0) at Western Kentucky (2-4)
7:00 PM ET
-The Cardinals played arguably their most complete game of the
season last weekend, holding the Toledo Rockets to just 157 total yards
in the 31-0 shutout win. The win made Ball State bowl eligible for the
second consecutive year, giving the Cardinals and their high powered
offense a perfect 3-0 record in conference play. With an uphill battle
for respect from the pollsters ahead of them, the Cardinals must
continue their dominance this weekend to keep their BCS bowl hopes
-The Hilltoppers fell
to Virginia Tech 27-13 last weekend, falling behind 27-3 by the third
quarter before fighting back late in the game under the direction of
former Notre Dame transfer David Wolke. The Hilltoppers have managed to
do little against FBS competition this year, being outscored 113-23 by
FBS teams through the first half of the season while managing wins
against lowly FCS members Murray State and Eastern Kentucky. With FBS
opponents from here on out, Saturday’s game against Ball State should be
a good indictor of whether or not this program can have success as they
complete their transition into the Sun Belt.
Ball State: The
Cardinals entered the AP Top 25 poll for the first time in school
history this week, coming in a 25th after their 31-0 victory
over Toledo in week six. The Cardinals received 76 votes in the USA
today poll, good for 29th in the country. While proud of his
team’s accomplishments up to this point, head coach Brady Hoke won’t let
the latest ranking distract his club, saying his team has a lot of work
to do before getting into the “real
teeth” of the schedule, which he says starts this Saturday against the
Looking for a spark on offense last Saturday against Virginia Tech, head
coach David Elson turned to a dual quarterback rotation which featured
former Notre Dame transfer David Wolke and converted freshmen running
back Dexter Taylor. While Elson acknowledged that Wolke remains the
team’s starter for this week’s game against Ball State, he also said he
plans on using the versatile and athletic Taylor to run a number of
option packages against the Cardinals. Taylor, who was an option
quarterback in high school, ran for 96 yards on 14 carries against
Virginia Tech a week ago.
Ball State has to…Avoid
being one dimensional on offense. Balance is the key word for the
Cardinals, who come into the game ranked 11th in total
offense in the country at 472 yards per game, averaging nearly 200 yards
per contest on the ground while just over 278 yards a game through the
air. With plenty of playmakers at both the wide receiver and running
back positions the Cardinals have more than enough talent to exploit
Western Kentucky’s defense, now its just a matter of getting everyone
involved and avoiding predictability.
Western Kentucky has
to…Stop MiQuale Lewis. Its pick your poison against the Ball State
offense, which in the absence of Dante Love has relied heavily on the
shifty tailback to carry the team. While Nate Davis still has a plethora
of wideouts to throw to, the junior running back has rushed for over 100
yards in each game this season, notching up twelve touchdowns on the
year. If the Hilltoppers can shut down Lewis, they’ll have a much better
chance of slowing down the conference’s best offense.
Keep an eye on…Ball
State safety Sean Baker. Perhaps the best defensive back in the country
who nobody has heard of, Baker currently leads the Cardinals in tackles
(44) and interceptions (4.) An athletic player who also excels in run
support, he’ll be instrumental in defending a variable Eastern Kentucky
offense which will try to spread the Ball State defense out.
The number to know…14.
Net rushing yards allowed by Ball State’s defense against 19 Toledo
carries last weekend, good for a .73 yard per carry average. Ball State
recorded six tackles for a loss in the win, showing significant
improvement along the line of scrimmage after giving up 346 yards on the
ground to Navy in week two and 256 yards to Indiana in week four.
And the winner is…Ball
State 48…Western Kentucky 17