2009 Ball State Preview |
2009 Ball State Offense
2009 Ball State
2009 Ball State
2008 CFN BSU Preview |
2007 CFN BSU Preview |
2006 CFN BSU
Head coach: Stan Parrish
Off. 13, Def. 21, ST 2
Lettermen Lost: 20
Best BSU Players
1. RB MiQuale Lewis,
2. DE Brandon Crawford, Sr.
3. SS Sean Baker, So.
4. WR Briggs Orsbon, So.
5. FS Alex Knipp, Sr.
Michael Switzer, Jr.
7. DT Drew Duffin, Sr.
8. TE Madaris
9. DE Robert Eddins, Jr.
10. LB Davyd Jones,
CFN Prediction: 6-6
2009 Record: 0-0
9/3 North Texas
9/12 New Hampshire
9/19 at Army
9/26 at Auburn
10/10 at Temple
10/17 Bowling Green
10/24 at Eastern Michigan
11/7 OPEN DATE
11/12 at Northern Illinois
11/18 Central Michigan
11/24 at Western Michigan
CFN Prediction: 6-6
2008 Record: 12-2
8/28 Northeastern W 48-14
9/5 Navy W 35-23
9/13 at Akron W 41-24
9/20 at Indiana W 42-20
9/27 Kent State W
10/4 at Toledo W 31-0
10/11 at W. Kent. W
10/18 OPEN DATE
10/25 East. Mich W
11/1 OPEN DATE
11/5 N Illinois
11/11 at Miami Un. W 31-16
11/19 at C. Mich W 31-24
11/25 W. Mich W 45-22
Buffalo L 42-24
1/6 Tulsa L 45-13
How good is the Ball State
Good, solid programs can lose top talents and replace
them with decent, productive players to fill in the gaps. Good, solid
programs can lose a head coach and keep on winning. Good, solid programs
can rebuild and find ways to work around the remaining players that got
the team to decent heights to begin with.
Ball State hasn’t
exactly been USC when it comes to being able to replace next-level
prospects, and it hasn’t been on the cusp of the BCS on a regular basis.
But now it’ll have to find a way to move on without QB Nate Davis, who
jumped ship early for the next level, several star offensive linemen, TE
Darius Hill, WR Dante Love, who was injured early last year, and both
corners. Oh yeah, and then there’s the coach.
Ball State showed
just how hard it is to keep up in the college football world when a
little success hits. Brady Hoke was offered more by San Diego State, a
stepping-stone job at best, and couldn’t stick around Muncie. In comes
Stan Parrish, who had major problems when he took over in the GMAC Bowl
as the team looked lost in a 45-13 loss. He’ll be looking to keep the
production going while rebuilding on both sides of the ball. In this
year’s MAC, and with an easy schedule, he’ll have to deal with
expectations, with or without the same top-shelf players Hoke had over
the last few years.
The team will revolve around a strong
defensive front that gets all four starters back, and the offense has a
star in the diminutive MiQuale Lewis, a big-time producer who’ll go from
being a star cog in the attack to being the one the No. 1 option.
However, with seven starters gone off the offense and the defensive back
seven losing four key players, it’s going to take awhile to reload.
The team and program will show its staying power if this year’s
recruiting class is as good as expected. Most of the key prospects,
highlighted by LB Travis Freeman, decided to come to Muncie even with
Hoke leaving, and it’s not like the replacements and new starters can’t
No, this won’t be the epic year of 2008, but Ball State
will still be a factor in the MAC race. For good and bad, the program
goes from being the hot, hunted No. 1 team to being a step behind. No
one will expect too much, but there are enough positives to surprise and
get back to the title game with a little bit of luck.
What to watch for on offense:
Problems in pass protection. Last year’s
line struggled when it came to protecting Nate Davis, and now four
starters are gone. With a new starting quarterback and only one player,
guard Michael Switzer, to rely on up front, quick passes and runs will
be the gameplan until the right combination is found on the line.
What to watch for on defense: MMore sacks. Defensive
coordinator Doug Graber likes to use several defensive backs and will
mix up the schemes week by week. The one constant should be the
defensive front that gets all four starters back. There isn’t any bulk,
but there’s plenty of speed and quickness to send into the backfield.
The team will be far better if … the team
realizes 2008 is 2008. This won’t be the same offensive juggernaut of
last year and there will be some severe growing pains for at least half
the season. The passing game will struggle to be as efficient and the
defense will have issues at corner. However, the schedule is light
enough, and the team still has enough talent, to stay in the hunt for
the MAC title all season long.
The Schedule: Playing North
Texas and New Hampshire to start out the year will be a nice way to get
all the new pieces in place. There isn’t a game against a 2008 bowl team
until mid-November, although one of the first nine games is at Auburn.
It’ll be all about the finishing kick with road trips to Northern
Illinois and Western Michigan wrapped around the showdown against
Central Michigan. There’s only one tough road span going away three
times in four weeks early on, but two of the games are against Army and
Best Offensive Player: Senior RB MiQuale Lewis. He
might be only 5-6 but he’s as tough as nails. Finally able to stay
healthy for a full season, Lewis showed what he could do with 1,736
rushing yards and 11 100-yard games. Now he’ll be the one the offense
revolves around with so many new faces for the passing game.
Best Defensive Player:
Senior DE Brandon Crawford. The Marine will be 34 by the start of the
season. He has the maturity and he has the pass rushing ability, but he
has to get to the quarterback more. He’s great at making plays behind
the line and he’s a tough 260 pounds. Now he’ll be a first-team All-MAC
star with a few more sacks.
Key player to a successful season: Redshirt freshman QB
Kelly Page. It’s asking way too much to immediately produce like Nate
Davis was able to do over the last few years. Page is bigger, a strong
runner, and has the potential to grow into the job and be a good leader
for the attack over the next four years. However, he’ll need some
The season will be a success if ... the Cardinals get
back to a bowl game. There are way too many key losses, including in the
coaching staff, to expect to get back to the MAC title game coming out
of a nasty division, but getting to a third straight bowl game would be
a nice feat. The offense should still be solid enough to stay with just
about anyone in the MAC, while the D, especially the front, could be
Key game: Nov. 18 at Central Michigan. As always, the
CMU game will be the key road block for a spot in the MAC title game,
and it’ll also be a must win as the final home game of the year
sandwiched in between road battles with Northern Illinois and Western
Michigan. The Wednesday night showdown with the Chippewas will be one of
four weeknight games; all three final games will be on a school night.
2008 Fun Stats:
- First quarter scoring: Ball State 90 – Opponents 39
Opponents 67 for 600 yards – Ball State 39 for 374 yards
return average: Ball State 15.5 yards – Opponents 6.2 yards