We win this game and we're not only in the MAC Championship for the first time since 2005, but we also win THE BRONZE STALK TROPHY. No wavering here on that the latter matters more to the fan base. I mean, the BRONZE STALK has been around since the golden year of 2008 when Ball State was an astounding 12-2 despite losing not only the MAC Championship plus their bowl game.
But guess what? This team is NOTHING like that 2008 team. Call it rebuilding. Call it Stan Parrish being 8-47 as a division I head coach. Brady Hoke is chilling in San Diego at 7-3 laughing at the entire population of Muncie, Indiana.
As for the talent level of the Ball State Cardinals this year? Above Buffalo and Akron, but they did become the only team to lose to Eastern Michigan this year. And they lost to something called Liberty.
When asked about Ball State in his press conference, the first thing Kill mentioned was special teams. If that's the first thing an opposing coach mentions, then your team sucks. Eric Williams, however, is one of the top kick returners in the nation averaging 28.41 yds per return. Their punt return game is also pretty decent, but let's face it: Are we really going to punt at all in this game?
Let's go straight to the advanced statistics:
FEI: 108th. OFEI: 110th. DFEI: 107th.
S&P: 116th. O: 114th. D: 120th.
Conclusion: I can't tell if they suck worse on offense or defense, but I know they are one of the worst teams in the nation overall.
Players of note
QB Keith Wenning has achieved equilibrium with 14 TDs and 14 INTs, which gives him just about the worst QB rating in the conference.
RB MiQuale Lewis...I guess he's out with a separated shoulder. He'll try to get in the game as maybe a WR if possible as it is senior night.
RB Eric Williams - Already talked about him. I thought he was a scat back, but that would be Cory Sykes who hasn't seen much playing time lately. Williams is a balanced back at 5'10" 203 and has enough strength and agility to be a big return guy. BSU is 5th in the conference in rushing, so they'll try that against NIU (good luck!)
DE Robert Eddins - Leads the team in sacks for the year with 5. 4 were against CMU. BSU is 105th in the nation in sacks and 108th in TFLs.
SS Sean Baker - I'm officially scared of this guy. Last week he had 2 INTs and a fumble return for a touchdown. A playmaker. He has 6 of those picks for the year.