The Ball State Cardinals have increased their win total in each of the 1st three years under the guidance of Pete Lembo. Last year they went 10-3, but duplication that feat with just 11 starters back and no QB with more than 9 pass attempts on the roster. Preview & schedule are below.
QB Keith Wenning set all sorts of team records, but he is gone and it looks as if redshirt freshman Jack Milas will take over as the QB. Milas had the better spring than Ozzie Mann and will get the first shot at running the team. Last year the Cardinals had two 1000 yards receivers and this year one on them is back, in Jordan Williams, who grabbed 72 balls for 1065 yards last year. After him there is little experience, but still plenty of talent, including KeVonn Mabon, who had an injury plagued 2013. The passing game may take some time to get going, but they do have a strong running game to lean on till that happens. Jahwan Edwards is back to lead this ground attack, after rushing for 1110 yards and 14 TDs last year, while also returning is Horactio Banks, who ran for 595 yards and 7 TDs a year ago. The running back will set up behind a very solid OL that has 3 starters back. The defense was decent last year, allowing just 24.7 ppg and could be even better this year with 26 lettermen back, including 6 starters. The DL looks like it could struggle this year, as 3 of 4 starters must be replaced from last year’s group. Still the one returner is Nick Miles, who led the team in sacks last year with 5. The LB corps looks very solid, with 2 of three starters back, including Ben Ingle, who led the team with 110 tackles last year. I like this secondary, which is one of the best in the AC, with 3 starters back from a group that helped allow just 219 ypg through the air last year.
The Cardinals lost Keith Wenning from last year, who will be very hard to replace. They will have a talented arm in Jack Milas taking over, and he has some good weapons to throw to, but still it will take some for him to settle in. I don’t expect 38.5 ppg form the Cardinals this year. The front wall for the Cardinals is decent at best, but the back 7 is very good and so overall I rate the defense about the same as last year. They have tough road games vs Toledo, Central Michigan and Bowling Green, while Northern Illinois at home will be tough as well. The Cardinals are down in talent from last year and the schedule is tough as well. I do not expect them to challenge in the MAC West, but they should make it to their 3rd bowl game in a row. KEY TREND: 11-1 ATS vs an opponent that has revenge.
2014 Ball State Cardinals Football Schedule
Aug. 30 Colgate
Sep. 6 at Iowa
Sep. 13 Indiana State
Sep. 20 at Toledo
Sep. 27 OPEN DATE
Oct. 4 at Army
Oct. 11 Western Michigan
Oct. 18 at Central Mich
Oct. 25 Akron
Nov. 5 Northern Illinois
Nov. 8 OPEN DATE
Nov. 12 at UMass
Nov. 22 Eastern Michigan
Nov. 28 at Bowling Green
Info gathered From Phil Steele's CFB Preview and Athlon Sports
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