Friday, August 29, 2008

Ball State Takes Win, Hoke Kills No One

It used to be that Ball State was everyone's payday game. The hired schmucks to come in, give your starters a half of experience, then gear down, cruise to a win, cocktails for everyone! You know these teams. They have skirts a bit too short. They're dressed just a tad inappropriately for that street corner. They're out there, and many self respecting teams took a dabble in Ball State's goodies for the right price.

As Ball State began to shake off that payday moniker with scares at Illinois, Nebraska, and Michigan, and become a somewhat credible football team, the Cards stopped being the proverbial low class ho of the college football world. No longer could teams just kick the shit out of them, rummage through the refrigerator, wipe off on the curtains, and leave the money on the nightstand while they saunter back to their conference wives and fellow big boy brethren.

Thursday, BSU went the pay for play route themselves, and I say huzzah! for them. They brought in the jobbers from Northeastern, and as expected, a victory ensued. All for the low, low, bargain basement price of $175,000. Heidi Fleiss you aren't, Northeastern.

Ain't no bidness like the ho bidness, Dante

The goods of the game far outweighed the bad, but there was bad to be found. That's good in the sense that it's a plus that Brady Hoke and crew have something to harp on. It's always nice to have something to focus on the week before you play what could be one of the biggest games of the season next Friday versus Navy on the Worldwide Leader.

What else was good? Nate Davis delivered. Going 21-24 for 290 yards and 4 TD he looked sharp, consistent, and didn't exhibit his trademark problem of being inaccurate. That might be because of the guys he was throwing it to, as Dante Love caught 9 balls for 171 yards and a TD and Darius Hill went for 5 catches for 45 yards and a TD. MiQuale Lewis delivered on the ground for 95 yards and a TD on 11 carries. So the offense looked decent, and against a team like Northeastern, it's expected.

What's bad? Defensively, the Cardinals gave up 14 points, but in a blowout like this that was basically decided midway through the second quarter, that isn't a huge deal. What is more important is that they forced no turnovers and only got 2 sacks against an O-line significantly smaller and less talented than what they'll be facing this season. Disconcerting? Sure. But it's game one, and everyone needs something to improve on.

So where does that leave us? Well, to be honest, this game highlighted what it should have (a strong Cardinal offense), showed where the problems were (defensively), and did exactly what it needed to do: Get the Cardinals win number one while everyone stays healthy. I only hope that Ball State AD Tom Collins brought his wallet and left the money on the nightstand when he left. No one likes a john that doesn't pay.

(1-5 Bradys, 1 being happy enough to burst into song,
5 being filled with murderous rage)

2 Bradys

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