Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Edge's Ball State Rock & Roll Report Card

The weekend's done, and we'll be taking stock of the damage, but until then, this week begins with a thunderous roundhouse kick to the face, as roving OTP reporter Edge gives us his take on the Ball State Cardinals' most recent performance. Edge's Rock & Roll Report Card publishes every Tuesday to OTP, as football, like most things in life, is better with music. Enjoy. -Ed.

Edge's BSU Rock & Roll Report Card: Northeastern
Much like determining if a child looks more like the mom or the dad based on the ultrasound, not a lot can be said on how this Cardinal team will look just yet. Northeastern was far from a formidable or legitimate opponent. The Ball State offense had a heyday with their linebackers and secondary, and the defense did a fair job keeping them out of the red zone. This was a glorified scrimmage - a warm-up gig.

Offense Recap: Nate Davis came to the game as Eric Clapton comes to the stage. Calm, cool, and confident, leading an offense that gave up the ball a grand total of zero times. Of course, it's hard not to when you're playing Boston College's rejects. 21 for 24 with 290 yards? Yeah, that's pretty solid even in practice against no defense. Oh yeah, and he only played three quarters.
The John Mayer "You may not have noticed, but I am a pretty fucking good guitarist" Award has to go to MiQuale Lewis. Believe me when I say you need to watch this guy. He's not big, but this boy can run. 95 yards on 11 carries - again, that's good even in practice.

Raging douchebag... good guitarist
Let's not forget Dante Love. 176 yards on 9 receptions with a long of 49. Of course, this wasn't exactly a surprise at all. Along with Davis and Lewis, this will be a fun year if all three can stay healthy and perform under the pressure provided by Navy, Northern Illinois, and Central Michigan.

Defense Recap: This was a little rough at the start. While many fans today are dogging the defense's performance, I can understand what they were trying to do. This was a Who performance circa 2004. Basically, a little sloppy and not as solid, but they'll play the safe songs just so everyone stays happy and keeps coming back.

What I mean by that is Ball State essentially stuck with a 5-2 or 3-4 defense all game. In man coverage, the secondary gave way too much room underneath, making Northeastern moderately successful on 6-7 yard slants and curls. After Ball State switched to zone coverage, it became less of a problem and forced more punts. Still, with only 2 sacks, improvements up front need to happen soon.

The defensive game plan was not to give up the long ball. Who wants to let 13,000 people down like that? All in all, allowing 14 points is pretty good in your opener, especially with the second and third strings playing the entire 4th quarter. It should be noted that only 7 points were given up by the first string.

Special Teams Recap: What's the first sign of a bedshitting performance? Would you say an illegal procedure on the opening kickoff? Yeah, it happened. The second kickoff went off much better: offsides on the kicking team. Hey, it was only a five yard penalty this time. I was fully prepared for an upset based on the special teams' first two appearances.

Luckily, these were the only real hiccups. With stops within the 20-yard line on three consecutive kickoffs, they redeemed themselves and never really let up. The cherry on top was a 72-yard punt return by Darius Hill. While shoestring-tackled by an alarmingly fast punter, it was still impressive.

Final Score: 48-14 Ball State


On a Scale of 1-5 Guitars
The offense flowed with a greatest hits performance, but the defense took a while to warm up the crowd. The special teams began way out of tune, but came back with a vengeance.

Soundtrack for the Game: "Songs You Know By Heart" - Jimmy Buffett. Nothing even remotely intense, just a safe and cozy album. Just like this album, you knew exactly what you were going to be getting with this game.

1 comment:

Dondo said...

Good stuff....

I dig it.