Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Edge's Ball State Rock & Roll Report Card

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 (unless game scheduling dictates a later post) to OTP, as football, like most things in life, is better with music. Enjoy. -Ed.

Edge's BSU Rock & Roll Report Card: Navy


"Tramps like us..."

It really did feel like a rock concert - all the way down to exiting the parking lots. Seriously, how can you have three entrances to a lot and close off two after the game so everyone funnels through one exit? Oh, you wanted to hear about the game, my apologies. In case you were either a) living under a rock Thursday, or b) have a life away from the TV, the WORLDWIDE LEADER was in Muncie, Indiana. And the Cardinals let it be known that this year they're ready to show the country that Ball State is a little more than Letterman and a punchline.

The energy in Scheuman Stadium was unlike any other game in recent memory. 22,500+ fans actually came to support this Cardinals team. We can attribute this to the TV coverage, but it was clearly an important and thankfully unforgettable game. Kudos to Navy for bringing a good-sized fanbase to enjoy a nice Friday night in Muncie. I can't talk trash about a team that serves our country. So, thanks guys.

Offense Recap:
"The midnight gang's assembled
And picked a rendezvous for the night"

This midnight gang is the Cardinals offense. Last week versus Northeastern was the warm-up gig. Navy was the first stop of the tour. This is a very well-rehearsed machine. Nate Davis certainly lives up to the hype, Dante Love is seriously delivering, and what did I tell you last week about MiQuale Lewis?

Allow me to first acknowledge the two interceptions. No one's perfect. Nate made two bad passes (I called him, he said I can use his first name when I blog about him), and they obviously didn't hurt the Cardinals too much considering I'm writing this in a relatively good mood.

For the rest, I'll just run through it briefly: Nate Davis passed for an impressive 326 yards and four touchdowns. Dante Love caught for 162 yards and ran for 37 yards for a total of three touchdowns (one rushing, two receiving). MiQuale Lewis ran for 117. But there were two stats that impressed me more: only one punt all game, and a grand total of .... drumroll .... zero sacks! Oh, Brandon Ifft, if you're reading this, if you tank another play like the one he did last night.... well, go watch Major League then come back to me. Just kidding. But seriously, catch the ball next time, jackass.

So, I'll say it again. Keep your eyes on this offense. There are definitely more surprises in store for those of you that read this to get all your Ball State news.

Defense Recap:
"You ain't a beauty but hey you're alright
Oh and that's alright with me"


Although it was better than last year, the defense against Navy still had little answers to the four plays they ran all night. Ok, I'm exaggerating - it was five different plays. Four of those were options. Get my drift? Navy had a total of 369 rushing yards, and most of us are thanking Navy for having a completely ineffective passing game.

Again, it wasn't pretty at all, but it was alright. Two key stops in the red zone kept this game in check and secured the victory. But, as stated last week, work has got to be done up front. Biting too early on the option is understandable two or three times in the first quarter. When it happens two or three times a series, there's a problem.

The gold star sticker goes to B.J. Hill and his interception late in the game. This pretty much drove the victory home for the Cards. But again, like I said last week, work needs to be done. They can't wait for B.J. Hill to bail them out every time.

Special Teams Recap:
"And all we gotta do is hold up our end..."

And they did. There were no nightmarish illegal procedures. There were no false starts. And there were no big returns. The best part of it all was there was only one punt the entire game - a 41-yard punt from Chris Miller.

I'm really sorry, there's nothing much to report here with special teams. I'm actually boring myself writing this. This is the "bathroom break song" of the article - the misplaced slow song in the first set of a concert. We'll blame it on the bassist, it was his idea.

Final Score:
Ball State: 35
Navy: 23

Performance: 4.5 Guitars

(On a scale of 5 guitars)

Why?

The whole experience was great, and it really was close to a concert atmosphere. The only thing that didn't rock so much was the defense's answer to the option. I'll be in Bloomington in two weeks to see the Cards again, and I require a face-melting guitar solo from our defense. I will accept no less.

Soundtrack for the Game: In case you couldn't figure it out, the game's soundtrack belongs to the Boss. No, not Steinbrenner. Born to Run is eight songs of hope from the perspective of a downtrodden cast of characters looking to make things happen by taking control of their own lives on their own terms. This is perfect for Ball State. For years, it's been one disappointment after another. Now they're taking matters into their own hands to make the situation the best - but their way. It's only two games in, but this could be a year we talk about for years to come. Who knows, could be as timeless as that 1975 classic.

1 comment:

Nick Kline said...

Correction- the guitars you pictured in your scale of guitars are actually basses. Which any guitarist- or bassist for that matter- will tell you... don't get you laid.