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.
And now, ladies and gentlemen… the Edge Rock Report.
I had this thought. Going into this game, it appeared IU and its fans had it in their heads that this was going to be an easy one. This is understandable given the history. But confidence and arrogance are two completely separate things (more on that later). Certain Hoosier fans on Saturday reminded me of the band Oasis and the Gallagher brothers. I'll say late-90s Oasis to be exact – the era of "bigger than the Beatles." There's only one difference between them and certain Hoosier fans: Oasis is tolerable.
As for the game, it flat out rocked for a small portion of the 41,349 in attendance. There were a couple soft spots for the Cards. Obviously Love's injury was a major turning point in the game. The others were two turnovers IU drawing first blood. But whereas IU drew with a pin-prick, BSU answered with the serrated edge of a Jack Hawk 9000 – by the way, it's the perfect gift for your loved one, available at Walmart.
The offense required only two punts all night but two lost fumbles. Although one punt was blocked, the special teams unit handled IU very well. The defense allowed one offensive touchdown and got one of their own with a Pick-6. Altogether, the Cards racked up 15 yards in penalties to IU's 77. Mix these ingredients, bake at 350, and you have a delicious victory.
5.3. Remember that number as we proceed. Ball State netted 224 yards rushing and 239 yards passing. Average yards per run? 5.3. MiQuale Lewis, you once again played like a champion. The Edge Rock Report gives you an Edge Grammy for a night of hard rocking runs. You netted 170 yards on 29 carries and you scored four times. Congratulations sir.
Nate Davis once again showed his Clapton face. He was calm and cool all night, and when he's in this mode, he's not dangerous. There were two passes that he threw which should have gotten picked. These were a result of scrambling, and since they didn't hurt us – one resulted in a TD – we'll forgive them. He does need to be wary of these situations when the Cards face up to a good secondary.
As I stated earlier, the punt team didn't get too much action thanks to this offensive assault. The Cards had every reason to be dejected after losing Dante Love in the second quarter. But they forged ahead and triumphed in the face of adversity.
Did you remember 5.3? That's the average yards per run for IU. The Cards contained IU's two biggest offensive threats with efficiency. Kellen Lewis did run for an impressive 161 yards. Marcus Thigpen was held to 38. What happened guys? I thought we were supposed to be really worried about you two.
As for receiving, Andrew Means did have 103 on four catches. But IU's passing game resulted in two interceptions which had to be a bit depressing for those Lewis worshippers. Hey, don't feel bad. Davis threw two against Navy, so we understand.
Based on these stats, I'd say the defense held their own. They only allowed one offensive touchdown. Knipp and Baker were right where they needed to be when Lewis decided to throw high. And the front line did their part.
They also seemed to sniff out IU's plays based on formation (thanks Bill Lynch). In most cases, when IU had an empty backfield, Lewis was going to run. I have a lot of respect for his rushing abilities, and holding him and the IU team to 5.3 yards per run is just what was needed to secure this, dare I say, upset.
Special Teams Recap:
Jake Hogue can't kick for shit. We know. But the other 10 guys did their jobs, and they did it well. IU averaged 16.4 yards per kickoff, and that says a lot for the Cards' kickoff team. Kudos to you.
The punt team had a minor issue at the beginning of the game with that blocked punt. Other than that, no major issues – especially since our offense kept them off the field.
On the returning end, the Cards had nearly double the amount of average yards per return. They also had two-and-a-half times as many average yards per punt. All in all, great job on special teams.
Ball State: 42
Performance: 5 Guitars
(On a scale of 5 guitars)
As I've already said, despite a couple missed notes, this whole team gave a solid performance. For those in attendance for the Cards, we got our money's worth. It rocked with such ferocity that many of us (Edge included) had left their voices at the game. It's good to go into homecoming with the momentum from a 4-0 season and a victory against IU. 4-0. Love that sound.
Soundtrack for the Game
I'd like to think I'm a generous guy. So, for the first time, the Edge Rock Report will issue a double-disc soundtrack at the same low price. The first disc is dedicated to the Cards. This disc is different for all of you, because you get to select 12 of your favorite rocking tunes and enjoy it. You deserve it, fans and players both.
Now, for the rest of you I present a soundtrack: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music. What is that, you ask? 64 minutes and 11 seconds of distortion, feedback, and essentially noise vomit. You are all to be locked inside the stadium with this blasting over the PA repeated 22 times. Why 22? Well, it's one listen for every point by which you lost.
Why am I suggesting this? For a chance to think about your punishment for being arrogant, poor losers. Members of the Edge entourage Saturday are IU fans, and even they were appalled at certain fans' behavior. Even as we were walking out after the game, we were hit with "Ball State sucks!" and "We gave you that one" by more than a few groups of IU fans. Response? Scoreboard, bitch.
Are BSU fans any better? Probably not. But we with our fiff-rayte edyoukashuns deserve this one, and we're going to bask in this for a while if you don't mind. Go Cards, get well Dante, and keep rocking.