Monday, September 15, 2008

Sean Baker Eats Souls, Cards Take Win

Since Ball State was on the road, our roving on-scene reporter Edge will not be checking in this week with his Rock & Roll Report Card. But fear not, as OTP breaks down the Cards and Zips from Saturday's Football Extravaganza.

The opening of conference play makes me nervous. Teams know your schemes, teams know your players, and for the most part, especially in the MAC, you have got to bring your A game to walk out with a win. There was a large game waiting in the wings against Indiana and Akron is a team on the rebuild. Reason to worry.

Worry was wasted, though, as Ball State improved to 3-0 and 1-0 in the conference behind a 41-24 win. The game itself struck me as closer than the 17-point spread indicated, and frankly, it simply came down to a more talented team being able to sustain quality play over the second half. There were concerns, which we'll note later, but on the whole, Ball State did what it had to do, and walked out with a W. Survive and advance, indeed.

Some things we noted:
  • The Liveblog was a bitchin' good time, and something that will continue as the year goes on. Incidentally, our first OTP Liveblog Player of the Game goes to Sean Baker. Which brings us to...
  • Wow. Sean Baker is good. He was named the National Defensive Player of the Week, on the strength of 3 interceptions, a fumble returned for a touchdown, and 9 tackles (and unverified soul feastings). As a redshirt freshman. Bully for you!
    OTP Soul Eater/Player of the Game
  • MiQuale Lewis continues to impress, gaining 154 yards and 2 TDs on 28 attempts. This speaks to not only his talent rushing the ball, but the excellence of the O-line opening holes for him.
  • Nate Davis goes for 300 yards and 2 TDs on 67% passing. A bit low on the completion scale, and he did throw a pick, but all things considered, another good day at the office for Davis considering the amount of drops that we'll blame on the weather.
  • The receiving corps was good but not exceptional. Dante Love didn't find the end zone, though he did go for 97 yards on 7 catches. Of troubling note was Darius Hill and Nate Davis looking a bit out of sync.
  • Another serviceable but largely unremarkable outing for the defense (save for Baker). This appears to be the theme this year, and as long as the offense continues to put up 40+ per game, it shouldn't be a problem.
  • The feed for the Akron game was simply awful. Granted, 10 bucks a month isn't a lot to pay for live video of otherwise unwatchable games, but I've seen better videos of bar mitzvahs. Get it together, Akron. And remember, as Crash Davis said, think classy and you'll be classy.
So here we sit at 3-0. We're 5 days away from what some would argue is the biggest game in program history against Indiana. This is the chance this team, and all around it, have been waiting for. It's a chance to show the state, and to a larger extent, the college football world, that Ball State is a force to be reckoned with. There will be content going up the rest of the week about IU and the hate week that is upon us, but suffice it to say, hatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehatehate.

When in doubt, bet against this man

But the Cardinals were able to savor the flavor of a win at Akron, and there were enough positives to give me hope about going to Bloomington. Fight team, fight, for Ball State!


2.5 Bradys
Though happy about the win and multiple aspects, there is concern about the receivers' drops, the out of sync throws to Darius Hill, and the general lack of a shutdown defense. A win against the Hoosiers and we may see a negative Hoke-O-Meter, but a loss means homeless people might start disappearing in Muncie.

1 comment:

Lucas said...

This weekend will highlight a great match-up between Indiana and Ball State. Have to go with my Hoosiers on this one. I like the Coach Lynch pic you posted. I would argue that instead of betting against him, you should recognize that with his hand gesture, he is putting a curse of bad ju ju on the Cardinals.

Keep up the good writing.