Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cardinals Go Ugly Early, Down WKU

A win is a win. Repeat that yourself. A win is a win. Pretty and large, ugly and small, unlike porn actors' builds, it doesn't matter. A win is a win. So what if Nate Davis threw for his lowest total yards since 2006? So what if the Cardinals passed for less yards than the Hilltoppers? So what if Ball State only outgained a team in its final transition year from I-AA to I-A by three yards? So what if 4 of Western's drives ended with: a fumble out of the end zone, a missed field goal, another fumble, and a failed fourth down conversion.

The bottom line when Saturday drew to a close and the clock read triple zeros is that the Cardinals walked out of Bowling Green, KY at 7-0 and with their first win as a ranked team. There is cause for concern in several areas, notably the rushing average for Western at 5.4, but again, a win is a win, and unlike Cardinals teams from the past, this team can lay a proverbial egg and still walk out with a victory. The really good teams find a way to win, even when things are not going according to plan. Some other things we noticed...
  • The last two games have seen the Cardinals struggle out of the gate. Thankfully, Western and Toledo are not extremely talented football teams. If this little trend continues, the Cardinals might be in trouble against teams like NIU, Central Michigan, and Western Michigan.
  • Slow start or not, MiQuale Lewis had another good day at the office, rushing for 112 yards on 18 carries with a TD. Congrats to MiQuale, who also picked up the OTP Liveblog Player of the Game... his second of the season. Thanks also to those who came out for the Liveblog. Good times had by all.
    MiQuale Lewis: OTP Liveblog Player of the Game

  • I was fortunate to see a team who had a worse placekicker than Ian McGarvey. Tanner Siewart from Western just isn't very good. Hit the soccer fields, Coach, and try and pick up someone serviceable. Just the advice of someone who took Western to the Orange Bowl in year 2 of my NCAA 09 Dynasty.
  • The defense turned in another great outing. Yardage-wise it wasn't dominant, but the Cards "Bend but don't Break" mentality was evident in their performance, and they forced three turnovers. This is what has always been lacking at BSU... a defense that has the capability of allowing the offense to have an off day. A good sign, for sure, that BSU doesn't simply have to outscore everyone.
  • Western coach David Elson danced around the topic after the game, but it was evident he thought WKU should have beaten Ball State. In looking at the stat sheet, perhaps, but the fact remains that the better team won. Ugly, sure. But a win is a win.
All in all, the Cardinals get to the bye week and clock in at 7-0. What dawned on me this weekend, was the Cardinals have won more games this season so far, then all the wins combined my freshman through junior year. It's a great time to be a Cardinal, and whatever happens from this point forward the Cards have put together an unbelievable season.

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

3 Bradys
While a win is a win, two ugly wins going into a bye week before the real meat of the schedule should cause Brady to be a bit upset and ready to work them. Another offensive performance like the one against WKU or a half like the first at Toledo and this team could be in trouble. The Cardinals have a home game in two weeks versus Eastern Michigan. I would love to see the Cards come out fast and never let up.

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