Most of you know Edge as the roving correspondent for our OTP Muncie bureau. He brings delight and joy to the masses with his Rock & Roll Report Cards after Ball State games which he decides to rock out at in person. In an effort to ensure your Awesome Quotient, or AQ as we like to call it, increases on a weekly basis, Edge offers insight into the Cards' upcoming opponent as well. This week's edition? Western Kentucky.
For Ball State, this weekend could be a trap game. Probably not, but as we've seen this year in the lovely world of NCAA football, anything is possible. The Cards, now 25th in the AP Poll and 6-0 overall face a milestone game this weekend: 7-0. What does that mean? A winning season. Still feels good to say that I am a fan of a team that may (undoubtedly) be a winning team.
Western Kentucky is not a good team. But believe it or not, they have an advantage. They have played six games this year, and four of those have been against BCS schools. I heard a good explanation this week of why this type of experience is a benefit from Joe Maddon, manager of baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays. He says that being in a division with elite teams such as the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees forces you to ramp up your game and speed up the progress of success. Less than a decade old, this team won their division and also secured a spot in the ALCS.
Back to the game this weekend, I couldn’t yet compare the Hilltoppers to the Rays, but teams with their types of schedules need to be respected. Three of the four BCS teams Western has seen have a shot of beating or decimating the Cards (Kentucky, Alabama, Virginia Tech). The fourth was IU. 42-20.
All this being said, if the Cards just take this game seriously, they will take this game… seriously. The Hilltoppers, like I said, just aren’t that good. They have a semi-respectable secondary, which still shouldn’t be a problem for the Cardinals offense. The Hilltopper offense is another story…
News this week is that the Hilltopper offense is going through some problems in that preseason-declared starter K.J. Black was set to make his big return this weekend from an injury in week two. On Tuesday, coach Elson named backup David Wolke the starter for the rest of the season and told Black he should consider seeking another school. Ouch bitch, you got jacked bitch. This has Van Halen/Haggar/Roth written all over it.
However this episode pans out, it won’t change the fact that the Hilltopper offense is ineffective. In five games, Wolke has thrown 5 TD passes and just over 500 yards. The rushing attack has earned them 768 yards on 217 carries in six games (3.54 yards per carry). Again, just not effective. But, their defense has 7 interceptions. So, yeah…
Warnings aside, this should be a win by a large margin for the Cards. 7-0 is music to my ears.
Ball State: 48
Western Kentucky: 13