After three straight weeks on the road, the Central Michigan football team will make their first appearance at home since September 2nd when they welcome the Ball State Cardinals.
Central Michigan sits at 2-2 (1-1) with their two losses to Temple and Northwestern while Ball State has had a less than stellar start. The Cardinals sit at 1-3 (0-0) and still have the sting of a 27-23 loss to FCS opponent Liberty in week two. Their game at Central Michigan will be their first contest in MAC play.
KEY BALL STATE PLAYERS (OFFENSE)
-Leads the team in rushing 232 yards and 1 touchdown on 50 carries.
-One of the more suprising storylines for Ball State this season is the impact of Lewis, who has gained just 100 yards and 1 touchdown on 37 carries. He is the teams third leading rusher, but CMU fans know all to well the type of impact he can have. Lewis is also the teams second leading receiver with 7 receptions for 61 yards. He was expected to have a much bigger impact after being granted an injury redshirt year last season.
-After coming in as a highly touted recruit, Page got the nod most of last season before he went down with an injury, but through four games he has split time under center with true freshman Wenning. Page has completed 21-40 passes for 196 yards and 1 touchdown with 1 interception. Wenning has thrown for 244 yards, 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions on 28-47 passing.
KEY BALL STATE PLAYERS (DEFENSE)
-Baker is having one heck of of year and you reall couldn't ask anymore from the 6-foot-1 and 205 pound safety. He leads the team in tackles with 37 and has also registered 1 sacks, 2 TFL, 1 FF and 3 interceptions. He is one of the best defensive backs in the MAC.
-The sophomore has notched 35 tackles, 2 TFL and 1 sack this season and is the leader of the Cardinals front 7.
-Although he has had a quiet 2010 thus far with 16 tackles and 1 TFL...with 0 sacks, Eddins was one of the top pass rushers in 2009 when he recorded 7 sacks and 13.5 TFL.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN AND BALL STATE: BY THE NUMBERS
Points Per Game
Ball State: 15.8
Points Per Game Allowed
Ball State: 26.5
* By the numbers, no team is worse offensively than Ball State. They are dead last in scoring offense(15.8), passing offense (110) and only Ohio averages less yards per game. The Cardinals have only scored 7 touchdowns all year.
* The Ball State defense allows over 175 yards rushing per game with only Bowling Green and Eastern Michigan allowing more in the MAC.
* Ball State also ranks dead last in sacks, as they have only notched 3 all season.
* Central Michigan has the second worst redzone offense in the MAC as they have converted on 14-20 attempts (70%).
CMU RB's vs. Ball State defense
-Ball State can be exploited on the ground, and if CMU is simply able to line up and gash the Cardinals on the ground, it could be a long day for Ball State.
HOW IT ALL SHAKES OUT
All signs point to an easy CMU victory as Ball State is a team in flux that rotates quarterbacks and has been extremely inept on offense all season. They have not been able to generate any sort of passing game, and although they have shown the ability to run the ball, CMU is one of the top rush defenses in the MAC.
Expect a lot of Wildcat packages from Ball State as they attempt to neutralize their pourous pass offense, but I fuly expect they will have trouble moving the ball on offense.
The CMU offense should have no problem moving the ball on offense and running backs Paris Cotton, Carl Volny and Zurlon Tipton should have a field day. QB Ryan Radcliff should have plenty of time to throw the ball and the play action pass could be deadly today.
Central Michigan: 41
Ball State: 17