The Ball State Cardinals are having a superb 2013 season. The team is 8-1 overall and 5-0 in conference play with a solid road victory over ACC opponent Virginia on their resume. However, this weekend’s matchup with the 3-5 (2-2 MAC) Central Michigan Chippewas is a critical game for the Cardinals. Ball State must not lose their focus in preparation for this match-up because of their Nov. 13 game with the No. 18 Northern Illinois Huskies (9-0, 5-0 in MAC) . A loss at the hands of the Chippewas this coming weekend would derail the Cardinals’ momentum heading up into a key conference game that has huge implications for a MAC title shot.
Ball State has the top passing offense in the MAC and is ranked 16th in the nation averaging 325.7 passing yards per game. Led by their standout senior quarterback Keith Wenning, the Cardinals can stretch opposing defenses and force teams out of playing zone coverage. The Cardinals are ranked 18th in the nation averaging 39.4 points per game and are able execute big plays on any defense.
In order to get the victory against Central Michigan on Wednesday, the Cardinals must attack a porous Chippewas defense yielding 33.4 points per game. Central Michigan is giving up 225. 4 passing yards per game and is surrendering 210 rushing yards per game.
Defensively, the Cardinals must be able to shut down an offense that is ranked 10th in the conference averaging 340.8 total yards per game. The Chippewas have struggled rushing the football as they are ranked 102nd in the nation averaging 125 rushing yards per game. Central Michigan has struggled to score points this season. The team is averaging 18.6 points per game and is ranked 118th in the country in scoring offense.
Much of the lack of offensive firepower has to do with the absence of the running game. By not being able to rush the football, Central Michigan has been one-dimensional which has put a lot of pressure on the offensive line to protect the quarterback. As a team, Central Michigan has given up 24 sacks through eight games this year (three sacks per game).
Game time is set for 8:00 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 6 at Central Michigan.