BY PEYTON MONNELL| Ball State Sports Link
Week 2 of #MACtion is officially here and that means two 0-1 teams square off at Scheumann Stadium Wednesday in an opportunity to make or break their push for Detroit.
This week’s matchup between the Cardinals and Eagles is Ball State’s home opener at Scheumann Stadium. Sports Link GameDay LIVE starts at 6p, followed by kick at 7 p.m on SL Digital and CBS Sports Network.
Caleb Huntley – RB – BSU
The 5-foot-10, 229-pound senior had big expectations to fill heading into this season after finishing third in the MAC last season in rushing yards per game (106.2).
Huntley turned some heads last year, but in a shortened six-game schedule, can Huntley still be the offensive production that Ball State needs? He didn’t hold back last week, that’s for certain.
The senior running back carried the ball 21 times for 130 yards and two scores, spreading his stat line to second in the MAC heading into Week 2, just behind Buffalo’s Jaret Patterson with 137 rushing yards.
Huntley’s two touchdowns both came in the second half. His first touchdown was a nine-play drive capped off with a 45-yard run, and the second on an 18-yard run that pulled the Cardinals within a possession in the 4th quarter.
The Ball State back has nine touchdowns in the past five games.
The 130-yard rushing effort in the season opener marked his eighth 100-yard performance in the past nine games, including his 11th career 100-yard game, sitting fifth-most at Ball State.
A Ball State team that relied heavily on the run game last year is going to waste no time in getting Huntley the ball this season, and expect that Wednesday against an Eastern Michigan defense who gave up over 200 yards on the ground last week to Kent State.
Remember, Huntley is only 5-10, but his build is more like a lineman with turbos — and it’s going to take a handful of defenders to bring him down.
Last meeting with EMU:
The last time Ball State and Eastern Michigan met, Huntley carried the ball 29 times, rolling over the Eagles defense with 152 all-purpose yards.
Eastern Michigan’s defense ranked 99th in the nation allowing over 430 yards per game, and 194 yards of that was on the ground.
With the Eagles losing four of their top six tacklers this season, the veteran defensive line will have to apply pressure quickly and early if they want to suppress Huntley in the run game.
Hassan Beydoun – WR – EMU
For an Eastern Michigan team that averaged over 120 yards per game on the ground last season, they didn’t start off this year very strong out of the backfield.
One thing that is strong about this team though is their ability to find yards through the air.
A returning wide receiver for this Eastern Michigan team was much needed after the loss of quarterback Mike Glass III due to graduation.
Hassan Beydoun started 2019 as a walk on, but earned a scholarship on Christmas Day.
Beydoun hauled in a spectacular nine receptions for 112 yards in the season opener last week, which gave first-year starter Preston Hutchinson a fresh and reliable target to open the season.
Only two of the top six receivers return for the 2020 season, and Beydoun finds himself in the top five in receiving yards in the MAC heading into Week 2.
The junior only tallied 349 yards in last season’s campaign, but is already well on his way to breaking his season high’s just after one week into the 2020 season.
Beydoun has recorded back-to-back 100+ yard receiving games, dat-
ing back to Eastern’s last game of the 2019 season, the Quick Lane Bowl.
Ironically, Beydoun grabbed nine receptions for 113 yards in last year’s finale, before nearly mirroring that effort with nine catches and 112 total yards in Week 1.
Beydoun looks to be one of the most targeted receivers in the MAC this season, and Hutchinson’s No. 1 option in the pass game.
Last meeting with Ball State:
Beydoun didn’t find the ball much against the Cardinals last season, but still caught three passes for 41 yards last season against Ball State.