BY ANDREW WILLETT | Ball State Sports Link
Ball State Football can take a collective — but temporary — sigh of relief after picking up a win 38-31 vs. Eastern Michigan to improve to 1-1 on the season.
After squandering a double digit lead against Miami a week earlier, Ball State had a rocky start, trailing by as many as 14 points early on.
Midway through the third quarter, Ball State trailed 24-13, but this time around, it was the Cardinals turn to make a comeback.
Ball State’s defense clamped down in the second half as the team went on an 18-0 run to take the lead. The defense finished the game only allowing seven points in the last 24 minutes.
There was one player who stood out above the rest — inside linebacker, Brandon Martin.
Martin, the Lawrence North product, came into the season as a redshirt junior with an extension from the NCAA and after a year where he only appeared in one game due to an injury in the opener against Indiana.
He came into Ball State as a running back, but switched positions to become a linebacker as a freshman and has started 11 of his 25 career games before this year.
“[This is] the most motivated Brandon Martin I can think of I think I’m more motivated now than I ever have been, and that stems from those guys in the locker room.
“They had my back when I was going through a hard time and when I was on my couch not knowing when I was going to be able to play football again after my surgery.”
He has recorded 127 career total tackles over two years and tacked on 11 in the season opener. Martin showed out against Eastern Michigan, recording 15 total tackles to lead not only the defense but to earn the game high in tackles.
Martin has become a leader and played like one Wednesday, flying all around the field and being a key reason Ball State’s defense slowed down the Eagles and won the game.
The Cardinals continue their drive for five MAC West wins Nov. 18 with Northern Illinois in town. Sports Link GameDay LIVE starts at 6p, followed the by the game on ESPNews and SL Digital.