GameDay Primer: Ball State vs. Northern Illinois

BY JARIN MATHENY | Ball State Sports Link

NEED TO KNOW:

  • Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET in Muncie, IN. (Scheumann Stadium)
  • Weather: Clear skies. Temperature near 45º with winds at 5-10 mph. 
  • Pregame: Sports Link GameDay Live at 6 p.m.
  • Where to watch: ESPNews at 7 p.m.
  • Radio stream: mixlr.com/bsusportslink  (Jarin Matheny, Shaemus Kreider, Peyton Monnell)

The Ball State Cardinals welcome bitter rival Northern Illinois to Scheumann Stadium for the second of three games at home this season.

The Cardinals, who sit at 1-1 on the year following a 38-31 win over Eastern Michigan, are looking to win the Bronze Stalk Trophy for the second consecutive year against the winless Huskies. 

Last week’s win over the Eagles proved what many people thought already about this Ball State team — the offense is prolific.

Senior running back Caleb Huntley picked up MAC West Offensive Player of the Week honors after rushing for a career high 204 yards and three touchdowns against Eastern Michigan. On the defensive side, Brandon Martin won the MAC West Defensive Player of the Week following his team-high 15 tackles. 

After last week’s victory, Huntley’s teammates continued to recognize how important he is on offense. 

“Every time I watch him run I just know I wouldn’t want to tackle him,” senior fullback Cody Rudy said. “He’s 230 pounds and the fastest dude on the field. I’m not surprised when he runs someone over.”  

Upfront, the Cardinals will need some help trying to slow down the run game of Northern Illinois after giving up 227 yards on the ground last week.

Graduate transfer Chris Agyemang is a big part of how the Cardinals can halt the Huskies ground game. 


Series History

The Cardinals trail in the series against the Huskies 24-21-2. Before last year’s victory over Northern Illinois 27-20, the Huskies had won 10 consecutive meetings against the Cardinals. 

The Key For Northern Illinois?

GET THE BALL TO YOUR PLAYMAKERS.

The top two options for the Huskies are receivers Tyrice Richie and Cole Tucker.

Richie, a redshirt senior from Chicago, already has caught 16 passes this season for more than 175 yards. He has the impact ability that Justin Hall has for Ball State.

For Tucker, he had success against Ball State last season, racking up 69 yards in receptions. 

The Key For Ball State?

USE HOME FIELD TO YOUR ADVANTAGE. 

Ball State looked like a more comfortable team last weekend at home in its win over Eastern Michigan. The Cardinals went 3-3 last season inside of Scheumann Stadium, but in order to make it to Detroit, they’ll likely need to go 3-0 in Muncie. 

Full coverage of Ball State Football from Ball State Sports Link will be available with Sports Link Gameday, streaming live at 6p. You can also listen to full coverage of the game on SL Digital Radio at mixlr.com/bsusportslink.

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Author: Jarin Matheny

Bear Down.