GameDay Primer: Ball State vs. Toledo

BY JARIN MATHENY | Ball State Sports Link

Need To Know

  • Kickoff: 12 p.m. ET in Toledo, OH. (The Glass Bowl)
  • Weather: Sunny. Temperature near 43º with winds at 10-15 mph. 
  • Where to watch: ESPN3 at 12 p.m.

The Ball State Cardinals hit the road for the first time in three weeks as they meet the 2-1 Toledo Rockets.

The Cardinals are also at 2-1 on the year after a 31-25 victory over Northern Illinois 10 days ago. Both teams are chasing Western Michigan (3-0), who holds the top spot in the MAC West. 

The win last week over Northern Illinois wasn’t anything flashy, but the Cardinals did exactly what they had to do – win.

Ball State has consistently played in close games in conference play, with eight of the last 11 games being decided by a score or less, including all three games this year. 

Following the win, Mike Neu credited his players on the way they finished the game. 

“Just proud of the guys for staying together on the sideline as much as anything else.” head coach Mike Neu said. “The big point of emphasis coming out of last season was the close games we didn’t deliver when we had an opportunity and that was big for us to go and deliver. ”  

Special teams can always be the name of the game, especially in the MAC. Both teams have to put extreme emphasis on special teams during the coming weeks because every mistake adds up when trying to get to Detroit. 

Series History:

The Cardinals are at a slight disadvantage in the series against the Rockets 24-20-1. Last year’s 52-14 win over Toledo on Homecoming was the first win over the Rockets in the Mike Neu era. 


The Key For Toledo?

PUSH THE PACE.

This season, Toledo has kept teams in the MAC on their heels with up-tempo offense. The rushing attack is putting up more than 220 yards pergame, and Eli Peters is completing nearly 66% of his passes.

If the Rockets can keep the Ball State defense off balance, and work at a quick pace, Toledo can enact revenge for 2019. 

The Key For Ball State?

LIGHT A FIRE ON DEFENSE. 

Ball State has struggled at times this season slowing down opposing offenses. Toledo is thriving on the offensive end this season, with Quarterback Eli Peters coming off MAC West Player of the Week honors.

However, in last year’s game, the Cardinals held Toledo to 22 yards in the first half, and forced three turnovers. 

The Cardinals are looking to win in Toledo for the first time since 2012. BSU is averaging nearly 225 yards per game on the ground and more than 250 through their air, and the Cardinals have scored at least 31 points in all three of their games.

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Author: Jarin Matheny

Bear Down.