BY: NICK LAWLER
Ball State Sports Link
On Saturday afternoon, Ball State traveled to Happy Valley to take on the Nittany Lions. After falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter, the Cardinals were able to gain some momentum on offense.
Star wide receiver Justin Hall had a number of plays drawn up for him, and his athleticism popped. Other than a few untimely drops, Hall remained a reliable and dynamic target for Drew Plitt.
As for Plitt, he showed a lot of poise to close out the first half, leading the Cardinals to two scoring drives that both ended in field goals.
On defense, Ball State looked strong against the run to start the game. After halftime, however, Penn State’s running game took over.
Sophomore running back Keyvone Lee looked dynamic coming out of the half, finishing with 68 yards on only eight carries. Alongside Noah Cain and Devyn Ford, they proved to be too much for the Cardinals to handle.
Carson Steele, a bright spot for Ball State once again, scored his second touchdown as a Cardinal.
John Paddock, along with Steele and the rest of the Ball State reserves, were able to lead the Cardinals to their sole touchdown on the afternoon in the second half.
“Obviously, we lost to a good Penn State football team,” Ball State head coach Mike Neu said. “The most disappointing part I think on my end right now as soon as the game’s over is just some of the opportunities that we did have. We didn’t make some plays when there were some available plays to be made.
“I was very proud of the defense, the way they competed, especially in the second half. For a large part of the second half there, almost a quarter and a half, we held them to six points, and I really thought our defense did a really great job of competing. We are just not clicking right now from an offensive standpoint. We’ve got to get that fixed. It starts with me, and we’ll get back in here, and we’ll tackle film, and we’ll get that cleaned up, but we lost to a good Penn State football team, and obviously when you’re playing a team of that caliber in a place like this, you’ve got to make sure that you execute. We need to have the opportunities, and that is the hardest part to swallow right now.”
While the tough loss may put a damper in Muncie, it does not erase all of Ball State’s recent success. The Cardinals are still a top team in the MAC, and Plitt and company should shake Saturday’s loss off and keep the season alive.
Ball State will travel to Wyoming in hopes of grabbing their second win over the Cowboys. Wyoming defeated Northern Illinois on Saturday in a high scoring 50-43 effort on Saturday.