By: Charlie Desadier
Ball State Sports Link
With the exciting momentum after giving Army its first loss for the season, the Cardinals are back on the road heading to Kalamazoo, Michigan for a matchup against the No. 1 seed in the MAC, Western Michigan.
Ball State enters week six with a 2-3 record while the Broncos are standing at 4-1.
The Cardinals were off to what seemed like a rough start as they struggled to find their footing against opposing offenses but successfully changed the narrative after a 28-16 win against Army in week five with thousands of electric fans sitting in the stands at the Sheu.
Ball State kept the lead all four quarters starting off with fifth-year wideout Justin Hall returning the opening kickoff for a 99-yard touchdown. QB1 Drew Plitt threw 0 interceptions and two TD’s going 17 for 28 in passing, capping the night with 233 yards to snap their three-game losing streak.
Another player who stood up to the test against Army was redshirt junior inside linebacker Cole Pearce who started out as a walk-on at Ball State. Pearce capped the night with a career high 14 tackles and a tackle for loss.
“He’s an animal,” Plitt said. “He is all over the place. He’s got great eyes. Just seeing him out there making all of those plays didn’t surprise anybody in the building. He does that every day in practice, and he did it all camp. He is one heck of a player, and I am really proud of him because he plays his butt off.”
Following behind Pearce in Saturday’s matchup was junior inside linebacker Clayton Coll who finished with 12 tackles.
With this Cardinals defense making another’s job easy and this offense’s chemistry melting together as a unit, tomorrow’s matchup against Western Michigan will be a much anticipated faceoff for the Cardinal’s.
Here’s what our favorite guys in red and white can expect:
Western Michigan found its fourth straight dub of the season in their Mid American Conference opener against Buffalo.
The Broncoes are led by QB1 Kaleb Eleby who has been off to a strong start leading the MAC with 1,181 passing yards and nine TD’s in five games– with 0 interceptions.
One thing this Cardinals defense will have to keep an eye out for is Western Michigan’s running back rotation. The duo consists of junior La’Darius Jefferson who tallies 370 yards and 7 touchdowns for the season so far and sophomore Sean Tylor who holds 362 yards and two touchdowns under his belt.
Ball State can expect Eleby to utilize these two weapons who ran the ball for 178 yards against Buffalo.
The Broncos’ defense successfully held Buffalo to 151 passing yards on 12 of 22 passing attempts a week ago.
Western Michigan’s front seven isn’t one to be reckoned with led by linebackers Corvin Moment and Zaire Barners. The two combine for 34 tackles, three sacks, and two forced fumbles through five games.
This defense is notorious for stopping runs and it will be ideal for Plitt to keep an eye out for Hall who aimlessly finds his way through opposing defenses and is there at the perfect time in the most difficult moments.
You don’t want to miss this match up. Kick off starts at 3:30 pm on Saturday on ESPN +.