By: Dane Massey
Ball State Sports
Coming off another huge win against a conference favorite at Western Michigan, the Cardinals look to extend their win streak to three as they get set for their second straight game up north Michigan against Eastern Michigan.
The Eagles currently hold the second-best overall record in the Mid-American Conference at 4-2.
Both teams come into the matchup 1-1 in conference play looking to stay ahead in the early MAC season. Eastern Michigan’s first two conference matchups against Northern Illinois and Miami (OH) were decided by seven points or less. In which the victory over the RedHawks was only by one point just a week ago. The Eagles also are undefeated at home thus far marking another challenge for the Cardinals.
As the Cardinals get set for another big-time conference match-up in Ypsilanti, here are a few players to watch.
In big-time games, the senior out of New Orleans, Louisiana Yo’Heinz Tyler has contributed to the offense in a huge way. Racking up almost 178 yards and three scores in the last two games.
But that is not even the most impressive part. He put up these numbers with only 10 receptions. That means over these two games he averaged roughly 18 yards per reception.
Having almost 100 yards receiving against Western Michigan, Tyler has proven himself to be a yet again valuable deep threat receiver for the Cardinals offense. A season ago, in just eight games Tyler scored eight touchdowns and totaled 607 receiving yards on 42 receptions.
Expect him to continue to impress as a dangerous deep threat against the Eagles.
BRYCE COSBY AND A DEFENSIVE UNIT COMING TOGETHER:
The Cardinals secondary proved to be one of the best in the MAC once again when they faced Western Michigan last week. Ball State caused a lot of problems for Western’s Kaleb Eleby forcing him to throw his first two interceptions of the season. Those two interceptions were just half of the turnovers as the Cardinals forced four on the day, a season-high. Safeties Bryce Cosby and J.T. Wahee also combined for 19 total tackles with two tackles for a loss.
Defensive linemen Jack Sape and Emeka Jillani, and linebacker Anthony Ekpe all getting a sack each last week as well. An excellent showing by the Cardinals defense in Kalamazoo against one of the best offenses in the conference.
“Every time our defense had a chance to go back out there and just keep getting after them, we kept getting it done,” head coach Mike Neu said. “They believe in each other… We had to go from playing a team like Army, then shift to a completely different style of offense that makes you defend the whole field, it’s a totally different challenge.”
Expect the strong defensive showing against the Broncos to carry over against Eastern Michigan.
Ball State and Eastern Michigan will kickoff this Saturday, October 16 in Ypsilanti at 2 p.m. Be sure to tune in and follow along with @bsusportslink for more updates.