By: Dane Massey
Ball State Sports Link
It’s homecoming week as the Cardinals return home after two consecutive games in Michigan, to take on the Miami RedHawks for their fourth conference matchup of the year. Ball State is currently riding a three-game win streak, with wins over Army, Eastern and Western Michigan. However, Miami (OH) squeaked by a win over the Cardinals last year; and with the MAC West still very much up for grabs, Ball State is looking for revenge for last year.
Coming off a win again Akron, the RedHawks are currently one of the top teams in the MAC East tied with Kent State for the divisional lead. However, the RedHawks are 0-4 on the road this year, the last road loss coming to the hands of Eastern Michigan. A team Ball State just beat.
Sophomore defensive lineman Lonnie Phelps currently leads the Mid-American Conference in sacks thus far with 5.5. Not only that, but sophomore linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. is also currently ranked fourth in total tackles in the MAC. With these two being key contributors to the defensive side of the ball The RedHawks held two out three of its conference opponents to under 20 points. Which looks to be a true test to a rising and red-hot Cardinal offense.
As the Cardinals get set for another crucial game on homecoming week, here are a few players to keep an eye on.
THE MAN OF STEELE:
Coming off his best game of his career, the freshman out of Greenwood, Indiana had a breakout game and proved himself to be another deadly threat for defenses to go up against. Carson Steele ran for almost 140 yards on 18 attempts against a solid Eastern Michigan defense. Along with that, Steele is currently ranked 10th amongst all running backs in the MAC and shows no signs of slowing down his rise in the rankings and his production on the field.
“He runs hard… that’s something that showed up when he arrived here on campus,” head coach Mike Neu said. “He runs extremely hard. Very talented as we can all see and obviously when he showed up here, he was pretty mature in terms of being physically ready to go…”
Expect Carson Steele to be a key contributor to not only this crucial game, but to the offense going forward.
WAHEE AND LEE:
J.T. Wahee and Malcolm Lee caused all sorts of plays against Eastern Michigan. Although the Eagles had over 300 yards through the air, the two seniors made a major impact combining for 11 tackles and each with an interception against the Eagles offense.
The Cardinal secondary will need to look sharp against Sophomore quarterback AJ Mayer who threw for over 200 yards and 3 touchdowns against Akron last week. Expect these two to hold down the secondary along with Bryce Cosby.
Ball State and Miami (OH) will kickoff at Scheumann Stadium this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Follow along with @ballstatesportslink for more updates!