By: Charlie Desadier
Ball State Sports Link
The Ball State Cardinals and Central Michigan Chippewas will square off for week 12 of MACtion football under the lights of Scheumann Stadium today at 7 p.m.
The Chippewas sit second in the MAC west coming out of week 11 with a 6-4 record in hopes of continuing their winning streak after dominating the last four of fives games. The Cardinals are looking to advance their 5-5 record to clench .500 with just two weeks left, making them bowl eligible for the second year in a row.
“We’ve got bowl eligibility still lying ahead of us and we want to end the season on a positive note, especially for all of the seniors that have given so much to our program,” Coach Mike Neu said.
On the road, Ball State lost to Northern Illinois on a game-winning 32-yard field goal sealing a 30-29 victory for the Huskies at Brigham Field.
“Obviously, it’s disappointing to lose a game on the road, especially knowing what was at stake,” Neu said following the loss at Norther Illinois. “I’m hurting for those guys in the locker room. We’ve got two games at home left. It’s going to be a tough bus ride home, but we’ve got to stay together and fight for each other with the time that we have left. In the first half, we had missed opportunities and left plays out on the field that would’ve resulted in points, and probably touchdowns. But we didn’t make those plays when we needed them. That’s the hard part to swallow. We did a good job early creating turnovers, but we just didn’t capitalize when we had some early momentum in the game.”
With the Cardinals returning home for their final two games of the regular season, it and home victories being split for this team, it is essential for these guys to know their opponent.
The Chippewas beat the Kent State Golden Flashes in a 54-30 victory. Their strong, balanced offense is to take the blame.
So far this season the Chippewas average 34.5 points per game with 6.2 yards per play in six Mid-American Conference match-ups.
QB Daniel Richardson has started the past six contests and has completed 60.5 percent of his passes for 2,011 yards, 19 touchdowns, with two interceptions under his belt this fall. Against the Gold Flashes Richardson went for 268 standout yards and four touchdowns.
Freshman running back Lew Nichols III has been one of Richardsons strongest warriors this season with 1, 297 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns ranking first in the conference in per-game production (129.7). Nichols is on a five-game streak with 100 yards scoring eight rushing tuds in Central Michigan’s last three contests.
Receivers Kalil Pimpleton and Dallas Dixon have combined for 1, 416 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns as well.
Central Michigan’s defense has allowed over 30 points in the last three contests and 417.8 yards per game raising their season average to 29.5 points.
This teams defense ranks sixth in the MAC with senior defensive back Gage Kreski leading the pack with 74 tackles. Former co-MAC Defensive Player of the Year Troy Hairston II leads the team with 5.5 sacks so far this season while cornerback Donte Kent has one interception.