BY CONNOR ONION | Radio Voice of Ball State Football on WCRD 91.3 FM
Ball State cruised to a 41-14 home-opening win against Eastern Kentucky last Saturday.
The offense set the tone, starting the game 16-for-16 through the air, putting up 27 first half points. At times, the Cardinals strayed from their bread and butter, implementing an ornamented offensive flavor.
The excitement through out the 10,000+ fans at Scheumann Stadium was palpable in the first quarter when quarterback Riley Neal threw a screen pass to running back Teddy Williamson. Williamson stopped in his tracks, threw the ball back across the field to Neal, who rifled it down field to Kevonn Mabon.
“There are more,” said head coach Mike Neu regarding the wrinkles Ball State’s offense utilized Saturday.
Later in the game, offensive coordinator Joey Lynch dialed up a double reverse for Mabon to keep Eastern Kentucky off balance.
“It’s fun,” Mabon said. “I get a chance to see if Riley [Neal] can go out and lay a block for me.”
The basics worked too. Ball State out gained Eastern Kentucky by 142 yards.
FAU’s NFL Ties
Florida Atlantic’s starting quarterback has a surname familiar to many football fans.
Saturday’s starter Jason Driskel is the brother of current NFL quarterback and former Florida Gator quarterback Jeff Driskel.
Jeff is currently on the Cincinnati Bengals roster due to former Ball State quarterback Keith Wenning being cut shortly before the beginning of the NFL regular season.
Jason has been effective at times for Florida Atlantic (1-2) in the first three weeks, completing 60 percent of his passes, but has been sacked 11 times. Driskel was sacked 10 times in 10 games last year.
Also, NFL talent has surrounded third-year head coach Charlie Partridge.
In 2002, Partridge was the defensive line coach at Eastern Illinois. That same season, current Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was at Eastern Illinois and was named the Division I-AA player of the year.
Returning to Florida
Saturday’s game marks the first time Ball State will play a game in the state of Florida since the 2012 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl.
Ball State traveled to Tropicana Field to oppose the University of Central Florida in Tampa Bay. In a matchup of two budding programs, Central Florida outlasted Ball State, 38-17.
The following season, both teams returned to bowl games.
Ball State rode quarterback Keith Wenning and wide receiver Willie Snead to the Go Daddy Bowl.
Central Florida exploded into national prominence with a 12-1 record, a Fiesta Bowl win over Baylor and a top 10 finish in the national rankings.
Blake Bortles, current quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars, was the quarterback on both of those Central Florida teams.