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Jarin’s Jabs: @BallStateFB Homecoming Week

Everyone knew coming into Mid-American Conference play that Ball State was going to need to finish above .500.

So far, so good for the Cardinals, who sit at 2-1 in the MAC and 3-4 overall. Now, they turn their attention to an interesting Eastern Michigan team for the 92nd edition of Homecoming.

BALL STATE MUSTS IN WEEK 8

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Putting the Ball in the End Zone

Ball State ranks at the top of the NCAA when it comes to drives of more than ten plays. The Cardinals have 16 such drives, two in front of everyone else in college football.

The big problem, however, has been the inability to cap drives off with seven points as opposed to three.

The bright side of all of this though is that Ball State went three of four converting touchdowns instead of field goals last week when they hit the red zone. And that was on the road in Mount Pleasant.

The Cardinals should be much more comfortable inside the Scheu on Saturday with a big crowd on their side during red zone trips.

Defense Holding Strong

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Last season Ball State gave up 40.1 points per game defensively, including 37.6 points at home.

This season is an entirely different Cardinal defense. The 2018 Cardinal D is only allowing 20.5 points in Muncie this season.

In fact, Ball State has allowed exactly 24 points in their first three Mid-American Conference games.

The brightest spot on the defense so far has come from the linebackers in the new 3-4 system under coordinator David Elson.

Christian Albright is tied for the NCAA lead with four forced fumbles this season, and Jacob White leads Ball State with 53 tackles.

The Cardinals defensively will continue to attack the football, trying to create turnovers against an offense that has had a revolving door at QB.

HAGEE IN THE CLUTCH… AGAIN? 

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Senior kicker Morgan Hagee out of Plainfield, IN, leads the Mid-American Conference with 11 made field goals.

Hagee has set a career long for field goals twice this season, week three against Notre Dame at 49 yards, and then two weeks ago at home against Northern Illinois from 51.

And to top off what has been a career year for Hagee, he hit the game winning field goal last weekend on the road in Mount Pleasant.

The biggest thing Ball State needs this weekend is the continued consistency from Hagee. 63 consecutive made extra points, which dates back to 2015, is a simple yet important part of what Hagee does in special teams.

Just keep doing the things you’ve been doing, is likely the message for the senior this week.

Ball State and Eastern Michigan kickoff at 3 p.m. on the brand new SL Digital platform. You can listen to the game on mixlr.com/bsusportslink. The Sports Link Gameday show also airs at 2 p.m. on Facebook and will take you down to kickoff.

About Jarin Matheny (8 Articles)
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