BALL STATE FOOTBALL SEASON PREVIEW:
Over the course of the past several years, the Ball State Cardinals have experienced a series of ups and downs, and their 2011 campaign that ended with a 6-6 record certainly illustrated that fact. After opening the season on a high note with a win over Indiana, the Cardinals couldn't sustain their success and finished fourth in the West division of the Mid-Atlantic Conference (MAC). Head coach Pete Lembo has high hopes for his second year on the job and expects that a more experienced roster will prove the difference in a conference that seems to be getting stronger each year.
If the Cardinals are going to achieve MAC supremacy, it will come on the arm of quarterback Keith Wenning, who posted an impressive 19 touchdowns in his sophomore year. He will rely on the steadying presence of freshman sensation Jahwan Edwards, who rushed for 11 touchdowns and nearly 800 yards in his first year. Wenning's top two targets from the 2011 season, Jamill Smith and Jack Tomlinson, should also provide continuity for the offense as a whole. The offensive line also looks to be the strength of the unit, with a series of upperclassmen manning each one of the starting spots, which should help the offense get off to a fast start in the coming year.
The Cardinals fielded one of the more underwhelming defenses of the 2011 season, but the unit should be much improved heading into next year. The coaching staff has high hopes for Jonathan Newsome, a transfer from Ohio State, as well as Brandon Newman, who will man one of the starting defensive tackle spots. In the linebacking corps, Travis Freeman leads a strong group of players, and his impressive 134 tackles from a year ago makes him one of the biggest contributors on the squad. The secondary should see strong play from cornerback starters Jeff Garrett and Jason Pinkston, but the safety spots may be a question mark as two underclassmen will step into starting roles.
While the Cardinals look good heading into the 2012 season, their schedule is one of the toughest in the MAC. After opening up against Eastern Michigan, the Cardinals will have to travel to Clemson in a Week 2 showdown, as well as huge games against South Florida, Northern Illinois and Central Michigan. There certainly aren't any gimmes on Ball State's schedule, but the Cardinals have the potential to prove that they're better than their 2011 record and make some noise in the MAC.
BALL STATE CARDINALS TEAM FACTS:
Location: Muncie, Indiana
Stadium: Scheumann Stadium
Rivals: Central Michigan Chippewas
Mascot: Charlie Cardinal
Notable Alumni: Justin Beriault, Brad Maynard, Dante Ridgeway
Notable Bowl Games:
- 2007: International Bowl Tickets - Ball State Cardinals vs Rutgers Scarlet Knights
The Ball State Cardinals started playing as a team in 1926, and have played well ever since. This program fields an excellent football team every year, and the fans in Muncie, Indiana have to be proud. The Cardinals have clenched the Mid-American Conference championship a total of five times, and the Heartland Collegiate Conference four times. Ball State has had trouble sealing the deal at their bowl games, losing four out of four appearances. However, this team has a long history of football, and you can count on the Cardinal program to keep fighting for their first bowl win.
Ball State Cardinals Basketball tickets
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