In the preseason, Jahwan Edwards declared that he wanted to be called "Quake", a nickname he's evidently had since middle school. I think there's a possibility that Edwards pulled a Kobe and anointed himself with that moniker.
However, if Edwards keeps doing what he did Thursday night against Eastern Michigan, we can reenact the scene from the beginning of last week's Breaking Bad and I'll say his name as many times as he wants.
The Ball State sophomore running back was in absolute beast mode, running the ball 20 times for an even 200 yards and three touchdowns in the Cards' 37-26 victory (a game that was not nearly this close).
It is now creed that he will be called Quake ‘N Bake (let's save the drug jokes on the off-chance that BSU players get busted for shoplifting male-enhancement drugs while the school also promotes a #RiseUp campaign. Oh wait.)
I actually did not get to see Edwards' 75-yard touchdown run as the WatchESPN program went out right before the play and came back on as he crossed the goal-line. I'm sure it was a magnificent run. But it wasn't just Edwards though; the Cardinals ran roughshod over the Eagles, finishing with 329 rushing yards. None of those rushing yards came courtesy of Toney Williams, though. Perhaps the transfer from Tennessee was serving an unpublished suspension (he was implicated in the aforementioned boner pill theft), or maybe he's not as good as Edwards, Horactio Banks or Sir Barrington Scott.
Fingers are crossed that Eastern Michigan's run defense is the MAC's best and a sign of things to come for the Cardinal Ground Crew (I'm not holding my breath).
Because I am a Ball State fan and like to overreact to the tiniest things that go wrong, here are a few concerns:
- And this is the best of problems: it appears Pete Lembo and company let off the gas pedal too early after two EMU touchdowns in the fourth quarter cut Ball Stat's lead to 11. We've seen enough MAC games in our lifetime to know that no game is over. #MACtion! (Sorry Suss, I know you dislike this meme).
- It became clear Eastern Michigan's passing attack plan was predicated on throwing long bombs - and, well, there was some success. There were no more than five plays where Ball State was in man-to-man coverage and EMU receivers got behind the DBs. A few of those were completed for long passes, a couple were overthrown, and one was perfectly placed and somehow the receiver didn't locate the ball and hit off his shoulder* (That play may have been the turning point of the game early in the second half).
*On this particular play, the Cards were actually in Cover 2 Man with a safety over the top and Javonti Greene still got open. I'm legitimately concerned about the pass defense.
- On Edwards' fumble, I tweeted that it was Wenning's fault because he made a poor decision on the read option and the outside blitzer was keyed on the running back the whole way. This may not be wholly right; I don't know how the read option works in accounting for blitzers. On that particular play, Wenning may have simply just been keying the DT or DE - anyone know the read changes (if any) for when a blitzer is recognized? I wish I was @smartfootball. I am not.
We got this far without talking about Wenning's play. No touchdowns, but most important no interceptions. Ran the two-minute to near-perfection at the end of the first half, which resulted in a field goal and tied the game at 13. The only mistake on the series was a drop by Jamill Smith - which is humorous because on the possession before, Smith got open against the EMU zone on a similar play and complained because the ball wasn't passed to him.
I like to use the eye test to gauge the confidence a quarterback has in leading a team and Wenning looks like he's in complete control. He missed a few deep balls, but Wenning and Smith - who hooked up seven times for 119 yards - will become further acquainted early and often.
Thursday's performance was encouraging. Ball State plays Clemson next week. Edwards will have the exact same performance, right? RIGHT?