Two teams, two completely opposite seasons.
Ball State (7-1, 4-0) has a MAC Player of the Year Candidate in Keith Wenning, the next "MAC Coach to make the jump to the Bigs" coach in Pete Lembo, and the very realistic hopes of a MAC Championship after drubbing the Western Michigan Broncos (0-8, 0-4) 38-17 Saturday afternoon in Waldo Stadium.
Wenning broke the Cardinal career passing touchdown record by throwing his 75th TD pass to Zane Fakes in the 3rd quarter. He finished with 326 yards on 25-for-38 passing and 3 TDs in all. Jahwan Edwards and Horatio Banks provided a solid rushing attack for Wenning, combining for 159 yards on 31 carries, with each getting a rushing TD. Willie Snead, Fakes, and Jamill Smith combined to become a three-headed monster for targets. They finished with a touchdown apiece, and had 17 of Wenning's 25 completions for a total of 211 yards.
Meanwhile, Western Michigan has question marks all over the field outside of running-back and WR1, a coach who seems at times lost in his position, and a fanbase in fever of hoping to avoid the first 0-fer season in program history.
Back-up QB Zach Terrell, making his 2nd straight start for the injured Tyler Van Tubbergen, went 19-for-34 for 204 yards including a touchdown to fellow freshman Corey Davis. Terrell did throw an interception, but it was a failed Hail Mary play to end the 1st half. His play all but made a solid case to start the young man for the rest of the season.
Another player who proved his might was senior runningback Dareyon Chance, who finished with 120 yards on just 14 carries, including gains of 49 and 43 yards, his top two career longest runs. Davis finished with 103 yards on 9 catches, and just his 3rd TD of the season.
However, the offense stalled often, getting 3 and outs or 4 and outs on many drives. The defense did play decent, but not well enough on big 3rd downs when they could've stopped Cardinal drives early. In all, it'll be a long week for P.J. Fleck, as his 0-8 Broncos head to Foxboro to take on an equally weak UMass team.
The Ball State Cardinals head to Akron next weekend to take on the Zips, who finally beat a D-I program for the first time in ages themselves.