A quick recap of all the MAC games played tonight...
This was the game most watched on the Hustle Belt Official Visotron, and it was evident that while Iowa State might not be a plus-.500 Big XII team, it didn't take that to beat a talented bunch of DeKalbians who are still experiencing growing pains. I was really surprised that DeMarcus Grady was asked to make big plays all day, when Chad Spann seemed relatively underused, even at 17 for 80. Instead, Grady completed less than 50% and tossed three poorly-contrived balls that landed in the gullets of Cyclone linebackers. One of my guesses about this game was entirely correct.
So, Murray has an invisible running game, and it showed: they had negative rushing yards, and this may not've happened if the running backs were actually invisible. As studies have shown, those guys usually break longer runs. For KSU, the running wealth was spread amongst Eugene Jarvis, Jacquise Terry, Andre Flowers and Dri Archer. Defensively, 10 guys had tackles for loss -- Roosevelt Nix, Monte Simmons and Dorian Wood with at least two -- and Spencer Keith threw for three touchdowns. Fun for all involved, except for the Fighting Murrays. Don't worry; basketball season is a few months away. (Although between these two, I also like Kent State on the hardwood.)
It started with a safety on a botched punt snap. And ended with very much of the same. Rushes were strewn about the depth chart, with Paris Cotton, Carl Volny, and QB Ryan Radcliff each runnin' it in for a score. Only once could the pesky Pirates cross midfield, and that ended in a turnover. So it's snazzy to see the defense put up the blank.
And another shutout! Only UB decided to play the aerial attack. Jerry Davis distributed four touchdowns amongst four different large men with opposable thumbs, totaling over 300 yards before being pulled. Basically, good on everyone, except for special teams. URI's Brandon Johnson-Farrell did run a kickoff back 68 yards. We've also learned that any football team who calls themselves "Rams" are generally substandard.
This was close, folks, right through halftime. Ball State finally started administering heavy doses of Eric Williams and Cory Sykes to soften the blow of looking as competent as a bottom-rung FCS team. Sykes had two TDs and Williams went over 100 yards. It's possible that initially the Cardinals thought SEMO was just going to show up, wet themselves, and fumble the ball upon hearing a special whistle blown by a sports psychologist that only quarterbacks can hear. But Matt Scheible probably never took psychology, and instead watched the USA whimsical crime drama Psych.