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Ball State Cardinals @ Miami Redhawks: 5 Things Learned

Gus Ragland is a stud, but what else did we learn?

NCAA Football: Central Michigan at Miami (Ohio) Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Gus Ragland is unbelievable

Gus Ragland tore apart the Ball State Cardinals defense on Tuesday night.

Ragland threw for a career-high 380 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. This has been a trend all season for the sophomore quarterback. After coming back from an ACL tear that happened in pre-season, Ragland has thrown 12 touchdowns and zero interceptions in six games. Ragland has also potted two rushing touchdowns this season.

He has been a shining star for Miami this season. He has won all six games that he has started, bringing Miami to 6-6 to end the regular season. With Ragland’s heroics, Miami now has a chance at a decent bowl game. The sophomore from Cincinnati will try to provide the Redhawks with their first winning season since 2010.

Miami has a good chance at a solid bowl game for the first time in a while

Like mentioned before, the Redhawks have not had a winning season since 2010. If you’re not at least 6-6 at the end of a season, you’re likely not getting a bowl game.

Their record setting six-straight wins have not all been thanks to Gus Ragland. The Redhawks defense has been outstanding this year. They are second in the MAC in total defense, allowing only 354.8 yards per game. They also lead the MAC in interceptions, capturing 14 of opponents passes for turnovers.

According to our very own MAC Bowl Projections, Miami is predicted to play in the Camellia Bowl against Troy. This could definitely change after this close win against Ball State, but either way Miami is in good shape for bowl season.

James Gilbert, a bright spot for the Cardinals

NCAA Football: Ball State at Indiana Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

On a rather gloomy season, the Ball State Cardinals can look back and notice one shining piece: James Gilbert.

After Tuesday’s game, Gilbert leads the MAC in rushing yards for the season. Gilbert has rushed 251 times for 1332 yards and 12 touchdowns this season, a revelation for a lot of people that did not expect this type of performance from the sophomore.

Good news for the Cardinals is that Gilbert will be in their plans for the upcoming future. The Cardinals will also look to sophomore quarterback Riley Neal who had a decent season as the teams starting quarterback. This could be a deadly duo within the next few years in the MAC.

Ball State needs defensive help

Gus Ragland took the Ball State secondary for a little joy ride on Tuesday night, scoring three touchdowns with ease, one being a 74 yard bomb to wide receiver Rokeem Williams.

The Ball State secondary has been in shambles all season. They have been the worst in the MAC, allowing an average of 319.7 yards per game through the air. The Cardinals have only forced seven interceptions, which is third worst in the conference.

The Cardinals have only had one defensive player commit so far, a three-star safety from Indiana. Brock Burns has a 6”3 frame, but will have to add some weight to his 176 pounds if he is going to want to make a difference for Ball State.

The Cardinals are still looking to add some more defensive skill and depth and are hoping they can make an immediate impact when next season rolls around.

The Redhawks could be a serious contender for the MAC East next season

If Gus Ragland can stay healthy for a whole season, the MAC East Championship will be at Miami’s fingertips. The MAC East is already not that tough, considering the Redhawks finished 6-6 and will finish second in that division. Ragland is a winner. He proved that by leading the first team in NCAA history to six straight wins after starting the season with six straight losses.

The Redhawks will also get a lot of help from this year’s recruiting class. They already have 13 commits from a wide variety of positions. Miami is looking good for next year, a team to definitely keep an eye on.