As some of you are well aware, I hate blowouts. They are a complete waste of time. Tonight, I got the message from the guy that was supposed to cover this “game”. He was unable to post a recap. My initial reaction was to just walk away and let some other sucker pick up the story.
However, I decided that I would write about this utter humiliation. Why? Because it’s a dirty underside of sports that rarely gets the attention that it deserves. Teams lose, sometimes in ugly fashion. Why? There are a lot of reasons. In this particular case because Ball State doesn’t have a defense and their replacement QB isn’t ready for the job. ..it happens.
A quick look at the stat line will tell you everything you need to know. The first stat I look to in football is rushing yards. It’s how football teams impose their will. Eastern Michigan was a little better, 225 to 172. Makes sense, EMU is a little better football team.
Second stat I look to is QB play. It’s a team game, but if there is an I in team, it’s the quarterback. Brogan Roback, who is a good QB and still standing for EMU was 15 for 21 for 263 yards and 3 touchdowns. Zero interceptions. The Ball State QB, who wasn’t Riley Neal, didn’t have such a good game. It wasn’t terrible, Drew Plitt threw for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. In reality, that’s a solid job for the 4th QB that Ball State has put under center this season.
And that’s where this story goes. Eastern Michigan was the much better football team tonight. Why? It just works out that way sometimes. Do I think there is something rotten in Muncie? Not really. Ball State was poised to be a solid team this season. The defense wasn’t up to the job and the QB got hurt. While the Cardinals faithful might see a problem, I think Mike Neu is doing just fine. He had some bad luck this year with injuries. Eastern Michigan, who has been playing good football but losing in close fashion decided to open a can tonight. Will they reach bowl eligibility? Probably not, even though the team has been mostly healthy. They just lost a lot of close games they had a chance to win.
There is a fine line between winning and losing, even in a 56-14 final score.