The Ball State Cardinals finished last season on a 5 game losing streak, and ended with a 4-8 record. 4 of their losses were by a single score or less, so it wasn’t quite as bad as it seemed. There is a lot of speculation about the 2017 Cardinals’ season, and most of it is bad. I don’t think it’s going to be nearly as bad as most are predicting.
Ball State Cardinals Cheat Sheet
- Head Coach: Mike Neu, 2nd season, (4-8 overall)
- 2016 Record: 4-8
- 2017 Ball State Schedule
Sept. 2.......at Illinois
Sept. 16.....Tennessee Tech
Sept. 23....at Western Kentucky
Sept. 30...at Western Michigan
Oct. 7........at Akron
Oct. 14 .....OPEN
Oct. 21......Central Michigan (HC)
Nov. 2........at Eastern Michigan
Nov. 9........at Northern Illinois
- Returning Starters
- Starters Lost
- Key Returnees
James Gilbert, Jr. Running back: 1332 rushing yards in 2016, and 1940 career yards.
Riley Neal, Jr. Quarterback: 2541 yards through the air and 540 on the ground in 2016.
Anthony Winbush, Sr. Defensive End: 8.5 sacks last season.
Josh Miller, Sr. Cornerback: 48 total tackles in 9 games in 2016.
News and Notes
Per the Star Press, coach Mike Neu expects a big year from Riley Neal. He had some good quotes at the MAC media day.
"I really expect Riley to have a big year," Neu said Wednesday at the Mid-American Conference Media Day. "He took some bumps last year, and we had some situations where he made a critical mistake, where he threw an interception; we had an opportunity at the end of the game and he didn’t perform at his best."
"I’ll be the first to admit a year ago, going through practice, that was hard for me dialing it down from being around a guy like Drew Brees in practice every day," Neu said. "You see things he can do at such a high level, and you get used to perfection and being spoiled, if you will.
"So I was pretty hard on (Riley), and I have to give him an opportunity to grow up. I was in his shoes once too, and I certainly stunk up the joint. So I am excited about this kid, and I’m excited about his hard work and his attitude and proving to his teammates that he is a MAC championship-caliber quarterback.
James Gilbert is really good, and is on the Maxwell watch list. Read our article here.
Mike Neu’s confidence extends past his quarterback’s play.
"My expectation is to win a MAC Championship." -- Ball State's Mike Neu [@BSUCoachNeu] #ChirpChirp #MACtion cc: @BallStateFB pic.twitter.com/qTCvYoeBiZ— #MACtion (@MACSports) July 26, 2017