It’s not uncommon for the Big Ten and the Mid-American Conference to start their seasons against one another. In fact, over the first few weeks of the season this year there are many games where that matchup will occur. Each time, fans of the MAC hope against hope that perhaps this time will be the next time that a MAC team takes a B1G scalp and hangs out on the wall via an upset victory. That would certainly be the case Saturday as the Ball State Cardinals take on the Illinois Fighting Illini.
It’s a strength-on-strength matchup as the Ball State rushing attack, led by James Gilbert goes up against the Illini defensive unit, coached by defensive expert and new head coach Lovie Smith. Illinois has a vaunted rushing attack of their own and stopping it is a tall order for the Cardinals, especially given the significant questions their all-new linebacking unit bring to the table.
Cardinal alum and head coach Mike Neu has yet to have a signature win as the head coach of the Cardinals, and while a defeat of a closer-to-the-bottom-than-the-top Big Ten squad wouldn’t usually be a marquee sort of victory, it’s exactly the type of springboard this young Cardinal squad needs to set a solid season in motion.
Your need to know information...
Kickoff time: 12:00PM
Television: Big Ten Network
Stream: BTN2Go app, pending cable provider
Weather: Sunny, 70°
Line: Illinois -6.5