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Five Things Learned: Ball State Cardinals at Eastern Michigan Eagles

Ball State stunned the home crowd with a late win over the Eagles.

At Least the Band Looked Good
Kenneth Bailey

Ball State defeated Eastern Michigan 29 to 23 but what did we learn?

89 yards?

The Eastern Michigan ground game never seemed to get out of first gear.
Kenneth Bailey

As I said in my write up, it hasn’t seemed like Eastern Michigan has established a ground game. It nearly burned them against Central Connecticut. It definitely burned them against Central Michigan. It didn’t help them against Ball State. There were a few times that Coach Creighton tried to open things up with the end around but it didn’t take Ball State long to figure that out. You know that ground game is in trouble when the leading rusher from the game is the Quarterback and that was only 36 yards. It also seemed like his rushes were on broken plays.

Eastern Michigan couldn’t contain the run

I know I posted this one before but it seems appropriate
Kenneth Bailey

Ball State gained 196 yards on the game. Most of that came from Caleb Huntley (who is not in this picture). It seems like much of that came between the tackles (but keep in mind I see the game through a viewfinder). Huntley didn’t seem to have any wear and tear after a 35-carry game against NIU the week before, rushing for 152 yards on 29 carries. He didn’t score a touchdown, but the threat of him certainly seemed to help Ball State’s passing game.

The Eastern Michigan Passing Attack Was Almost Effective

Mike Glass setting up a pass.
Kenneth Bailey

Mike Glass was 20 for 34 for 283 yards. Unfortunately, he threw three picks, which ultimately proved to be the difference in the game. The numbers, for the second week in a ow, showed a quarterback under duress and being unable to handle the pressure. Ball State took advantage of the short possessions to be able to make the comeback possible.

The Ball State Passing game was more effective

Drew Plitt was 23 for 32 for 255 yards and two touchdowns for the Cardinals, helping them to keep the EMU defense honest. The running game kept them multi-dimensional throughout their efforts on offense, opening up the playbook and getting the Cards several advantageous matchups.

Ball State is on top of the MAC West

Top of the Heap
Kenneth Bailey

At 2-0 in the MAC, Ball State stands on top the MAC west. Granted there is still plenty of football left but they should savor this one. They earned both those interdivison victories, and now hold a very important lead, as they haven’t lost yet against a MAC team.

With traditional powers NIU and Toledo holding at least one loss, the division is wide open for the team who wishes to take advantage. Right now... that’s the Cardinals.

Despite all that Eastern Michigan came this close.
Kenneth Bailey