Ball State looking for answers as season closes
New coordinators on offense and defense, and loss of talent on both sides of the ball to the NFL leads to a disappointing season for the Cardinals. From 10-3 in 2013 to being below .500 in 2014 there is probably not many bright spots but there are glimmers of hope looking ahead to next year. There are a couple players that might get a shot at the next level but 2015 looks to be a better year for BSU. NFLDraftGM was lucky enough to get some words from Alan of Over the Plyon to discuss some of the hits and misses of Ball State. (Please note this was written late last week and only put up now)
A: Honestly, no. Defensively, DB Eric Patterson was probably the most talented and most likely to play on Sunday, until a broken arm. LB Ben Ingle was the straw that stirred the drink defensively and that was marred by injuries as well. On the offensive side of the ball, Jahwan “Quake” Edwards has been the consistent thing, and did manage to set the school-record for rushing yards, TDs, and points scored and he still has two games left. But on the whole, the offense is exceptionally young and in need of development.
J: Building on question 2, do you see players who could potentially play at the next level? Why?
A: Quake Edwards and Eric Patterson are the most likely, and they are also the oldest and most experienced. Both possess a nose for the ball and a hustle that you’d expect from the MAC players. There is a possibility that young players could blossom in to NFL prospects, but that’s going to take a ton of coaching, more than a little work, and some luck.
J: What about the system in place offensively and defensively prepares these players to possibly make the transition to the next level? What are some changes you feel that they could make?
A: From what I’ve seen this season, it doesn’t. Both coordinators are brand new to BSU and in Joey Lynch’s case, brand new to being an offensive coordinator. Is it possible their system will advance as they get more experience? Of course. Lord, I hope so. This year, offensively was a disaster playcalling and execution and defensively it was like watching a game of Madden where the deep middle seam was nearly open every time. That’s bad.
J: Biggest surprise at the mid point of the season from players and teams around the league both positive or negative.
A: This has been an odd year in the MAC in that many of the “big name” players aren’t pulling away. Jarvion Franklin from WMU is putting up 135 a game, but it’s not all that exceptional and not all that different from Anthone Taylor from Buffalo and Quake Edwards. The MAC is known for QBs, and the biggest surprise is also probably the best performer in Blake Frohnapfel from UMass. Kid has a canon and I think he sticks somewhere in the NFL. Biggest team surprise for me has been the NIU Huskies and their seeming inability to ever have an off year. Year in and year out it’s the same contending for a division title and it’s something that is both infuriating and tremendously awesome.
J: Does Ball State finish the season strong?
At this writing, we have two games remaining. One extremely winnable at home against EMU, one much less so on the road to close the season at MAC East champion Bowling Green on Black Friday. Part of me wants to be an unapologetic homer and call a 2-0 closeout, but at this point, I’d take 1-1 and be thrilled about it.
Thanks again to Alan from Over The Pylon for taking the time to write a little on the Ball State program. If you want to stay up on the Cardinals you can follow Over The Pylon on twitter @OverThePylon or at overthepylon.net.