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Ball State vs. UConn football: 5 things to watch in the Cardinals' final non-conference gameMUNCIE, Ind. — Halfway through the season, Ball State sits at 3-3 and 2-1 in the Mid-American Conference following yet another come from behind win at Central Michigan. Looking at the preseason schedule, sitting at. 500 is about where Ball State was expected to be. Though its route, losing to Western Michigan and Georgia Southern before beating two MAC West favorites in Northern Illinois and Central Michigan, isn't the most conventional way most thought BSU would take to get there.
It's been an admirable two weeks and, while the team seems to be improving as a whole, any momentum would come to a screeching halt with a loss to UConn. Ball State's three wins this season have come against a Football Championship Subdivision team and two FBS programs who currently have a combined 2-10 record. The good news is Ball State hasn't put together a clean game in all three phases yet this season. Moving forward, it might not be able to get away with the small mistakes its made through the first half of the season. "The goal, every week, is to win by one more point, to score one more point than our opponent, " Neu said. "Sometimes it might be a shootout like it was two weeks ago.
7% of the time. UConn's third-down defense ranks 112th in the FBS as it's allowed its opponents to convert 44. 2% of the time. Safe to say, not converting a single third down won't lead to many, if any, more victories. "I don't think I've ever been where we're 0-for-13 offensively on third down and won the game, " Ball State head coach Mike Neu said. Offense needs to play betterThis one's pretty obvious. It wasn't just the lack of third-down conversions which forced Ball State's defense to bail out the Cardinals last week. Ball State's 236 offensive yards against Central Michigan was by far its worst output for a team which came in averaging around 450 yards per game. Nine of the Cardinals' 14 possessions (subtracting the kneel-downs at the end of the game) against the Chippewas ended in a punt. Just two drives — which resulted in a turnover on downs at the 1-yard-line and a field goal — went for more than 50 yards.
5 sacks and 4. 25 tackles for loss per game. In the past two weeks, the defense has recorded six sacks and 12 TFLs to go along with two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. Last week, the defense recorded a season-high 11 pass breakups. Last week, three different players — Tavion Woodard, Kyle King and Jack Sape — recorded sacks. Those stops, along with several others from the defense, came in pivotal moments, including on the last drive of the game. How can BSU football get past UConn? 3 takeaways from Ball State football's win at Central Michigan'Whatever it takes'Ball State is riding plenty of momentum heading into its final non-conference game. The Cardinals have rode their offense and defense to victories against Northern Illinois and Central Michigan, respectively.
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I’m very confident in that and the players are all, you know, they’re also guys who do a great job of looking in the mirror saying ‘I have to be better, we all have to be better. ’"Keep getting pressure from the defensive line, linebackersOne notable difference in the past two weeks has been Ball State's ability to pressure opposing offenses. In the first four games, Ball State's defense average 0.
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Central Michigan dominated the time of possession 36:16-23:44, but Ball State's defense stepped up, scoring on a Houston fumble recovery and mostly stifling Central Michigan's offense. "We got to be able to sustain drives and we have to be better on third down, " Neu said. "... We got to make sure that we’re giving our guys a chance to be successful, to go out and execute at a high level and make sure we put them in a position to be successful. We’ll get that fixed, we’ll get that corrected.
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Ball State Cardinals vs Connecticut Huskies - Oddspedia Connecticut's Zion Turner (11) throws the ball against North Carolina State during the first half of an NCAA college football game