Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Ball State preview

This is the toughest preview guessing game I’ve had to write. I know very little about Ball State. The team has been hit hard by off-field distractions…seemingly every player on the team has been suspended for receiving free text books. Sixteen players will miss BC’s game. All that said, BC can’t take this game lightly. They were lucky to escape the Ball State game with a win last year and the first drive of the Army game shows that the Eagles are still capable of coming out flat. My hunches follow.

Offense -- what BC will do

I think Matt Ryan starts this Saturday. Nothing has been confirmed, but I don’t think the staff will risk further injury to Porter. If Ryan can win at Clemson there is no reason to think he’ll have problems with Ball State.

Although every team has been able to pass against Ball State, I think Bible and TOB will use a more balanced approach -- like the Army game. I don’t think BC will put up as many points as Auburn. Just not TOB’s style. I also think you’ll see the second and third teamers get plenty of reps.

Offense -- what BC should do

This game is about UVA. The team needs to come out of this healthy and with confidence. So I have no problem with using the back ups. Ball State is down to five defensive lineman, so I don’t think you’ll see a lot of pressure on whoever is throwing the ball. The weakened line should also have trouble with the run.

But let me restate. This game is about UVA. So throw in some twists (a lot of deep balls, maybe Callender and Whitworth in the backfield at the same time) just to keep Al Golden guessing next week.

Defense -- what BC will do

The defense has carried this team. There is no reason to think they won’t do so this weekend. I am somewhat afraid that they will come out flat. Once again, I think you’ll see a lot of the second string.

Defense -- what BC should do

Spaz has done a great job mixing coverage, blitzing from unique positions and taking advantage of the double teams on Kiwi. This weekend, I just want to see vanilla, straight-forward defense. I am all for decoys on Offense, however, on defense I want the team to have the confidence to do it gimmick free. There is no reason why our line cannot create enough pressure without blitzing.

Special Teams -- what BC will do

This is the one area where Ball State has an advantage. I think BC will be conservative and not make any aggressive/potentially risky moves.

Special Teams -- what BC should do

Try to get Ohliger’s confidence back. Give him another shot at a 48 yarder if given the chance. I expect a lot of punting from the Cardinals, so give Tribble a chances without Will back there.

Final Prediction

I am not for running up the score, but I think and want BC to come out strong and put them away early.

Final Score: BC 48, Ball State 10

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