Ball State officially kicked off the Mike Neu era on Saturday with an exciting, action packed Spring Football Game.
There were plenty of fireworks during the game and plenty of enthusiasm on both sides of the ball as fans were treated to their first taste of the new Cardinal football team.
In a surprisingly well played game (few penalties by either side until late in the 4th quarter) the Cardinals got to show off their new, high-powered offense and a quick moving, hard hitting defense.
There were 8 total touchdowns scored on the day including one on an pick 6 by LB Damon Singleton.
“I’ve been very pleased with the spring,” Coach Neu said after the game. “I told our guys, all of them, I love the buy in. The willingness to do whatever we ask them to do has been phenomenal. It’s a good starting point for us and now we have to carry this into the summer.”
Among the standouts on the day were QB Riley Neal, who threw for 229 yards and 2 touchdowns including big plays to WRs Aaron Hepp (53 yard bomb) and Kevonn Mabon (65 yards) and RB James Gilbert (85 yards and 2 touchdowns) on offense and on defense, DEs Josh Posley, Anthony Winbush and Reggie McGee, who all recorded sacks, and newcomer DB Josh Miller who made several big hits on the day.
The real standout on the day though was the energy and enthusiasm that the new coaching staff has brought to the program. Both sides of the ball displayed a faster pace of play and energy that was lacking the past two seasons, at least. There were several big plays and attempts at big plays that kept the fans engaged. The players celebrated heartily with each big play and showed great excitement. There was a palatable change in the program and not just from the play calling, but from an overall atmosphere.