Cards finish spring practice with Spring Game

MUNCIE – Based on Nate Davis' stat line, one would think the junior standout had a great game. But don't tell Davis or Ball State coach Brady Hoke that.

MUNCIE – Based on Nate Davis' stat line, one would think the junior standout had a great game. But don't tell Davis or Ball State coach Brady Hoke that.

The sophomore gunslinger completed 15-of-21 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns as the Cardinal team defeated the White, 23-0, in Saturday's Spring Game.

"I didn't have a great day today," Davis said. "I didn't throw the ball well and did a lot of little things wrong. I missed a lot of open guys. I just had a bad day, I don't think it was the weather or anything."

During the spring, Davis' main goal was to improve his footwork, an objective Davis will work on as the team readies for summer workouts.

"I've definitely progressed but I've got to work hard over the summer and get after it," he said.

Hoke agreed, saying Davis wasn't as sharp Saturday as he was during the course of spring practice.

"I'm glad (Nate) said that," Hoke said. "That tells you what kind of competitor he is. He loves to win and he wants to be the best there is. So that's a good thing."

On the whole, Hoke said the game wasn't as clean as he would've liked."I would liked to have seen a little more juice at times," Hoke said. "We didn't do a good job of running the football in the red zone and didn't connect on chip-shot field goals.

"You can't judge how your spring went by today. That's something we've got to keep striving on."

Ian McGarvey missed a 29-yard field goal and Chris Reinking a 32-yarder.

On the offensive side, one of the breakout players of the game was sophomore wide receiver Dan Ifft. With the Cardinals still looking for No. 2 and 3 receivers behind Dante Love, Ifft caught a pair of touchdown passes from Davis.

The Red team's first score took all of three plays. Following a Frank Edmonds run, Davis connected on a 58-yard pass to Myles Trempe. On the next play, Davis and Ifft hooked up on a 19-yard TD pass on a slant.

"It's just something fun to do to wrap up the spring," said Ifft of Saturday's game. "There are still a lot of things I got to work on. Going from the five-wide offense we ran in high school … I like people that can throw the ball. Things opened up out there today. With Dante and Darius covered, we just took advantage of whatever coverage the defense played."

They also connected for the second touchdown when Ifft scored on a 14-yard pass from Davis. Following a safety, Davis found Dante Love on the left sideline for a 26-yard catch and score.

Hoke also said that Ifft separated himself from everyone else during spring practice, but also expects a few of the incoming freshman wideouts to compete for spots as well.

Trempe also did his share, hauling in two long Davis passes for 108 yards.

In the fall, Hoke said he wants to see Ifft get bigger and become more physical.

Both teams combined to finish with 120 yards rushing. Cory Sykes led the way with 40 yards while Frank Edmonds finished with 32 and Ike Nnachi added 14.

The White team quarterback, Tanner Justice, didn't fare so well. He was 14-of-21 for 113 yards and one interception. He also had a couple other passes that could've been picked off.

Senior walk-on Wade Overton led both teams with six receptions.

Defensively, the squad played well, especially the linebackers. Davyd Jones and Lorren Womack led all players with seven tackles apiece. Gonzalo Barinaga, Kaylon Woods and Justin Woodard added a sack apiece. Barinaga also had 1.5 tackles for loss to lead both teams.

Hoke listed a number of players who had great spring practices, including right guard Kreg Hunter, centers Ben Jacoby and Dan Gerberry, tight end Kevin Steinhaus, nose tackle Jafe Pitcock and Womack.


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