Ball State is off to a 6-0 start for the first time since the 1965 season and is ranked 25th in the nation in the AP Poll released Sunday. The Cardinals, under the direction of sixth-year head coach Brady Hoke, received 97 points in the poll , and is ranked behind 4-1 Pittsburgh. Ball State received 75 points in the USA Today Poll to rank 29th in the nation, and was 23 points out of the 25th spot.
"We need to take care of our business and prepare each week," Hoke says. "We will watch the Western Kentucky tape and have business as usual. We need to prepare to be our best and we have not done that yet. This is a long football season. We have six more games to play and we have a lot of work to do."
The Cardinals tallied a 31-0 win at Toledo Saturday, to post the first shutout for a Ball State team since Nov. 18, 2000, when the Cardinals tallied a 29-0 win over Connecticut. The shutout over the Rockets marked the first time the feat was accomplished in 30 years at the Glass Bowl.
Ball State, which is 3-0 in Mid-American Conference play for the first time since the 1993 campaign, will play a non-conference game at Western Kentucky Saturday and is idle the following week.
"This does speak volumes for the hard work these kids have done," Hoke says. "Our guys are playing as a team right now and are preparing each week and we have been fortunate to be on the right side of the win-loss column. This never entered our minds. We want to be a team that cares about each other and plays hard. Our goal has not changed. We want to win the Mid-American Conference Championship. Right now we want to get ready for Western Kentucky."
The Cardinals will host Eastern Michigan Oct. 25, and host Northern Illinois Nov. 5. Ball State's final three games of the season are at Miami University (Nov. 11), at Central Michigan (Nov. 19) and home against Western Michigan (Nov. 25).
Tickets are available at www.ballstatesports.com or by calling 1.888.BSU.TICKET.
Ball State's home game vs. Northern Illinois is scheduled for ESPN2 or ESPNU. The Miami University and Central Michigan games are slated for ESPN2. Ball State's regular season finale vs. Western Michigan is available on ESPN 360.
"Our seniors have been great in the leadership roles," Hoke says. "They have kept this team together. We are looking at the task at hand. When you look at the leadership of this team and have been through some struggles, they understand what it takes to get to this point. We have a football team with character and a bunch of guys who respect each other."
Following is the complete Week 6 Poll:
6. Penn State
7. Texas Tech
9. Brigham Young
12. Ohio State
15. Boise State
17. Oklahoma State
18. Virginia Tech
19. South Florida
21. Wake Forest
22. North Carolina
23. Michigan State
25. Ball State
Story originally posted by BallStateSports.com