The Texas vs. the Nation Challenge is in its third season, and has taken the place of the Hula Bowl. The game will be played Sat., Jan. 31, at 7 p.m. (Mountain Time) at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. This is the third season for this game which features the nation's top seniors, and saw 102 players from the 2008 game sign National Football League contracts.
Brewster and Miller are the first Ball State football student-athletes to compete in a post-college all-star game since Terry Moss played in the 2006 Hula Bowl. Brewster, who was a senior offensive tackle for the Cardinals, and Miller, a senior punter for the Cardinals last season, are two of eight players from the Mid-American Conference competing in the game.
"Robert Brewster has been a dominant offensive lineman in the Mid-American Conference for the last two years, and that is in a conference which has sent a lot of linemen to the National Football League," Ball State head coach Stan Parrish says. "He has all the skills necessary to compete professionally. Chris Miller is an outstanding punter and has a tremendous opportunity to play professional football. He did not get the chance to punt much this season, which means our offense did a pretty good job. However, in the course of his career, he has been a great weapon for Ball State. Playing in this game gives our student-athletes the chance to stack up their talents against the best in the country. We wish them well and we are confident they will make the most of their opportunity."
Brewster was named to the All-MAC First-Team last fall for the second straight season, and was on the Rotary Lombardi and Outland Trophy Watch Lists during the 2008 campaign. He started all 14 games as a senior, and started 46 straight games in his career. He anchored an offensive line in 2008 which ranked first in the MAC and fourth in the country for fewest sacks allowed. Ball State's offensive line allowed only 14 sacks in 13 games in 2008. In addition, Brewster blocked for an offense which tallied a school record 5,972 total yards of offense in 2008. He helped protect quarterback Nate Davis (Bellaire, Ohio/Bellaire H.S.), who passed for 3,591 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2008, and running back MiQuale Lewis (Fort Wayne, Ind./Snider H.S.), who rushed for a school record 1,736 yards as a junior last fall.
Miller was a 2008 All-MAC Second-Team selection after earning first-team honors in 2005, 2006 and 2007. He was a 2007 American Football Coaches Association All-American, and was named to the Playboy Magazine Preseason All-America Team in 2007 and 2008. As a junior, Miller was a Ray Guy Award Semifinalist and was on the 2008 awards watch list. Miller punted 231 times in his career for 10,342 yards and a 44.8 career average. He completed his Ball State career ranked first in punt average for a career, third in career punts and second in career punt yards. He helped the Cardinals to rank 17th in the nation in net punting with a 37.67 mark.
Ball State completed the season with a 12-2 overall record, won the MAC West Division Championship and played in a second straight bowl game for the first time in school history. The Cardinals completed the regular season with a 12-0 mark, including an 8-0 conference record, and appeared in the MAC Championship Game for the first time in school history.