5.9 – Yards per carry that Ball State yielded to Eastern Michigan in the Cardinals' 38-20 season opening win Saturday. Eastern Michigan quarterback Tyler Jones was particularly effective, running for 164 yards on 22 carries. While Hoosier signal caller Blake Powers doesn't have the mobility of Jones, the Cardinals' problems stopping the run could bode well for an IU ground attack that produced only 71 yards on 28 carries against Western Michigan. This is also nothing new for Ball State, which surrendered 202.5 yards/game on the ground last season along with 25 touchdowns. That contributed significantly to a unit that gave up 37.8 points and 458.9 yards per game, both last in the MAC.
117 – Points scored in last year's meeting between IU's first two '06 opponents – Ball State and Western Michigan. Ball State had to go five overtimes to knock off Western Michigan 60-57 in early October last season, the longest game in Mid-America Conference history. The two teams combined for 57 first downs, 1,090 total yards, and 679 passing yards in a contest that lasted four hours and 13 minutes. That win was Ball State's first of the '05 campaign after four losses, and helped propel Coach Brady Hoke's team to a 4-4 season in the MAC.
108 – Passing yards for Ball State true freshman quarterback Nate Davis in last week's season opener. The 6-2, 225-pound Davis – who also initially received interest from the IU staff as well – completed 7-of-8 throws for 108 yards and three touchdowns while splitting time with fifth-year senior starter Joey Lynch. Joey, the son of IU assistant head coach Bill Lynch and the brother of IU wide receivers coach Billy Lynch, is still expected to be the starter against the Hoosiers, but don't be surprised if Ball State rotates the quarterbacks in the intra-state match-up. Davis led Ball State on scoring drives of 65, 70, 57 and 69 yards in his only four series on the field.
14 – Straight losses for Ball State against Big Ten teams. In fact, Ball State has never knocked off a Big Ten foe. Indiana is 2-0 against the Cardinals, while Iowa (1-0), Minnesota (2-0), Purdue (6-0) and Wisconsin (3-0) also have perfect marks against Ball State. Saturday's 15th encounter, though, will mark the first time that a Big Ten team has traveled to Muncie to play. The teams will face up in 22,501-seat Ball State Stadium, easily the smallest venue IU will play in this season. In last week's season-opening win against Eastern Michigan, Ball State drew a crowd of 12,326.
5 – True freshmen who played for the Hoosiers in the season opener against Western Michigan -Mandela Roberts, Will Patterson, Matt Mayberry, Ray Fisher and J.T. Owens. Fisher caught three passes for 22 yards, while Mayberry recorded two tackles and Patterson added a tackle for loss. The biggest surprise was probably the fact no freshmen offensive linemen got on the field. Guard Pete Saxon and tackle Rodger Saffold were listed as second-string on IU's depth chart, but remained on the sidelines. In addition, freshman guard Cody Faulkner wasn't dressed for the game as he continues to nurse an injury that's limited him in practice. Those continue to be the three most likely to contribute in their debut seasons.
What's coming up:
On Monday – Five Numbers to Note
On Tuesday - Four Key Matchups
On Wednesday – Three Big Concerns
On Thursday – Two Things IU Must Do to Win
On Friday – One Bold Prediction
Five Days and Counting...
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