BSU PREVIEW: Five Days and Counting

After a weekend off, Ball State is next up for the Hoosiers on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium. kicks off its day-by-day preview of this weekend's match-up with "Five Numbers to Note" about the contest...

75 – percent completion rate for Ball State quarterback Nate Davis. The junior is 66-of-88 on the season for 916 yards and nine touchdowns in three games. Davis ranks 10th in the nation in passing yardage (305.3 yards/game), while his efficiency rating of 189.4 ranks him sixth in the country. Six of his nine touchdowns have come from at least 25 yards out. This will mark the third time Davis has faced the Hoosiers. He completed 6-of-9 throws for 43 yards in IU's 24-23 win in 2006, and he was 26-of-48 for 332 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in last season's 38-20 Indiana victory.

385 – yards/game that the Ball State defense has surrendered despite the Cardinals' 3-0 start. Northeastern totaled 324 yards in its season-opening 41-14 loss to BSU, while Navy (413) and Akron (418) both posted very respectable offensive numbers in losses to Coach Brady Hoke's team as well. Teams are running for 186.0 yards and throwing for 199.0 yards/game against Ball State, although the rushing totals are skewed by the 346 rushing yards that Navy piled up with his triple-option attack . But there is little doubt that Ball State's defense has been generous in allowing teams to move the ball up and down the field, and they've played a non-conference schedule thus far that is a combined 2-6 on the season.

58.6 – percent conversation rate for the Ball Sate offense on third downs, ranking it third nationally behind BYU (78.1 percent) and Penn State (65.9 percent). Ball State has moved the chains on 17 of its 29 third down offensive plays. That compares very favorably to Indiana, which has converted only 32 percent of its third downs (8-of-25), ranking the Hoosiers 98th nationally and 10th among Big Ten teams (Michigan is 113th out of 119 Division I teams at 24.3 percent). While Ball State has been successful moving the chains, IU's defense has been adept at getting off the field. IU's foes have converted only 9-of-29 third-down attempts (31 percent).

108 - Total rushing yards for Ball State in the last two games against Indiana. While the Cardinals have averaged more than 300 yards passing against IU in their match-ups in 2006 and 2007, they've been one-dimensional offensively. MiQuale Lewis was limited to 14 yards on seven carries in 2006, and Chris Clancy was BSU's leading rusher last season with nine carries for 29 yards. IU is hoping to do that once again this season, and that means slowing down Lewis. The BSU tailback rushed for 95 yards in the season-opener against Northeastern and has gone for 114 against Navy and 154 against Akron. His 121.0 yards/game ranks him 10th nationally.

1 – sack given up by the Ball State offensive line in the season's first three games. That ranks the Cardinals ninth nationally (eight teams haven't given up a sack) despite 90 pass attempts by BSU quarterbacks. Indiana, meanwhile, ranks seventh nationally in sacks with 3.5/game. In last year's match-up Indiana sacked Davis twice, with both being credited to Greg Middleton.

What's coming up:
On Tuesday - Four Players to Know
On Wednesday – Three Key Match-Ups
On Thursday – Two Big Concerns
On Friday – One Bold Prediction

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