Ball State vs Nebraska Preview

Check out our latest game preview as the Nebraska Cornhuskers host the Ball State Cardinals.

September 22nd, 2007
11:30 AM CT
Lincoln, NE

BALL STATE (2 - 1) (1 - 1)
#22/24 NEBRASKA (2 - 1) (0 - 0)

Player Breakdowns

Ball State Offense

The Ball State Cardinals' offense has run a balanced attack this season, and is in the top half of the MAC conference in most offensive categories. After three games, the Cardinals rank 31st nationally in total offense (455.33 yds), 40th in passing (260.3 ypg), 35th in passing efficiency (136.14 rating), 40th rushing (185 ypg), 49th scoring offense (28.33 ppg), and 18th in turnover margin (+1.33).

QB: Starting at QB is So. Nate Davis (57 of 107, 781 yds, 8 TD, 1 INT), a scrambler with a big arm. Davis has one of the best pass efficiency ratings (137.39) in the country and that is due to his accurate arm. In last week's overtime win against Navy, he tossed for three touchdowns and rushed for another. Davis is among the top quarterbacks in the MAC conference and should have a solid season. He hasn't rushed for a tremendous amount of yards, but he has mobility to run with it when given the opportunity. Davis is backed up by So. Tanner Justice, who hasn't thrown a pass in his collegiate career.

RB: Leading the Ball State rushing attack is So. MiQuale Lewis (8 carries, 68 yds). Lewis is a small (5'6"), shifty back that has big play ability. TFr. Frank Edmonds (12 carries, 64 yds, 2 TDs) is the primary back-up and as outstanding last week against Navy, rushing for 68 yards on just 9 carries. Edmonds is probably the faster of the two running north-south, but Lewis has the better lateral movement. Lewis has also been active in the passing game, catching 8 balls for 129 yards and 1 touchdown. These running backs will look to use their speed to run through a struggling Nebraska rush defense.

Ball State's wide receivers aren't known for their size, as the top two options, X receiver Jr. Dante Love (21 catches, 285 yds, 4 TDs) and Z receiver Sr. Dan Dunford (5 catches, 81 yds) are under 6 feet tall. Love is clearly the go-to wideout and leads the team in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Top reserves include RFr. Joe Everett (1 catch, 15 yds, 1 TD), RFr. Will Bryant (2 catches, 25 yds), TFr. Daniel Ifft (1 catch, 1 yard), and Sr. Louis Johnson. In the Cardinals' two tight end sets, Jr. Darius Hill (14 catches, 208 yds, 2 TDs) and So. Madaris Grant (4 catches, 35 yds) start and are the biggest targets for the offense, each over 6'5". Hill has been impressive through three games this season, continuing from his strong 2006 season.

OL: Ball State's offensive line has done just about as well as any other line in the MAC conference. They will look to continue the running lanes opened by USC a week ago against the Nebraska defensive front. Starting at tackle is So. John Purdy (6'6", 320 lbs) at left, and Jr. Robert Brewster (6'5", 312 lbs) on the right. Top tackle reserves include Sr. Adam Cole (6'6", 291 lbs) and RFr. Travis Arnold (6'8", 291 lbs). At guard is TFr. Michael Switzer (6'5", 285 lbs) on the left side, and Jr. Kyle Cornwell (6'4", 260 lbs) starting on the right. Starting at center is Jr. Dan Gerberry (6'3", 287 lbs), who is in his third year as starter. Sr. Dustin Brown (6'3", 295 lbs) is a top reserve that can play both guard and center. After three games, this line has plowed ahead for 4.7 yards per rush for the offense, while giving up 3 sacks.

Ball State Defense

Ball State's defense is an average unit. A week ago, Navy was able to run all over them, something they will look to improve upon in the coming weeks. This Ball State defense ranks 74th nationally in total defense (381 ypg), 4th pass defense (112.33 ypg), 25th pass efficiency defense (102.75 rating), 115th rush defense (268.7 ypg), and 43rd in scoring defense (20.3 ppg).

DL: The Ball State defensive line struggled with the Navy option game last week, giving up 521 yards on the ground. The Cardinals have allowed opponents a huge 6.2 yard per carry average this season. Starting at defensive end will be So. Brandon Crawford (12 tackles, 1 QBH, 1 BK), with Jr. Jermaine Houston backing him up. Crawford earned MAC defensive player of the week honors last week after blocking a possible game winning field goal against Navy. Sr. Cortlan Booker (20 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 QBH) starts at rush end with RFr. Justin Woodard serving as his primary back-up. At nose tackle is RFr. Troy Davis (8 tackles, 1 sack, 2 QBH), who has looked good this year, taking the starting spot over last year's starter Sr. Amara Koroma (6 tackles), who is now Davis' back-up. At defensive tackle is Sr. Jacob Jordan (4 tackles), with RFr. Kaylon Woods serving as his back-up. This unit will have to be better against the run this week to have a chance in Lincoln.

LB: Ball State suffered a set-back this year, losing returning MLB starter Wendell Brown for the season with a pectoral injury. In his place at MLB is Sr. Mike Dorulla (27 tackles), an undersized linebacker that is second on the team in tackles. Playing behind Dorulla is So. Sam Woodworth (2 tackles), another smallish linebacker, at just over 200 pounds. At SLB is Jr. Kenny Meeks (10 tackles, 1 sack, 1 QBH), with Jr. Chris Clancy (1 tackle) backing him up. Jr. Bryant Haines (33 tackles, 1 FR) starts at WLB, with Sr. Alex Moore (7 tackles) serving as his top back-up. Rush end Cortlan Booker also comes off the line and plays as an additional outside linebacker. Not a bad group, and probably the best unit of the defense. The depth isn't there, especially with Dorulla having to take over for Brown.

DB: Ball State's defensive backfield was easily one of the worst in the nation in 2006, ranking 115th in pass defense. This season has been an improvement through three games, ranking 4th in that same category. Some of that though is due to playing a team like Navy that doesn't throw the ball and Eastern Michigan, who is incompetent at passing. Starters at cornerback is Jr. B.J. Hill (18 tackles, 2 INT, 1 PBU, 1 BK) at LCB and Jr. Trey Lewis (12 tackles, 1 INT, 2 PBU) at RCB. Jr. Trey Buice (14 tackles) backs up Hill, while TFr. Derrick Henry is Lewis' back-up. At safety, Jr. Marcus McClure (15 tackles, 1 PBU) starts at FS and Jr. Warren Suess is his top reserve. Sr. Chris Allen (17 tackles, 1 FF, 1 FR) starts at SS, with So. Alex Knipp (9 tackles) serving as his back-up. Hill has been the most impressive of the defensive backs, and this unit will up against their toughest test of the season this week.

Ball State Special Teams

The Ball State special teams units have been very pedestrian this season. The Cardinals rank 89th in net punting (33 yd avg), 73rd in punt returns (7 yd avg), and 78th in kickoff returns (20.22 yd avg).

K: RFr. Jake Hogue starts at place kicker for Ball State. He has struggled this season, hitting just 5 of 9 field goal attempts, with a 42 yard long. On kickoffs, he is averaging 61.8 yards on 17 kickoffs with 3 going for touchback.

P: Jr. Chris Miller is the starting punter for the Cardinals and has a big leg. This hasn't showed up in his net punting stats, as he has been out-kicking his coverage. He has punted 13 times for an average of 46.8 yards this season. 5 of his 13 punts have been downed inside the opponents' 20.

KR/PR: Ball State's return game hasn't been very strong this season. On this week's depth chart, Jr. Dante Love (7 kick returns, 20.7 yd avg) and TFr. Koreen Burch sit atop the kickoff return spot. At punt returner, Jr. B.J. Hill (7 punt returns, 7 yd avg) has been the only Cardinal to attempt a return so far.

Coverage: The Cardinals' kick coverage team has not been very good through three games, allowing an average of 25.1 yards on 12 kickoff return attempts, also giving up a touchdown. Punt coverage hasn't been very solid either, with opponents averaging 20 yards on 6 returns.

Nebraska Offense

Nebraska's offense will need to prove it can be balanced week in and week out if they want to compete at the highest level. After a great showing in the season opener, they struggled to find consistency running and throwing the ball against Wake Forest two weeks ago, and couldn't run the ball for anything last week against USC. Three games into the season, Nebraska ranks 23rd nationally in total offense (472.67), 25th in passing (286.3 ypg), 58th in pass efficiency (124.28 rating), 38th in rushing (186.33 ypg), 31st in scoring offense (34.33 ppg), and 80th in turnover margin (-.67).

QB: Sr. Sam Keller (74 for 120, 840 yds, 4 TD, 5 INT), after struggling to put it together for the first two games really had a nice outing against USC last week. He had two interceptions in the game, however, which kept him from having a superb day. He was able to lead Nebraska to three touchdown drives when the chips were down, showing that he didn't just throw the game away and lose confidence in himself. This should help him progress through the season. Jr. Joe Ganz (1 for 1, 19 yds) is Nebraska's top back-up and saw action in mop-up duty in the season opener against Nevada.

RB: Jr. Marlon Lucky (71 carries, 356 yds, 4 TDs) starts and will look for bigger holes than he was given a week ago against USC. Jr. Cody Glenn (16 carries, 49 yds, 2 TDs), a power style back, saw a number of carries last week and ran hard. TFr. Quentin Castille (24 carries, 106 yds, 2 TDs), is a bruiser that hits the hole hard and is physically impressive. TFr. Roy Helu (6 carries, 26 yds) and So. Major Culbert (5 carries, 35 yds, 1 TD) are other reserves that will likely see limited opportunities the rest of the season, although both are very talented. This is a good group of running backs, need more holes to open up to show their abilities. The running backs see lot of passes come their way, with Marlon Lucky (13 catches, 108 yds, 1 TD) and Cody Glenn (4 catches, 46 yds) having the more tested hands. Sr. Andy Sand is the starter at FB, and will rarely touch the ball, but is as a quality blocker. Sand has one reception for 15 yards through two games.

WR/TE: Nebraska's receiving corps appears to have finally stood up, starting catching the ball, and making plays. Starting Z receiver, Sr. Terrence Nunn (12 catches, 176 yds) is getting close to a few school receiving records, but his hands been fairly inconsistent this season. Behind Nunn is Sr. Frantz Hardy (5 catch, 48 yds), the fastest of the Nebraska receivers, but hasn't been very dependable to catch the ball. Starting at X is Jr. Nate Swift (11 catches, 129 yds), who has had a nice start to the season. Sr. Maurice Purify (10 catches, 110 yds) will probably re-earn the role of starter at X this season. He started to return to form last week, not dropping a pass and making good yards after catch. Jr. Todd Peterson (6 catch, 82 yds), has excellent hands and was a bright spot in the 4th quarter against USC. Sr. Dan Erickson (3 catches, 40 yds), So. Menelik Holt, and TFr. Niles Paul (1 catch, 6 yds) are also in the mix. Tight end has been weak for a few seasons, and still is not where they could be. Starting TE, Sr. J.B. Phillips and top reserve Jr. Josh Mueller are not game breakers and have still not seen a pass this year. RFr Dreu Young (1 catch, 14 yds), Sr. Sean Hill (3 catches, 35 yds, 1 TD), Jr. Hunter Teafatiller (3 catches, 21 yds), and Mike McNeill (1 catch, 25 yds), however, have all caught passes in their reserve roles.

OL: Nebraska's offensive line has been hit and miss through three games. Pass protection has been good though, allowing just 2 sacks. Run blocking started to fall off against Wake Forest, and was totally ineffective against USC. After three games, they are allowing the backs 4.68 yards per carry. Starting at tackle is Sr. Carl Nicks (6'5", 330 lbs) at LT, and Jr. Lydon Murtha (6'7", 310 lbs) at RT. RFr. Mike Smith (6'6", 290 lbs) and RFr. D.J. Jones (6'5", 310 lbs) will see their share of snaps as the top tackle reserves. Jr. Matt Slauson (6'5", 335 lbs) starts at RG, and is one of the line's best, but has struggled lately. Jr. Andy Christensen (6'3", 300 lbs), who has started at LG this season suffered a season ending knee injury against USC. His replacement has not been names, however, it could be any of the reserves on the line, since they have all played guard at some point. Sr. Jordan Picou (6'3", 300 lbs.) and Jr. Mike Huff (6'4", 300 lbs) are Nebraska's top reserves at guard, however, RFr. Keith Williams (6'5", 310 lbs) has also been discussed as replacing Christensen. Sr. Brett Byford (6'3", 300 lbs) starts at center, and had a tough time against USC. So. Jacob Hickman (6'4", 285 lbs) backs him up. This group will have to do a better job in rush blocking as the season moves forward if Nebraska hopes to win any game of significance.

Nebraska Defense

Nebraska's defense was horrendous last week against USC. The rush defense was so abysmal that the Trojans didn't need to air it out to get down field. Nebraska is ranked 45th nationally in total defense (339.33 ypg), 13th pass defense (130.67 ypg), 12th pass efficiency defense (90.79 rating), 99th rush defense (208.7 ypg), and 66th in scoring defense (25.3 ppg). The Husker defense continues to struggle with the fundamentals of tackling.

DL: Nebraska's defensive line played well in the opening pair of games, but really struggled against USC last week. For the first time this season, the line was blown through in north-south running. More intensity and physicality must be shown. Jr. Barry Turner (7 tackles, 0.5 sack, 2 QBH, 1 PBU) starts at open end. He is quick-footed, but has had difficulty finding the QB this season. Starting at base end is Jr. Zach Potter (13 tackles, 1 sack, 1 QBH), who has been having a solid season. Top reserves are Jr. Clayton Sievers (1 tackle, 1 QBH) behind Turner, and RFr. Pierre Allen (1 tackle) behind Potter. Jr. Ndamukong Suh (9 tackles) starts at nose tackle, with Jr. Shukree Barfield (3 tackle) and Sr. Brandon Johnson sharing back-up duties. Suh had a difficult time against USC, missing a few tackles behind the line of scrimmage that then went for large gains. So. Ty Steinkuhler (3 tackles), starter at defensive tackle, battled a knee injury the past two weeks and was replaced by Jr. Kevin Dixon (3 tackles, 1 INT), who has done a nice job. Steinkuhler saw some action last week and should make his way back into the starting line-up. Nebraska is holding opponents to 5.4 yards per carry, which has skyrocketed after tough games against Wake Forest and USC.

LB: Nebraska's linebacking corps has struggled two weeks in a row, taking poor angles and missing many opportunities for tackles. Jr. Corey McKeon (11 tackles, 1 INT, 1 FR, 1 QBH, 1 PBU) is in his third season as starter at MLB, but hasn't played as well as expected. Back-up So. Phillip Dillard (11 tackles, 1 QBH) is starter quality that sees a lot of action, even at NT. Sr. Bo Ruud (11 tackles, 1 FF, 1 PBU) starts at SLB, while Jr. Steve Octavien (19 tackles, 0.5 sack, 3 QBH, 1 PBU) starts at WLB. Octavien is the best of the bunch and can dish out some punishing hits. Ruud, like McKeon is struggling to make tackles and keep himself in plays. Improvement needs to be seen by these Seniors or the younger guys should start seeing looks. Sr. Lance Brandenburgh (10 tackles), is the top back-up for both Octavien and Ruud and is a guy that should be on the field more.

DB: Nebraska's secondary has been a bright spot for the defense this season, putting in three solid games. Sr. Cortney Grixby (7 tackles, 2 PBU) is in his fourth year as the starter at WCB. He is just 5'9", but is a mostly solid tackler, something that most of the Nebraska defense has seemed to lack the past two weeks. Sr. Zack Bowman (9 tackles, 1 INT, 1 QBH), is getting back to form after a knee injury and is the team's best cover corner. He did injure his hamstring last week against USC, however, and it is unclear if he will play. Jr. Armando Murillo (11 tackles, 2 PBU) starts at LCB, and back-up Sr. Andre Jones (4 tackles, 1 PBU) also sees a good share of plays. Sr. Tierre Green (8 tackles, 1 PBU) starts at FS and So. Larry Asante (21 tackles, 1 FF, 1 PBU) is the starter at SS. Green has been struggling this season and after injury against USC was replaced by So. Rickey Thenarse (6 tackles, 1 FF), who hits hard and tackles well. Sr. Ben Eisenhart (5 tackles) also sees time at FS as a reserve. Sr. Bryan Wilson (2 tackles) is the top reserve at SS.

Nebraska Special Teams

Nebraska's special teams have been solid this season. Punt returning hasn't been so hot, but kicking and punting have been a big plus. The Huskers are ranked 14th in net punting (41.54 yd avg), 104th in punt returns (4 yd avg), and 44th in kickoff returns (22.94 yd avg).

K: TFr. Adi Kunalic (1 for 1, 46 yd lng) handles kickoffs and long field goals. Kunalic's powerful leg pushed through 7 of 17 kickoffs for touchback, with a 67.9 yard average. RFr. Alex Henery handles short field goals (3 for 3, 37 yd lng) and extra points.

P: Jr. Dan Titchener has been named to the Ray Guy Award watch list as one of the nation's top punters. He is averaging 42.3 yards on 12 punts with a long of 51. 4 of his 12 punts have been downed inside the opponents' 20. He has above average leg power, with solid consistency.

KR/PR: Nebraska's kick return game has been good, however, the punt return game still needs some work. Seniors Andre Jones (4 kick returns, 21.5 yd avg) and Cortney Grixby (11 kick returns, 24.9 yd avg) are the top kickoff return team. Seniors Cortney Grixby (5 punt returns, 1.6 yd avg) and Terrence Nunn (1 return, 0 yd avg) are the top punt returners, however, Andre Jones (1 return, 24 yd avg) has had the best return of the three.

Coverage: Nebraska's coverage teams have done an average job this season. The kick coverage unit is allowing an average of 24.2 yards on 10 kickoff returns, while the punt return coverage team allows a 5.4 yard average on 5 punt returns.

Unit Match-Ups

Nebraska's Offense vs. Ball State's Defense

Nebraska's offense finally started to get their passing game going last week against USC, as QB Sam Keller threw for nearly 400 yards. It could be argued that a lot of those yards were gained in the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach, but nevertheless, throwing for 389 yards against the Trojans is an impressive feat. One variable that helped Keller last week and looks promising for the weeks ahead is the receiver play. In the opening pair of games, Nebraska's receivers really struggled to catch passes, much less take the ball downfield after the catch. Against USC, they not only caught the ball, but also were able to pick up solid yards after catch. That should prove to be a confidence boost for the offense as the season progresses. Ball State's defensive backfield was only thrown upon 8 times against Navy last week, and only 58 times through three games. Their talent does not match up well with Nebraska's receivers and based on the way the Cardinals' defense played against the pass a year ago, Nebraska could have a big day through the air if they tested the waters. Look for an aggressive Ball State defense to blitz a linebacker often to get pressure on Keller.

However, the Huskers should also be able to find vast amounts of running room against a Ball State defense that couldn't stop the Navy rushing attack last week, and was lucky to get a win after giving up over 500 yards on the ground. Nebraska did struggle to move the ball on the ground against USC last week, averaging
1.1 yards per rush. With Ball State giving up 6.2 yards per carry this season, Nebraska running backs Marlon Lucky, Cody Glenn, and Quentin Castille have to like their chances to get back on track. Ball State's defense is allowing opponents to convert 37% of their third down conversions, and has an outstanding 38% red-zone scoring defense. The Cardinals have 15 tackles for loss and 4 sacks this season. Nebraska is converting just 38% of their third downs, but holds an impressive 93% red-zone scoring offense.

The Huskers will enjoy a comfortable size advantage in the trenches this week. Nebraska's average offensive lineman (without a LG) is 6'5", 319 lbs, while Ball State's average defensive lineman stands at just 6'2", 254 lbs. Nebraska's offensive line looked terrible in rush blocking against USC, but were able to do a nice job in pass protection for the most part. Nebraska's Marlon Lucky will hope that this means the holes that were absent a week ago will appear against the small Cardinal defensive front.

Ball State's Offense vs. Nebraska's Defense

Ball State's offense, led by QB Nate Davis has probably liked what they have seen this week in film study of Nebraska's game against USC. Davis is a mobile, accurate passer that often rolls out and gives himself more time to throw. He has a pair of great receivers in WR Dante Love and TE Darius Hill. Hill's 6'6" frame will give Nebraska's defensive backfield some match-up problems, and because Nebraska's defensive line has had trouble getting a pass rush this season, Davis should get time to find his man. Ball State's third down conversion percentage is a solid 55%, and has a decent 79% red-zone scoring average. The Nebraska defense has been good on 3rd downs, allowing opponents to convert on just 38% of their attempts. In the red-zone, the Husker defense has allowed all but one attempt to score, resulting in a 92% red-zone scoring defense.

Ball State's running back, MiQuale Lewis earned MAC offensive player of the week honors last week, after rushing for 161 yards, receiving 17 yards and a touchdown. He's a very small back, standing at just 5'6" and 184 pounds. He's got quick feet and very good lateral movement and might have some opportunities for some big gains based on the poor rush defense Nebraska has sported the past two weeks. Nebraska has earned 19 tackles for loss and 2 sacks through three games. Getting more of a pass rush will be critical for the Huskers as the season moves along.

The Cardinals' average offensive lineman stands at 6'4", 293 lbs, while Nebraska's average defensive lineman stands at 6'4", 284 lbs. Nebraska's defense was run on with great success in misdirection plays by Wake Forest two weeks ago. While USC incorporated some misdirection into their offense last week, they were able to smash right through the heart of the Nebraska defense and gain huge yards and averaged 8.2 yards per carry. It is unlikely that Ball State will be able to have that success, given the difference in talent between USC and Ball State, but don't be surprised to see MiQuale Lewis get to the century mark if there isn't vast tackling improvement from the Nebraska defense.

Keys to the Game

For Nebraska to Win:
1.) Tackle. Square-up, hit, and wrap-up.
2.) Get pressure on QB Nate Davis.
3.) Rush blocking needs to be improved.
4.) Keller needs to continue from his fourth quarter performance against USC.
5.) The ball bounces many times in a game. Nebraska needs to capitalize on these bounces and get some takeaways.

For Ball State to Win:
1.) Look for running room against what has been a very weak rush defense of Nebraska.
2.) Nate Davis needs to continue on his mistake-free ways and his 8 to 1 touchdown to interception ratio.
3.) Rush defense needs to do a much better job than they did last week against Navy.
4.) Don't get demoralized if Nebraska jumps on them early.
5.) Defensive backfield must prove that they can play well against a good passing attack, Nebraska has a load of threats.

Position Advantages:
QBs: Nebraska
RBs: Nebraska
WR/TE's: Nebraska
OL: Nebraska
DL: Nebraska
LB: Nebraska
DB: Nebraska
Special Teams: Nebraska
Coaching: Nebraska

Injury Report
DE - Zach Potter - questionable
CB - Zack Bowman - hamstring - questionable
RB - Kenny Wilson - leg - out for season

Ball State :
TE - Kevin Steinhaus - ankle - questionable
LB - Wendell Brown - pectoral - out for season

Game Breakdown & Outlook

This is the first ever meeting between Nebraska and Ball State. Nebraska enters this game following a 49-31 defeat at the hands of USC, while Ball State is riding high after defeating Navy 34-31 in overtime last week. Memorial Stadium in Lincoln will not be intimidating for the Cardinals, as they took Michigan to the wire a year ago in the Big House. The fans in Lincoln, however, will be looking for Nebraska to bounce back in a big way after their non-competitive loss to USC last week in front of the home crowd.

Nebraska's offense will like their match-ups with Ball State's defense this week. The Nebraska offensive line will have to find a replacement for injured LG Andy Christensen, but should still not have much trouble opening up big running lanes for Nebraska's stable of backs. RB Marlon Lucky is likely to have a big day, after struggling to find much running room against two talented defenses the past couple of weeks. With Keller looking better with each passing game, he should start getting more comfortable in the pocket and really put up some impressive numbers. It might not start this week, but he seems to have begun settling into the system, which will pay dividends come conference time for Nebraska. Ball State will not be able to shut down either the Nebraska passing or rushing game Saturday, and can only hope to slow them down. They didn't beat Navy with great defense last week, they beat them by matching scores until overtime.

Ball State's offense will want to continue from their 539 yard performance against Navy last week, where they showed excellent balance between the rushing and passing aspects of the game. QB Nate Davis completed 58% of his passes last week and will need to be at least at that level Saturday against Nebraska's defense if they are to mount the scoring effort they will need to beat the Huskers. Nebraska's defense may have been atrocious against USC last week at stopping the run, but fortunate for them, they will not be playing against that type of speed and power this week in Lincoln with Ball State. The Cardinals have some playmakers and should be able to put some points on Nebraska. The question will be how long they can stay with Nebraska, given Ball State's defensive shortcomings. Nate Davis is the key to keeping Ball State in this game, and if Ball State is able to use misdirection with MiQuale Lewis and follow that up with some bootlegs with Davis, they can find success.

Looking at the Ball State schedule, coach Brady Hoke has a very good chance to take his team bowling for the first time since 1996. While a win in Lincoln would greatly increase those odds, there are at least four more winnable games on the schedule for the Cardinals. A win against Nebraska would be huge for the program, but it is unclear if they possess the tools to get it done. For Nebraska, a win is greatly needed to ease some of the pain and frustrations suffered in last week's embarrassing loss to USC at home, on national television. A loss would be a disaster for the Huskers, who have high hopes for the remainder of the season.

Nebraska should be able to both throw and run the ball with a good deal of success against Ball State. Keller looks ready to explode with a big day, and the rest of his supporting cast should be poised for a good game. Ball State, should also be able to put up points against the Nebraska Blackshirts, and keep this from getting out of hand, especially early. Athlete for athlete, Nebraska is a much more talented team and that will likely show on the final score. Nebraska will play inspired football, and be ready to take out their frustrations on the Cardinals. The Huskers should pull away in the second half and win by around 3 touchdowns.

Ball State - 17
Nebraska - 41
Gametime Weather
Weather Report for Nebraska vs. Ball State

Latest Line - Nebraska by 23.

Big Red Report Top Stories