Ball State Cardinals
Location: Muncie, IN
Coach: Mike Neu (10-26), 4th season at BSU
Stadium: Scheumann Stadium (Capacity 22,500)
9th: MAC (5th MAC West)
45th: Group of Five
141st: Division I
2018 In a Sentence: The Cardinals finished 4-8 overall (3-5 MAC) which doubled the win total over Coach Neu’s team in 2017.
Biggest Shoes to Fill: QB Riley Neal became a graduate transfer to the SEC’s Vanderbilt after playing in 34 games at Ball State. He was a source of consistency for nearly four years, totaling almost 7,400 passing yards at a 60% completion rate and 46 passing touchdowns.
Key Player: WR Riley Miller was a former walk-on that saw a huge increase in production in his second season last year. He more than doubling his receiving yard total from 300 to 878. He will likely be new starting QB Drew Plitt’s security blanket as he finds his footing under center. Miller caught five passes in eight of 11 games last year and
Fearless Prediction: The defense is the area that needs to improve as it finished 11th in the conference allowing 450 yards and 32 points per game last year. Nine starters back on that side of the ball should improve that mark. Now, the offense which lost its two star performers in QB Neal and RB James Gilbert (to Kansas State) to graduate transfers will need to rebuild its speciality positions (although having the entire starting offensive line will help). That scenerio seems like a wash and expect the Cardinals to finish right around where they did last year.
Originally from LaMoure, North Dakota, Kent is a 1996 graduate of North Dakota State University. His prior writing experience is over 15 years having previously worked with D2football.com, I-AA.org, and College Sporting News before coming to College Sports Journal in 2016. His main focus is college football in the western half of the United States– the Big Sky Conference and Missouri Valley Football Conference within the Division I FCS. And in 2017, he began also to look at the FBS Group of Five conferences of the American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, and Sun Belt.
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