Of course not!
We’re not quite into individual team season previews yet, but MAC Reporter Online is publishing a series highlighting individual and team numbers to watch. This installment features Ball State.
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After making a serious run at the MAC West title the previous season, BSU slipped to fifth in the West last year. The Cardinals were 4-4 in MAC play and 5-7 overall. After winning four of their last six, can they get back into contention with as many 17 starters returning.
Despite a turnover at the quarterback position, Ball State managed to finish tied for fourth among MAC teams in scoring (30.6 ppg).
Ball State yielded 29.9 ppg in conference play. That put them 11th, illustrating a theme. The Cardinals could score points, but they also gave up a bunch. They were likewise 11th in total defense, allowing 453.8 ypg in MAC games.
After thriving on the passing game in 2013, Ball State slipped to 9th in MAC play with 227 ypg.
MAC opponents averaged over 200 yards in the ground game – not a good sign! Improvement in this area will likely be a goal in 2015.
The Cardinals registered 10 MAC interceptions, tied for second in the conference.
Ball State topped the MAC in field goals last year, converting 17 of 20 in conference play. With MAC Special Teams Player of the Year Scott Secor gone, maintaining excellent in this area will be a challenge.
Only one team was better at protecting the quarterback in MAC play. Northern Illinois allowed four sacks. Ball State and Kent State were next at seven (although KSU played one less game).
BSU topped the pack in turnover margin with a plus-11 margin – and it wasn’t close. Bowling Green was next with plus-8 in conference games.
Jordan Williams finished fourth in receiving yards with 50 catches for six TDs and an average of 87.2 ypg in MAC play.
Linebacker Ben Ingle’s 87 tackles on the season. That was good for ninth among MAC defenders. The senior would love to finish his career even higher as BSU attempts to shore up its 2015 defense.