Scheumann Stadium – Muncie, IND.
By EVAN MEYER
The Akron Zips got a first-hand look at the Western Michigan Broncos last week. What they saw was indeed impressive, and a final score of 41-0 served as further testimonial that WMU's undefeated record and national rankings are no fluke,
Akron's loss was the worst margin of defeat since Terry Bowden took over as UA head coach, and . . .
AKRON ZIPS (4-3, 2-1 MAC)
LAST TIME OUT: The Zips were shutout by the Western Michigan Broncos 41-0, last Saturday at InfoCision Stadium. The undefeated Broncos scored touchdowns on their first four possessions to grab command of the contest early in the second period.
UA only managed 283 yards of total offense, their lowest of the 2016 season, with most of the yards coming after the game was decided.
Fourth-year Junior QB Tra’Von Chapman completed 13-of-31 passes for 153 yards with two interceptions and was sacked three times. The running game was led by Junior Manny Morgan who had 53 yards on eight carries. Senior Jo Jo Natson led the receivers with five catches for 46 yards. The defense was paced by sophomore LB Ulysses Gilbert and walk-on freshman LB John Lako, each with 13 total tackles
ZIPS SEASON TO DATE: The Zips went 2-2 in their non-conference schedule with a home win over Virginia Military to open the season and a road victory at Marshall. Their losses came on the road at nationally ranked Wisconsin and at home to Appalachian State. UA opened MAC play with a pair of wins -- first at Kent State then at home against Miami
OFFENSE: UA is averaging 32.3points and 395.7 yards per game
RUSHING: Manny Morgan 58 carries – 302 yards
PASSING: Thomas Woodson 84-126-4 1247 yards 13 touchdowns
RECEIVING: JoJo Natson 38 receptions- 530 yards-seven touchdowns
DEFENSE: The Zips are allowing 34.8 points and 483.9 yards per game
TACKLES: Ulysses Gilbert (43-34-77)
TACKLES FOR LOSS: Gilbert 8-34 yards
SACKS: Three with two
INTERCEPTIONS: Kyron Brown 2-34
PASS BREAKUPS: Larry Hope with six
PUNTING: Nick Gasser 33-38.7 average
PLACE KICKING: Tom O’ Leary 40 points (4-4 FG/ 28-31 PAT)
KICK RETURNS: Van Edwards 13-37.5
PUNT RETURNS: JoJo Natson 9-109 (TD)
ZIPS NOTES: Western Michigan’s 41-0 shutout was the first in the eight-year history of InfoCision Stadium…It was the first time UA was shutout since 2011 at Ohio State 41-0 and at home since 2006 by WMU at the Rubber Bowl 17-0…The loss ended UA’s six-game MAC winning streak dating back to last season…The game with the Broncos was the second ranked team that UA has faced in 2016 (Wisconsin the other) and were outscored 95-10 and had not scored an offensive touchdown…freshman LB John Lako had a career high with 13 total tackles (two solo)…Head coach Terry Bowden is 0-1 lifetime against Ball State (first game against Mike Neu)
THE SERIES: The game is the 23rd in the series, with the Cardinals holding an 11-10-1. Ball State has won its last five games in the series. Their last meeting was October 25, 2014 at Schunemann Stadium, where BSU came from behind for a 35-21 victory. UA’s last win in the series was October 23, 2004 at the Rubber Bowl, 35-23, and their last win in Muncie came on October 2, 1999, 31-9.
LAST TIME OUT: The Cardinals picked up their first MAC win of the season as they made the long trip to Buffalo, beating the Bulls, 31-21, outscoring them 24-7 in the second half. BSU had 356 yards rushing en-route to a total of 568 yards on the afternoon. The offense was led by sophomore RB James Gilbert, who carried the ball 34 times for 256 yards and two touchdowns. The defense was led by senior LB Sean Wiggins who had 14 total tackles (eight solo)
CARDINALS SEASON TO DATE: The Cards began the 2016 season with a 3-1 non-conference record with wins over Georgia State, Eastern Kentucky, and Florida Atlantic with the lone loss coming at Indiana. They opened MAC play with losses to Northern Illinois at home and at Central Michigan before their win last Saturday at UB
OFFENSE; Ball State is averaging 25.3 points & 445 yards per game
RUSHING: James Gilbert 157 carries- 854 yards 10 touchdowns
PASSING: Riley Neal 134-227-8 1513 yds. six touchdowns
RECEIVING: KeVonn Nabon 42-498 eight touchdowns
DEFENSE: Cardinals are allowing 25.3 points & 511.3 yards oer game
TOTAL TACKLES: Sean Wiggins 35-28-63
TACKLES FOR LOSS: Anthony Winbush 6
SACKS: Winbush 8
INTERCEPTIONS: Marc Walton 2-19
PUNTING: Kyle Schmidt 32 – 40.4 avg. per kick
PLACE KICKING: Morgan Hagee 49 points (8-11 FG / 25-25 PAT)
KICK RETURNS: Mabon 8-21.1 yds. per return
PUNT RETURNS: Aaron Happ 9-57
CARDINALS NOTES: In the off-season, the Cardinals said farewell to Pete Lembo, who left for Maryland to be the Terrapins offensive coordinator. BSU then selected former Cardinals standout quarterback Mike Neu, who served two seasons as an assistant with the NFL New Orleans Saints and was a head coach in Arena Football. He is the 17th head coach in Ball State history…The BSU offense had four plays of over 30 yards in the win last Saturday against the Bulls…Cardinals defense has allowed just two touchdowns after halftime over the last four games…LB Sean Wiggins has recorded 10 or more tackles in three of his last four games…Saturday is homecoming at Ball State…RB James Gilbert has rushed for 524 yards over the last three games and his 264 yards against UB was the second most in school history (MiQuale Lewis hsd 301 in 2009 against Eastern Michigan)