Scheumann Stadium, Muncie, Ind.
American Sports Network/ESPN3
Northern Illinois has the edge in this series, 21-20-2, and has won the last seven meetings. It’s the ninth battle for the Bronze Stalk Trophy, which goes to the winner of the rivalry. NIU has taken the trophy seven of the eight trophy games.
Huskies quarterback Drew Hare had a sensational day last October when NIU posted a 58-41 victory over Ball State. Hare completed 90 percent of his passes, rolling up 363 yards and two TDs through the air as the hosts piled up 636 yards of total offense.
Hare won’t be available this time after . . .
Here’s more on both teams:
BALL STATE CARDINALS (3-1, 0-0 MAC)
► The Cardinals are coming off a 31-27 win at Florida Atlantic, raising their non-conference record to 3-1.
BSU trailed 14-0 early, but rallied for two TDs to tie the game. The osts held a 24-17 haltime lead, but Ball State knotted things again with a third quarter touchdown.
FAU added one more field goal midway through the final period for a 27-24 lead. Quarterback Riley Neal, however, drove the Cardinals down the field for a winning touchdown with 1:47 to play.
► Neal, a 6-6 sophomore, had a hand in all four Ball State scores, running for two TDs and passing for two more. He completed 23 of 37 on the day with one interception. Neal has completed 60.0 percent of his passes on the year with five TDs and four interceptions. He has been sacked five times.
► Neal also led BSU rushers at FAU, picking up 74 yards on 14 carries. Junior Darian Green had 66 yards on eight rushes, while sophomore James Gilbert (5-8, 194) added 49 yards on 12 trips.
Gilbert tops BSU rushers on the season with 74 carries for 330 yards (4.5 ypc) and three scores. Green is averaging a team-best 5.6 ypc with 203 yards on 36 trips with one TD.
► Ball State was very balanced against Florida Atlantic, registering 226 yards rushing and 262 via the pass.
► Three Cardinals own at least a dozen receptions. Senior KeVonn Mabon leads the way with 23 for 260 yards. Jordan Hogue has 16 catches for 146 yards and a score , while Corey Lacanaria has contributed 12 receptions for 151 yards and one TD.
► Linebacker Zach Ryan has a team-high 31 tackles, including 4.0 TFL, a sack and an interception. DB Martez Hester owns 23 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack and 1 interception.
► While the quarterback position has been a major concern this season, the Huskies defense has some issues, as well. NIU ranks10th among MAC teams in scoring defense (39.5 ppg), 10th in total defense (499.0 ypg), 11th in rushing defense (236.2 ypg) and eighth in pass defense (262.8 ypg).
► Ryan Graham completed 14 of 21 for 251 yards with two TDs and one interception last week against Western Illinois. Anthony Maddie relieved and finished 11 of 16 for 142 yards with one TD.
► “Maddie is going to be our starting quarterback going forward here,” Huskies head coach Rod Carey said earlier this week. “The competition certainly isn’t done by any stretch of the imagination. The quarterback spot needs to be productive for us and Anthony certainly came in and was productive, wasn’t productive enough but was more productive. That’s the thing about that spot. You have to move the offense and it certainly moved with him in there more than Ryan. So that’s why we’re making the switch and going from there and we will take it case by case on that deal.
“(We) certainly expect Anthony [Maddie] to have a good game just like he did. He’s a fifth-year senior. We recruited him here as he transferred back home and certainly happy to have him. He has a firm grasp of the offense”
► Junior RB Jordan Huff gained 130 yards and scored once with just nine carries against WIU. Huff has a team-high 272 yards on 43 carries. Joel Bouagnon’s 45 carries have yielded 200 yards. Maddie was credited with nine rushes for 35 yards last week.
► Receiving leaders include: Kenny Golladay (24 rec., 372 yds., 4 TDs); Christian Blake (16 rec., 196 yds.); Aregaros Turner (17 rec., 128 yds., 1 TD).
► Junior kicker Christian Hagan has converted 12 of 13 PATs and 2 of 4 field goals with a long of 27.
► Linebacker Bobby Jones has 36 tackles, including 4.5 TFL and a sack. Mycial Allen has registered 15 tackles, 2 TFL and 1 INT.