Hoosiers Welcome Ball State to The Rock

    Go Hoosiers! Sophomore Will Patterson has reached the 13-tackle plateau in back-to-back contests.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Sophomore Will Patterson has reached the 13-tackle plateau in back-to-back contests.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Oct. 29, 2007

    Ball State Release in PDF Format (11-3-07)
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    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Going out of conference for the final time this season, the Indiana football team (5-4, 2-4 Big Ten) will host Ball State (5-4, 3-2 Mid-American) on Saturday, Nov. 3. Kickoff is set for noon EDT at Memorial Stadium (49,225) and the game will be televised by the Big Ten Network. IU heads into Saturday's in-state showdown with a 3-2 home mark, while BSU owns a 3-2 record away from Muncie.

    Mark Neely will handle play-by-play duties and he will be joined by analyst Glen Mason and sideline reporter Dara McIntosh. The game can also be heard on the statewide IU Radio Network with Don Fischer (play-by-play), Pete Compise (analyst) and Joe Smith (pre-game, halftime and post-game) on the call.

    The Ball State Series
    The Hoosiers and Cardinals will meet for just the fourth time and the second time in as many years. IU has won both contests between the two clubs in Bloomington.

    In 2006, Indiana rallied from 17-0 and 23-7 deficits to stun Ball State, 24-23, in Muncie on Sept. 9. The Hoosiers also dropped the Cardinals, 35-14, on Sept. 13, 1997 and secured a 21-9 victory on Sept. 4, 1999.

    Muncie Ties
    Hoosier head coach Bill Lynch and wide receivers coach Billy Lynch are no strangers to Ball State. Bill served as the Cardinals head coach from 1995-02. He led BSU to an appearance in the 1996 Las Vegas Bowl, a 1996 MAC title and a share of the 2001 MAC West.



    Billy lettered three years (1999-01) as a wide receiver and four years (1998-02) as a basketball standout with the Cardinals. He led Ball State with 40 receptions his senior campaign. In addition, he played for then-Ball State head coach and current Hoosier basketball assistant Ray McCallum.

    Bill's middle son, Joey, earned four letters at Ball State (2003-06). A standout quarterback for the Cardinals, Joey sits in the top 10 in several BSU career passing charts, including yards (fifth), attempts (sixth), completions (sixth), touchdowns (third) and completion percentage (second). The gun-slinger threw for three scores and 246 yards against the Hoosiers last season. Joey is currently the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind.

    Scouting Ball State
    Playing its second Big Ten team in as many weeks, Ball State heads to Bloomington with a 5-4 overall record, a 3-2 mark in the Mid-American Conference and a 2-1 record in the MAC's West Division, which is good for a share of second place. The Cardinals gave Illinois all it could handle last weekend in Champaign, holding a 10-7 lead in the second half before the Fighting Illini eventually pulled out a 28-17 win.

    Following its defeat to Illinois, Ball State is 0-2 against BCS schools this season, although the losses have been by a combined 12 points. The Cardinals lost a 41-40 heartbreaker at Nebraska on Sept. 22.

    BSU showcases one of the nation's most talented quarterbacks in sophomore Nate Davis. The Bellaire, Ohio, native sits 12th nationally averaging 272.6 passing yards per game and is 28th with a passing efficiency rating of 137.4. Davis is responsible for 15.33 points per game, which is 19th in the nation, has thrown 21 touchdowns to just four interceptions and is completing 55.8 percent of his passes.

    Junior wide receiver Dante Love and junior tight end Darius Hill are Davis' favorite targets. Love leads the team with 59 receptions and 789 yards (87.7 yards per game), while Hill has 44 receptions for 655 yards (72.8 yards per game). Each player has seven touchdowns.

    The Cardinals are averaging 163.9 yards on the ground. Sophomore MiQuale Lewis averaged 111.8 yards per game through the first four contests before suffering a season-ending injury in that fourth game at Nebraska.

    On the defensive side of the ball, Ball State allows 227.0 rushing and 204.7 passing yards each time out. BSU is surrendering 26.3 points per game, although it is allowing 21.0 the last three games since a 58-point outburst by Central Michigan.

    With their 14 interceptions, the Cardinals share ninth nationally and are 24th in the country with 20 forced turnovers. Junior cornerback B.J. Hill leads the club with five picks (14th in the nation) and sits fourth on the team with 52 tackles. Junior linebacker Bryant Haines paces BSU with 46 solo stops and 90 total tackles, nine ahead of fifth-year senior linebacker Mike Dorulla (31 solos).

    Brady Hoke, who is in his fifth season at the helm, coaches Ball State. Hoke, a four-year letterwinner with the Cardinals from 1977-80, owns a 20-35 record. Prior to taking over the Cardinal program, Hoke served as defensive ends coach (1995-96), defensive line coach (1997-01) and associate head coach / defensive line coach (1997-01) under Lloyd Carr at Michigan.

    2006 vs. The Cardinals
    In his collegiate debut, Kellen Lewis threw for 228 yards with one passing touchdown and ran for 88 more with a score on the ground, as the Hoosiers came away with a 24-23 victory at Ball State on Sept. 9. Indiana overcame an early 17-0 and a 23-7 halftime deficit to improve to 2-0 for the second year in a row.

    The Indiana defense shut out the Cardinals in the second half, and the offense came through with 17 points on the back of Lewis in the final 30 minutes of action. Austin Starr's 35-yard field goal with 10:58 to go gave IU its first and only lead of the evening.

    Lewis' 316 total yards were the most for a Hoosier quarterback making his debut since Antwaan Randle El went for 467 yards against Western Michigan on Sept. 12, 1998.

    Marcus Thigpen scored the Hoosiers' only points in the first half, returning a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown on just his second career kickoff return. It was the third 100-yard kickoff return in IU history, joining Derin Graham (10/3/98 vs. Wisconsin) and Freal McIntosh (1911 vs. Washington and Lee). Lewis hit James Hardy on a 12-yard touchdown pass to make it 23-14 on the team's opening possession in the second half. Indiana followed that up with a six-play, 71-yard drive that wrapped up with a remarkable 23-yard touchdown scamper by the redshirt freshman. Lewis handled every play on the drive, going 3-for-4 in the air for 34 yards and adding 37 on the ground on two runs.

    IU grabbed its first lead with 10:58 to play in regulation. The Hoosiers churned out a nine-play, 66-yard drive that culminated with Starr's 35-yarder. The key play came on a 32-yard pass over the middle to Andrew Means, who held on despite taking a personal foul hit at the end of the play. A Lewis 12-yard rush put Indiana inside the BSU 25, and four plays later. Starr booted the ball through the uprights for the game-winning points.

    IU vs. The MAC
    Indiana has won its last 19 meetings against Mid-American Conference opponents, including two victories this season. The Hoosiers earned a 37-27 triumph at Western Michigan on Sept. 8 and disposed of Akron, 41-24, the following Saturday. IU holds a 31-4-1 (.875) all-time record against MAC foes.


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