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College Football Recap Week Five
Ball State’s Keith Wenning continues on with his excellent season to this point albeit in a loss for the Cardinals on Saturday. The Cards (3-2, 1-1) fell at Kent State 45-43, but not to the fault of Wenning. He threw for a ridiculous 445 yards and five touchdowns while connecting on 74% (32-for-43) of his passes. The yardage and touchdown marks set career highs for the junior quarterback. Wenning has proven this year that he is very capable of leading the Ball State offense to big scoring outputs, but at this time needs to get a little bit more help from the defense. Ball State still has a chance to be in the MAC Championship race with a very big game against West Division rival Northern Illinois on Saturday. To do this, the Cards will need Wenning to continue his spectacular start to the season.
The lack of defense by the state schools this week was very evident. Notre Dame and their stifling defense had a bye week leaving Indiana, Purdue, and Ball State with opportunities to showcase. Their defenses however did not show up on Saturday. They gave up a total of 130 points in the three games combined (45, 44, and 41 points respectively). Indiana’s defense had the most alarming performance. IU gave up 44 points, 704 total yards, 36 first downs, and just over 36 minutes of possession to Northwestern. Purdue’s defense had the most surprising outing this week. The Boilers defensively have been highly touted and have looked very good so far this year. Saturday at home against Marshall they looked anything but allowing 41 points, 534 total yards (439 yards passing), and 31 first downs. This comes from a defense who entering the game was only averaging 14 points allowed per game. The Ball State defense is much like the IU defense as far as their lack of strength up front. Please see above on how/why Ball State has won and what they will need to continue winning.
Week six is when the Indiana Hoosiers start true freshman Nate Sudfeld at quarterback. Sudfeld came in in relief of Cam Coffman on Saturday and led the Hoosiers on several scoring drives ending the day with 29 points. Sudfeld played the last drive of the first half and the entire second half going 9-for-16, 157 yards, and a touchdown. Sudfeld came to IU from Modesto, CA as a high ranking recruit. He wanted to play for head coach Kevin Wilson and offensive coordinator Seth Littrell who had great success coaching QB’s at Oklahoma and Arizona respectively. The QB switch will not only be interesting since Sudfeld would become just the second true freshman to start (the other being the injured Tre Roberson last season), but it would be almost the exact same scenario. Roberson started the last 5 games of last season so Sudfeld would be a little ahead of that mark. Roberson was also the third starter of the season as will Sudfeld. This move is necessary right now after two straight losses as IU is getting set for homecoming and the Big Ten season, but could make the offseason and fall training camp very interesting next year.
Ball State suffered their first conference loss of the season Saturday at Kent State’s Dix Stadium. After two straight games where they won with exciting late scores, the Cards were downed by a field goal with just :06 remaining. The Cardinals had a good start to their season and seemed to be hot after beating IU and South Florida. This puts BSU at 1-1 in conference making their push to the conference championship a bit tougher now. Kent State does reside in the MAC’s East Division so the Cards still have their chance to make their mark in the West Division.