South Florida (2-1) at Ball State (2-1)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 22, 4:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Scheumann Stadium (22,500) -- Muncie, Indiana.
Television: Big East Network, ESPN3. Home Record: USF 1-1, BSU 1-0. Away
Record: USF 1-0, BSU 1-1. Neutral Record: USF 0-0, BSU 0-0. Conference Record:
USF 0-1, BSU 1-0. Series Record: South Florida leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Ball State Cardinals attempt to knock off a BCS opponent for
the second week in a row as they welcome the South Florida Bulls to Scheumann
Stadium for a non-conference bout.
The Bulls are coming off a 23-13 loss to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights which
dropped their overall record to 2-1 and their Big East mark to 0-1. USF took
down Chattanooga (34-13) and Nevada (32-31) to open the season. Coach Skip
Holtz's squad finished with a disappointing 5-7 record in 2011 which snapped
his streak of five straight bowl appearances dating back to his days at East
Carolina. The Bulls returned 26 players with starting experience from last
Ball State took over with just 49 seconds left and put together a game-winning
drive that was capped off by Steven Schott's 42-yard field goal as time
expired to defeat the previously unbeaten Indiana Hoosiers, 41-39, in a
thriller its last time out. The Cardinals previously took down Eastern
Michigan (37-26) in their season and MAC opener before falling to Clemson
(52-27) on the road in week two.
The series between these programs began last season with the Bulls picking up
an easy, 37-7, victory.
The Bulls are a solid team in terms of offensive production so far with 412.7
yards and 26.3 points per contest.
USF is led offensively by B.J. Daniels once again. The senior quarterback is
ranked 15th in the nation with 318 total yards of offense per game and already
has 830 passing yards and six touchdowns. Daniels, who was guilty of seven
interceptions in 2011, has already been picked off four times this season.
Daniels is also a big part of the rushing attack with 124 yards and a score on
Demetris Murray is the main option out of the backfield. The senior tailback
has picked up 142 yards and three touchdowns on 38 carries. Holtz also uses
Lamar Lindsey to keep opposing defenses off balance.
Andre Davis and Terrence Mitchell have emerged as Daniels's preferred targets
early on. Davis has reeled in 21 catches for 288 yards and two touchdowns.
Davis set the school's single-game receiving record with 12 catches for 191
yards and two scores against Nevada to help the Bulls start the season off
with back-to-back victories. Mitchell has shown off his big play ability as
both a wideout and punt returner.
Despite the loss to Rutgers, the Bulls performed much better on the defensive
side of the ball than they did versus Nevada. USF surrendered 549 yards and 31
points to the Wolf Pack, but limited the Scarlet Knights to 424 yards and 23
points in the losing effort.
USF has yet to force a turnover. Junior LB DeDe Lattimore had been the anchor
of the defense so far with team-highs of 27 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, and
4.5 tackles for loss.
BSU is ranked 14th in the nation with 262.3 rushing yards per game. The strong
rushing attack fuels the team to 35 points per game average.
Jahwan Edwards has been sensational with 332 yards and four scores on 52
rushes. Sophomore Horactio Banks should continue to be a big part of the
gameplan as well after dashing for 120 yards and two touchdowns against
Clemson. Banks was held to only 29 yards on 10 carries by the Hoosiers his
last time out.
Keith Wenning is slated to start his 26th consecutive game at quarterback for
BSU. Wenning threw three passes for scores and made the first-ever receiving
touchdown of his career against Indiana. Wenning is 224 yards away from
becoming only the fourth QB in school history to reach 5,000 career passing
Wenning will continue to look the way of Jamill Smith, who showed off reliable
hands versus Indiana. Smith finished with a career-best nine receptions and
compiled 194 all-purpose yards in the contest. He also threw his first career
pass when he connected with Wenning on a trick play.
Defensively, the Cardinals have been picked apart by opposing passers. The
shorthanded Hoosiers managed to throw for 423 yards and four touchdowns
against BSU despite starting Cameron Coffman for the first time in his career
and playing third string quarterback Nate Sudfeld in the contest. The
Cardinals' three opponents have combined for 117 points in three games.
Linebacker Travis Freeman uses his great awareness efficiently and leads the
squad with 33 total stops. Kenneth Lee has recorded a second-best 22 total
Despite being at home and having all the momentum in the world, it will take
an enormous effort from Ball State to fend off USF. The Cardinals are
susceptible against strong passing attacks and Daniels is the type of player
who thrives versus weaker competition. Wenning and the Cardinals need to limit
turnovers or they will endure a stampede courtesy of the Bulls.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: South Florida 45, Ball State 35
09/19 10:39:08 ET