Ball State at Indiana, in-game analysis

Ball State starts at its 35.

  • Davis hits Love, who gets out of bounds at the Indiana 47.
  • Incomplete on a fly down the right side.
  • Ball State holds on 2nd down.
  • Davis’ pass is incomplete on second down part II.
  • Davis looks down field, and Geno Johnson steps in front of the pass. His attempt at a return is eventful, as he breaks away from a few tackles and gets the ball down inside Ball State’s 20. But the clock runs out.


Indiana starts at the 19.

  • Will Bill Lynch go for the jugular?
  • No, not after Marcus Thigpen loses nine yards on a stretch play to start the drive.
  • On 2nd down, Indiana gives to Thigpen for a gain of two. And Ball State, sensing a chance to make something happen, calls time out.
  • On 3rd and 17, Payton goes up middle but can’t even get back to the original line of scrimmage. The Cardinals use their final time out.
  • Michael Hines, punting with the wind, gets off one of his better kicks of the year.


Ball State starts from its 22.

  • Davis finds Love (he makes it look so easy, when we all know it isn’t) for a gain of 18.
  • Greg Middleton gets through and sacks Davis for a loss of six.
  • Now Davis finds Joe Everett sitting underneath the safeties for a gain of 13.
  • The Cardinals face a 3rd and 3, but Davis’ pass is batted down by Brian Faires.
  • Chris Miller has another sub-par punt, as it travels just 34 yards. He’s losing my vote for punter of the year. Although I can’t remember if I actually vote for that award. Or if it actually exists.



  • Drive details: 58 yards, 9 plays, 2:08

Indiana takes over at its 42

  • Thigpen dropped in the backfield by 31-year-old sophomore Brandon Crawford. He loses four yards.
  • Lewis targets Hardy on a long out but misses.
  • On 3rd and 14, Lewis does what he does and rolls right, picking his way up field, keeping the defense guessing by pump faking three or four times, until he reached the first-down marker.
  • Lewis bootlegs weak side, has an option to dump off for Sears but keeps and gains 10.
  • B.J. Hill comes on a corner blitz, which Indiana is prepared for. But he has enough presence to get his hand up and block a lofted pass headed for the area he had just vacated.
  • Lewis bolts and throws for Bailey, who manages to grab the ball in the end zone. The initial call is that he had possession with a foot in bounds. Indiana tries to get the kick in the air but seconds before the snap the whistle blows. This will be reviewed.
  • It’s overruled. Not once did they show the replay on the big screen here at Memorial Stadium. That is incredibly disrespectful to fans who paid good money to come to this game.
  • Lewis finds Fisher, who spins away from a tackler to gain 15 on 3rd and 10.
  • Lewis finds Hardy in almost the same spot where he found Bailey. But Hardy leaves no doubt, hauling in the pass for a score.


The Cardinals begin from their 23.

  • On 2nd and 7, Davis again feels early pressure and has to roll right. Unlike when Lewis does that, Davis isn’t much of a threat to jump ahead for yards. And Ball State doesn’t seem to have an offense designed to adjust to that happening; Davis doesn’t have receivers in position to come back to him.
  • Davis resorts to a screen, which loses two yards, on third down.
  • Chris Miller gets off a duck of a punt. Goes 34 yards.


INDIANA 17, BALL STATE 10 (7:10, second quarter)

  • Drive details: CB Christopher Phillips is the beneficiary of a Davis miscue, and he goes 58 yards to score on the interception return.

Ball State starts at its 32.

  • On 2nd and 6, Ball State pulls a double-reverse but Indiana sees it and holds love to three yards.
  • On 3rd and 3, Davis finds Love for a nine yard gain.
  • Nate Davis has so much time on first that a holding call is almost inevitable.
  • That moves Ball State back to its 38. On 1st and 20, Daniel Ifft settles in and gains 13.
  • Christopher Phillips has a pass thrown right to him. Major miscommunication on that play. Phillips has open field ahead of him and scores.


INDIANA 10, BALL STATE 10 (9:28, second quarter)

  • Drive details: 2 plays, 65 yards, 0:48.

Indiana starts at its 35.

  • Lewis sees no open receivers but a seam in front of him. He takes it and gains five.
  • Big Play Ray Fisher makes one, taking a screen, running ahead through a gaping hole and going all 60 yards to the end zone.


Ball State will try to take advantage of Kellen Lewis’ ninth turnover in the last two and half games.

  • Ball State fumbles the ball, and Indiana has a chance to grab it. The Hoosiers can’t.
  • On 2nd and 1 from their 31, the Cardinals use a direct snap to Dante Love. He floats right before picking his gap and getting to the mark.
  • On 2nd and 7, Davis tries for a long pass, but there’s no receiver near where the pass lands. Miscommunication?
  • On 3rd down, Jammie Kirlew bullrushes through and hits Davis, who manages to squeeze off a pass that falls incomplete.
  • Chris Miller, one of the best punters in the country, sends a bouncer into the Indiana side of the field. Tracy Porter stops it from rolling too deep, then avoids five or six tacklers and gains 17 yards.


A personal foul on the touchdown has Ball State kicking from the 15. They opt for a squib kick that gets by Marcus Thigpen. But he grabs and flows left for a 16-yard return.

  • On 1st and 10 from the 42, Thigpen tries the middle and is stopped immediately.
  • Lewis drops to pass, sees nothing he likes and bolts through the middle, picking up a first down across midfield.
  • On first down, Lewis is chased and throws to Thigpen on a screen. Ball State is right there, and Thigpen gains just a yard.
  • That’s the end of the first quarter. Indiana has gone five quarters without a touchdown.
  • Ray Fisher, coming off a foot injury that sidelined him last weekend, breaks through a tackle and turns that doomed bubble screen into a 14-yard gain. Those are the plays Indiana has needed but lacked the past three games.
  • For at least the third time this game, Lewis lofts a ball up in the direction of Hardy, and the 6-7 former basketball player finds himself in the air fighting for a rebound. Both he and the defender come close to this ball, but it ultimately falls to the turf.
  • On 2nd and 10, big back Josiah Sears plows ahead for four yards.
  • Lewis is chased by a seven-man blitz and has to throw the ball away.
  • Austin Starr lines up for a 45-yard attempt. It’s blocked, but only because the Ball State player had a pretty good and illegal jump on the play.
  • That makes it 4th and 1, and the Hoosiers will now go for the first down.
  • Lewis throws the screen to Fisher, who has little trouble squeezing through a couple of defenders to pick up the first down.
  • Indiana’s got 1st and 10 from the 11, and Lewis drops on first. He tries for Means cutting toward the right side of the end zone but misses high and wide.
  • Indiana allows a blitzer through on 2nd down, but that’s because RB Sears has spurted out to the right flat. Lewis finds him for an eight-yard gain.
  • Lewis fumbles the snap on third down, and the ball is kicked out into the open field. FS Eddie Burk hops on it. Another turnover.



Drive details: 7 plays, 55 yards, 2:55

Ball State gets the ball at midfield.

  • Davis squeezes a long pass down the middle to get the Cardinals down to Indiana’s 30.
  • A holding pushes Ball State back to face a 2nd and 15. Davis has to break contain and head left, where he’s tackled by Christopher Phillips, the corner starting in place of Leslie Majors. Phillips ripped the ball out, but it went out of bounds.
  • On 3rd and 5 from the 25, Davis is again chased and has to launch the ball down field, several yards beyond the back of the end zone.
  • Ball State lines up to try a 42-yard kick. They’ve been terrible on kicks from that far out. So, they fake it. And pick up the first down.
  • On 2nd and 16, Davis, under pressure again, stands in and throws for Joe Everett, who is pushed from behind. The flags hit the ground.
  • That gives Ball State a 1st and goal from the four.
  • Chris Clancy heads right behind a group of blockers and finds his way into the end zone.


Indiana takes over at its 35.

  • Apparently the Hoosiers are wearing some sort of retro uniform. I hadn’t heard anything about it until now, and quite frankly can’t see a thing from up here. Can anyone describe what they look like?
  • Back to the game, Lewis throws a risky quick slant to Baily and it’s almost picked. Bailey manages to rip it from the defender’s arms and get five yards. Bailey has been so inconsistent this season; he looks to be on his game today.
  • Lewis keeps and gains three yards.
  • On 3rd and 2, Bryan Payton pounds through the line to get a first down.
  • Lewis keeps on first down, heads left and, while trying to juke around a defender in perfect position for a tackle, fumbles the ball away. Ball State’s Kenny Meeks falls on the ball.


Ball State will start at its 23.

  • Davis gets rid of it on first down, and Indiana’s coaches want an intentional grounding call. They won’t get it.
  • Adam McClurg clogs the middle from his MLB spot, holding Ball State to two yards on a second-down run.
  • Davis has time but can’t find an open man. As he steps up in the pocket he’s knocked down by Greg Middleton. He tries a risky pass while falling and misses his man.


INDIANA 3, BALL STATE 3 (7:10, first quarter)

  • Drive details: 71 yards, 10 plays, 4:27

Indiana gets a fresh start from its 17.

  • Lewis stands in and finds Hardy along the sideline, six yards ahead. He’s careful to catch the ball, kneeling as he received it.
  • Now the duo has a little confidence, as this time Lewis drops and fires to Hardy quickly, and he’s able to pick up six or seven yards after the catch.
  • Lewis keeps on an option and bursts up middle, powering through tackles and picking up the first down.
  • Was that play a triple option? Lewis could have handed to Thigpen sweeping across him, but kept it. He saw defenders collapsing, so he threw it to Hardy, waiting about on a parallel line. Hardy took the pass and got upfield for five yards.
  • James Bailey had one-on-one coverage and was going to have a chance to go up for a jump ball on that pass against a 5-7 DB. Bailey is 6-2. He had a good shot at getting it fairly. Instead, he pushes his defender and gets called.
  • As a result, Indiana faces 2nd and 20 from its own 39. A run goes nowhere.
  • On 3rd and 20, Lewis is almost sacked deep in the backfield. He runs right and chucks the ball down the field. It somehow finds the waiting arms of James Hardy, who gets down to the Ball State 11.
  • Marcus Thigpen takes a stretch play left and loses a yard.
  • Interesting play call on 2nd down, as Ray Fisher ran a fly/fade into the end zone out of the slot. Lewis threw too far for him, but it definitely surprised the Cardinals.
  • Toss-up for Hardy on 3rd down, and Lewis pulls him out of bounds with the throw.
  • Austin Starr on to try a 30-yard field goal. With that kick, he ties Pete Stoyonavich’s single season record for field goals in a season by an Indiana kicker with 17.


BALL STATE 3, INDIANA 0 (11:37, first quarter)

  • Drive details: 8 plays, 26 yards, 3:07

Ball State takes over, looking to put Indiana behind early.

  • The first two running plays go nowhere.
  • On 3rd and 11, Nate Davis finds Darius Hill running through the middle and picks up a first down and more.
  • From the 16-yard-line, Davis throws a quick out to Dante Love for 10 yards.
  • The Cardinals get to the 2-yard-line with a run off left end on first down.
  • Davis throws a fade toward the near corner on 2nd down, but misses his man.
  • On 3rd, Davis bootlegs right and tries to squeeze a pass through. He can’t.
  • Ian McGarvey will try a kick from 19 yards out. He hits it.


The opening kick goes into the end zone.

  • Indiana starts 1st and 10 from the 20. Lewis rolls right and lofts a long ball downfield for Hardy. It’s picked up. Trey Lewis takes it back 36 yards to the Indiana 28.


Minutes from the start here. Nice weather, small crowd. Maybe it will fill in a bit.