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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 15, 8:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Memorial Stadium (52,929) -- Bloomington, Indiana. Television: Big Ten Network. Home Record: Ball St. 1-0, Indiana 1-0. Away Record: Ball St. 0-1, Indiana 1-0. Neutral Record: Ball St. 0-0, Indiana 0-0. Conference Record: Ball St. 1-0, Indiana 0-0. Series Record: Indiana leads, 4-2.
GAME NOTES: The Sycamore State will be divided as the Ball State Cardinals head to Memorial Stadium to challenge the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday.
The Cardinals won the second half of their last game, but the damage was done in the second quarter, as the 11th-ranked Clemson Tigers posted a 52-27 victory. Clemson gained 526 yards of total offense, handing BSU its first loss of the season. Ball State enters with a 1-1 overall record and a first place position in the MAC standings after downing Eastern Michigan in its season opener. Head coach Pete Lembo enters the third game of his second season with a 7-7 record in Muncie. Lembo previously held head coaching positions at Elon and Lehigh prior to making the jump to the FBS level.
Indiana's promising start to the 2012 season hit a huge bump in the road last week in its 45-6 victory over Massachusetts. The Hoosiers built an early 21-7 lead in the contest as quarterback Tre Roberson racked up 203 total yards in just over a quarter, but he suffered a season ending leg injury early in the second period. Second year head coach Kevin Wilson and his new offensive coordinator Seth Littrell's team has averaged 528.5 yards of total offense and 34.5 points per contest through its first two games. The defense has held opponents to 11.5 points per game, but IU's competition has been Indiana State of the FCS and UMass, which is in its first season of FBS play.
This will be just the seventh all-time meeting between the instate rivals. The Hoosiers hold a 4-2 advantage in the rivalry's history, but the Cardinals have narrowed the margin by picking up victories in the last two encounters. Ball State downed the Hoosiers, 27-20, in last season's contest at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, but IU holds a 4-1 edge in games played in Bloomington.
Ball State's offense excelled in week one versus EMU and saw slightly reduced success against Clemson. Sophomore tailback Jahwan Edwards opened up the season with a bang as he tallied 200 yards and a career-best three touchdowns versus EMU. After 54 yards at Clemson, Edwards is just 20 yards shy of the 1,000 yard rushing mark for his career.
Edwards is not the only talented back on BSU's roster. Redshirt freshman Horactio Banks broke away for a 54-yard touchdown run and finished with 120 yards and two scores last week versus the Tigers.
With the one-two punch out of the backfield serving as Ball State's offensive attack, quarterback Keith Wenning has a lesser role this season. Wenning threw for 2,786 yards, 19 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions last season as a sophomore. The junior signal caller tied his 2011 season low of 29 passing attempts in last week's loss to Clemson. Wenning needs 177 passing yards to move into fourth all-time in Ball State history.
Travis Freeman recorded a team-best 23 total tackles to lead Ball State's defense. The Cardinal defenders have failed to make big plays so far, as the team has forced just one turnover and failed to sack an opposing QB.
With Roberson out, Ball State's defenders will have to stop IU's sophomore QB Cameron Coffman. After Roberson's injury versus UMass, Coffman stepped in and completed 16-of-22 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown in his first collegiate appearance.
Coffman's first career start will be made easier by Shane Wynn. The sophomore wideout led the Hoosiers with 1,249 all-purpose yards last season and began 2012 with a career-high six catches for 95 yards. Cody Latimer is second on the team with 108 yards on 10 receptions.
IU's rushing game rotates four backs to give defenses different looks. Tevin Coleman (134 yards, 21 carries) and D'Angelo Roberts (120 yards, 32 carries) have been the most productive of the quartet through two games.
The Hoosiers indicated in their season opening win versus Indiana State that they could struggle against schools with strong rushing attacks this season. The Sycamores gained 176 yards and a touchdown on 32 carries in the contest.
Indiana recorded 11 tackles for loss its last time out and leads the Big Ten with eight sacks through two games.
The Hoosiers' new starting quarterback is viewed as a more accurate passer, but he is not as athletic as Roberson. Although Coffman was efficient in relief work versus UMass last week, Ball State's defense should be more prepared. However, the Cardinals who finished 115th in the nation last season in pass defense may not be equipped to stop the junior college transfer. While it remains to be seen how Coffman will perform, Ball State's running back tandem of Edwards and Banks should slice through IU, which finished 118th nationally in rush defense in 2011.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ball State 31, Indiana 27
09/12 10:37:07 ET