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npklemm

[2023] Season in Review: Ball State

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Coach: @npklemm

Pre-Season Projection: 8-4

Final Record: 8-5 (5-3), 3rd in MAC West 

 

I thought we had a good chance to do some really special things in the regular season. I knew we'd be outgunned by both Central and Western, but thought we could take the rest of the Division and had an OOC that could be favorable. We finished the regular season 7-5 and went Bowling for the first time since 2016.

 

Schedule

 

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We went 2-2 versus our OOC, with losses to UCLA and IU and wins against Liberty and UMASS. The losses to UCLA and IU were blow outs disappointingly. We did beat EMU for the first time in school history. Finishing 7-5 overall, and 5-3 against the MAC is one of the best seasons for the Cards. We faced South Alabama in the Camellia Bowl, beating them by 7.

 

Key Players

 

QB Erik Parker (FR) - 214/341 2,474 Yards 62.76% 12 TD 8 INT 130.62 QB Rating  63 Rush Yards 4 TD

RB Damani Laws (JR) - 278 Carry 1,615 Yards 15 TD 5.81 YPC

TE Steven Moya (JR) - 61 Rec 798 Yards 4 TD 2 Drop

WR Sebastian Amato (JR) - 46 Rec 629 Yards 4 TD 3 Drop

DE Samuel Cleveland FR - 19 Tackle 2 TFL 5.5 Sack 1 FF

OLB Dominique Brantley FR - 41 Tackle 5 TFL 3.5 Sack 1 INT 1 PD

FS Geno Atkins (JR) - 42 Tackle 1 TFL 3 INT 2 PD

 

Parker got off to a great start, then had some turnover issues in the middle of the season, before finishing the year on a strong note. He certainly gave Cards fans a lot to be excited about going forward. Laws had the best RB Season in school history, and was yet somehow the 3rd best RB in the Conference. Moya and Amato both took steps forward, and have a great senior season coming up. Cleveland and Brantley (both True Freshmen) both had great seasons, combining for 60 Tackes, 7 TFL, and 9 Sacks. Just like Parker, they're giving Cards fans much to be excited about going forward. FS Geno Atkins cleaned up a lot of issues in the back end of the defense, and lead the team with 3 Picks.

 

Impact Recruits

 

OT Alex Burroughs JR (4.0/4.5)

OG Kieran Edmondson FR (1.0/4.5)

FB Sila Faanofonof Atua FR (3.0/4.0)

RB Nick Carson FR (1.0/4.0)

FS Golden Fountain FR (1.0/4.0)

DT Josh Kern FR (1.0/4.0)

 

The Cards have struggle on the OL for a while, and Alex Burroughs is much needed help. Kieran Edmondson likely doesn't player year one, but will be a foundational piece of the offense for 4 years. Sila Atua will compete for a starting job right away, and will become best friends with Nick Carson. Carson will take a RS year, then will take the reigns. Like Carson, Golden Fountain will take a RS year and then take over the starting job. Josh Kern will also take a RS Year, and then may have to fight for a starting job for a year or two. This group isn't large, but all will find key roles with the Cards going forward.

 

Season Awards

 

K Mitchell Randall - MAC Kicker of the Year

npklemm - MAC Media Writer of the Year

K Mitchell Randall - All-MAC, 1st Team

RB Damani Laws - All-MAC, 2nd Team

FS Geno Atkins - All-MAC, 2nd Team

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Thanks for doing these for everyone, fun reads while i procrastinate.

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