62 www.49ersonlineproshop.com/WOMENS-FRANK-GORE-JERSEY.html in Sentinel's preseason rankings
Look back: Ball State captured only its third winning season in the past decade when the Cardinals won nine games in 2012. The offense saw tremendous growth under secondyear coach Pete Lembo as Ball State ranked second in the MidAmerican Conference in scoring (33.6 points per game), right behind eventual conference champion Northern Illinois. The Cardinals only two conference losses were to Kent State and NIU, teams that went on to play in the league title game.
Top returnees: QB Keith Wenning, RB Jahwan Edwards, WR Willie Snead, WR Jamill Smith, TE Zane Fakes, CB Eric Patterson, CB Jeffery Garrett, DE Jonathan Newsome
Strengths: Ball State had the secondbest offense in the MidAmerican Conference last season with the group averaging 457 yards per game. As a junior, quarterback Keith Wenning set several career and school marks while completing 65 percent of his passes for 3,095 yards and 24 TDs. Joining him in the backfield is running back Jahwan Edwards, who rushed for a teamhigh 1,410 yards and 14 TDs last season as the Cardinals had the fourthbest rushing offense in the conference. Along with Wenning and Edwards, Ball State returns every key position player on offense including the team top three receivers: Willie Snead (1,148 yards/9 TDs), Jamill Smith (706/6) and Connor Ryan (357/3) along with tight end Zane Fakes (461/5). The secondary, which struggled in 2012, returns three of its four starters from last season including corner backs Eric Patterson (61 tackles/2 INTs) and Jeffery Garrett (57 tackles).
Weaknesses: Defense is a concern as the Cardinals finished ranked 102nd in the country in total defense (462 yards per game). Six starters return from last season group including three of four front seven led by defensive ends Jonathan Newsome (52 tackles/8.5 sacks) and Nick Miles (54 tackles). The team will have to make up for the loss of its www.49ersonlineproshop.com top linebackers: Travis Freeman and Tony Martin, making the middle of the defense a concern. The Cardinals led the league in fewest sacks allowed (14), but with only one returning starters on the offensive line G Jordan Hansel it will be tough to duplicate that type of effort.
Outlook: The program hasn had backtoback winning seasons since 20072008 under Brady Hoke. Consequently, that the last time the team has played Kids Frank Gore Jersey in backtoback bowl games. The offense will have to carry the load while the defense looks to improve from last season. If everything starts to click, Ball State should compete for a MAC West title..
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