Here come the Cardinals..

Can you smell it? Do you feel it? Football season is about to begin!  College football officially kicks off tomorrow night with Louisville vs. Murray State at 6pm. Your Indiana Hoosiers open the 2011-2012 season Saturday night at 7pm vs. the Ball State Cardinals (4-8 last season). In this blog, we will take a look at the upcoming opponent.

The Cardinals and Hoosiers have a lot of similarities coming into the new season. Both teams have new head coaches, quarterback competitions, and are missing their leading rusher from a year ago. The Cardinals new coach is Pete Lembo who comes from Elon in North Carolina where he had an impressive 79-36 overall record.

The Cardinals will go with sophomore Keith Wenning when it trots onto the field Saturday night. The Cardinals will also use the no huddle offense. The Cardinals leading rusher, Eric Williams, left the team this summer.

Key Players: ( from

Sean Baker -Beast. One of the best defensive players in the MAC. He's already Ball State's career interceptions leader, and based on the first three seasons, there's no reason for him not to build on that. At one point in his junior season, Baker was rated as the fifth-best strong safety prospect by, but appears to have fallen out of the top 25. Doesn't take away his importance to the team, though.

Travis Freeman/Jason Pinkston- Putting them together because they are both Glenville (Ohio) guys, and both studs. Freeman led the team in tackles by a wide margin with 108 and Pinkston had four interceptions.

Briggs Osborn- After a stellar freshman campaign with Nate Davis at QB, he hasn't been quite able to match the production from 2008. Last year, he wasn't even the team's top producer, only catching 28 passes for 295 yards even though he's certainly the team's most talented wideout. As a true freshman, Jack Tomlinson led BSU with 29 receptions for 484 yards and six touchdowns.

Prediction: The defense has the upper hand for both teams early on, but Indiana's depth and fast tempo wears down the Cardinals as the second half rolls on.

Indiana 24 Ball State 10

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