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2003 PREVIEW: Ball State Cardinals

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Over the last few seasons, has consistently been a good MAC team. In a league that has some big powers like Marshall and to go with the dregs like and , has been right in the middle of the mix. Tired of being average, the program is ready to challenge for bigger things. Enter Brady Hoke coming in from Michigan to try and make the Cardinals one of the MAC elite. The MAC always has some good teams, but a program can quickly turn itself into one of the big boys. Just look at . is close enough to be a few big players away from taking that step that Cardinal faithful have been hoping to make.

Cardinals
Team Information
Head coach: Brady Hoke
1st year
Returning O Lettermen: 23
Returning D Lettermen: 18
Returning ST Lettermen: 3
Lettermen Lost: 17
Ten Best Players
1. LB , Sr.
2. CB , Sr.
3. SS , Jr.
4. QB , Sr.
5. OG , Sr.
6. QB , Sr.
7. P , Sr.
8. PK , Sr.
9. C , Jr.
10. CB , Sr.
2003 Schedule
8/30 State
9/6
9/13 at
9/20
9/27 at
10/4 at
10/18 Miami (Ohio)
10/25
11/1 at
11/8 at
11/15 at
11/22
There might be several returning starters and plenty of lettermen returning to give Hoke something to work with, but there's little to no star power. The lack of a bankable star will be something Hoke, a sensational recruiter, will change in a hurry. For this year, BSU must continue to beat the bad teams on the schedule while trying to pull off an upset or two. This isn't a team that'll explode on anyone, but there aren't any screaming weaknesses to worry about. Look for the Cardinals to give everyone a tough game and surprise a couple of those MAC big boys. The Schedule: It's difficult. The Cards will have problems early with , at and at in the first five games. They get , Miami University and at home, but a mid-season stretch against the RedHawks, , and could be tough. Ending the season against isn't a picnic. Best Offensive Player: Senior QB . He's neck and neck with for the starting quarterback job. They can both play, but Roesch has the better arm and better passing skills. Best Defensive Player: Senior LB . Scott has been a fixture in the BSU defense making 344 career tackles with 28 tackles for loss and six sacks. He's also strong in pass coverage breaking up ten passes. Key player to a successful season: It'll be running back by committee trying to replace the 1,825 yards of total offense and 14 touchdowns of . Junior has the most experience and should see a bulk of the time, but and Brad Seiss will each see plenty of action. The season will be a success if ... finishes with six wins. The Cardinals just aren't good enough in any one area to win the MAC West, but they're good enough to win six games. They're going to have to overcome a potentially tough start needing to come back roaring in MAC play. Key game: Oct. 25 vs. . The Cards will be reeling a bit after a tough non-conference schedule, but they should be 2-1, at worst, in MAC play before facing the defending MAC West champs. With a tough three game road trip following the game against the Rockets, this becomes a must-win. 2002 Fun Stats:
  • Fourth quarter scoring; Opponents 85 - 41
  • Penalties: Opponents: 85 for 777 yards - BSU 61 for 488
  • Time of possession: BSU 31:35 - Opponents 27:53
    2003 Recruiting Class
    Star of the Class
    Bryan Williamson WR/DB 6-3 190 Westerville, (Worthington) Chris Allen DB 5-10 165 Dayton, (Wayne)
    Cortlan Booker LB 6-2 210 West Lafayette, Ind. (West Lafayette)
    Eddie Burk DB 5-11 190 Florissant, Mo. (Hazelwood Central)
    Scott Bradtmiller OL 6-4 285 Fort Wayne, Ind. (Northrop)
    Dustin Brown OL/DL 6-3 260 Fort Wayne, Ind. (Wayne)
    Mike Dorulla DB 6-0 190 Valparaiso, Ind. (Valparaiso)
    Casey Gillin QB 6-2 187 Mooresville, Ind. (Indian Creek)
    Brian Jackson PK 5-7 165 Dothan, Ala. (Northview)
    Jermaine Johnson DB/RB 5-11 178 , (Colerain)
    Temidayo Macarthy DE 6-4 240 Merrillville, Ind. (Merrillville)
    Randall Means DB 5-9 185 Detroit, Mich. (Catholic Central)
    Terry Moss WR 5-10 175 Huber Heights, (Wayne)
    Kevin Neville OL 6-7 310 Cottage Grove, Wis. (Monona Grove)
    Seth Rainey RB 5-11 215 Mt. Vernon, Ind. (Mt. Vernon)
    Floyd Reddick WR 6-0 193 Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
    Michael Steinhaus TE 6-3 228 Algonquin, Ill. (Dundee Crown)
    * Antonio Tharpe RB 5-8 180 North Lauderdale, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
    Lorenzo Wims DE/DL 6-3 230 Fort Wayne, Ind. (Snider)
    *Potential Instant Impact Players
  • Tagged: Boston College, Pittsburgh, Illinois, Michigan, Marshall, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Toledo, Western Michigan, Buffalo, Northern Illinois, Bowling Green, Ball State, Ohio, Kent State, Missouri, Cincinnati

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