One in a series of early-summer looks at the opponents the Iowa football team will face this season.
2013 RECORD: 10-3, 7-1 in the Mid-American Conference (second in MAC West)
COACH: Pete Lembo (104-49 overall, 25-13 entering fourth season)
RETURNING STARTERS: Offense (5), Defense (6), Specialists (2)
TOP RETURNERS: C Jacob Richard, 6-1, 275, jr.; RB Jahwan Edwards, 5-10, 219, sr., 1,119 yards, 14 touchdowns; WR Jordan Williams, 6-2, 224, jr., 72 receptions, 1,050 yards, 10 TD; LB Ben Ingle, 6-0, 230, sr., K Scott Secor, 5-8, 158, sr.
THE SPRING THING: The bridesmaid to Northern Illinois in the Western Division of the Mid-American Conference last season, Ball State entered spring looking to build around an offensive line which returns three starters led by all-MAC center Jacob Richard.
The Cardinals return a rusher and receiver who topped 1,000 yards last season in Jahwan Edwards and Jordan Williams, but spent the spring looking for a starting quarterback following the loss of Keith Wenning, who topped 4,000 passing yards last season and ranked fifth in passing yards at the FBS level.
There were adjustments made on defense as well, where Kevin Kelly became the program’s defensive coordinator, joining fourth-year coach Pete Lembo from Georgetown where he was the Patriot League coach of the year last season.
Ball State expects to continue to operate out of a 4-3 base defense and Lembo, who was given a five-year contract extension in March after leading Ball State to its second straight bowl appearance, believes his program has the depth to utilize a number of players on the defensive side of the ball.
Linebacker Ben Ingle returns after joining Edwards and Williams in earning all-MAC honors last season.
THE BIG THING: The Cardinals’ quarterback situation will likely not be settled until some point in fall camp.
Four candidates competed in the spring to replace Wenning, with 6-1 sophomore Ozzie Mann and 6-0 redshirt freshman Jack Milas seeing the bulk of the snaps during Ball State’s spring game. Kyle Kamman, a 6-0 junior, and 6-1 freshman David Morrison remain in the mix as well as summer work begins.
Aug. 30 – Colgate
Sept. 6 – at Iowa
Sept. 13 – Indiana State
Sept. 20 – at Toledo
Oct. 4 – at Army
Oct. 11 – Western Michigan
Oct. 18 – at Central Michigan
Oct. 25 – Akron
Nov. 5 – Northern Illinois
Nov. 12 – at Massachusetts
Nov. 22 – Eastern Michigan
Nov. 28 – at Bowling Green