Ball State was competitive at Notre Dame a couple weeks back. That same spirit would need to emerge as a winless, yet hungry Western Kentucky team strolled into Muncie. A great crowd was anticipated to fill Scheumann Stadium as evidenced by the expansive tailgating scene that filled the green acreage beyond the concrete lots.
Team spirit found its way all around “The Scheu” as fans gathered for the pregame Cardinal Walk, and The Pride of Mid-America Marching Band entertained fans passing through the turnstiles.
The Ball State team seemed thrilled to be back home after two tough road games at Notre Dame and Indiana. Getting back on track was the goal, while Western Kentucky was still searching for the rails.
A lot of back and forth action along the gridiron lines brought the score to a 14-13 advantage for the Hilltoppers at the end of the third quarter. In the fourth, Ball State clawed back into the lead, but Western sensed the urgency of going 0-4 and closed out the game with two TDs to win.
As Cardinal fans quietly filed out, the silence grew stronger in the postgame press conference where Coach Neu approached the podium with dismay on his face. “Great crowd. Appreciate the support. Disappointing day.”
After being asked the outlook now entering conference play, Inside Linebacker Jacob White added “It’s a new season. It starts with Kent State.”
The Cardinals will look to put 1-3 in the rearview mirror, and conference success in the windshield.