In the third game of the season, Purdue stays at home to welcome the Ball State Cardinals. BSU is coming off a pretty horrible season directly-following a bowl game season. But a ton changed between '08 and '09. Brady Hoke left and they lost a lot of talent, some of it NFL-caliber talent. So no one can really blame them for the big drop off last season. In spite of that drop-off, a few Ball State fans are pretty vocal on some of the message boards about how confident they are versus Purdue. I honestly don't understand why...but here's what I know about the 2010 Ball State Cardinals.
-They've got a trio of running backs that are very, very talented. In ONE contest last year, two backs combined for over 500 yards. That's not a typo. The only one I'm going to talk about is Miquale Lewis. He had 301 yards in that game alone...he's good, he strong, he's really short. He's listed at 5'6" 201...but he's no taller than Lil' Boilerdowd (who is 4 years old). Doesn't matter, Lewis is a bad man.
The really good thing is that Purdue's 7 up front are solid...I'd be more worried if BSU was a pass-happy offense. That said, they pretty much return everybody. But the age-old football philosophical question is, "Is it a good thing to return a bunch of players from a lousy team?"
-Toward the end of Tiller's tenure, many joked that Purdue was MAC champs as they got fat on the widely-disrespected conference. But, what does a MAC team do when it wants to feast on tasty cupcakes? Well, BSU scheduled SE Missouri State, then Liberty to start out its 2010 campaign...So they should be very healthy as they head into Ross-Ade. But, in-spite of having a pair of tune-ups to start the season, they might not be exactly battle-tested.
BSU is the first of MAC opponents Purdue will face in a two-week span in the pre-con schedule.