In honor of the pathetic crowd showing at Scott Stadium on Saturday, combined with the pathetic football showing on David A. Harrison III field, this will be a pathetic View From Scott.
I'm fairly certain that Ball State racked up more yardage during this game than we had fans in the seats. The official attendance was 38,228 and I guarantee the actual attendance was significantly lower than that.
I'm going straight to the random musings because I don't have the patience for expounding on one particular topic from this game any more than I have to.
- The weather on the official box score is listed as "sunny." The left side of my face disagrees with that rather mild assessment of the weather.
- Brian's box o' bacon at the 9am tailgate was the highlight of the day. It was all downhill from there.
- Did we really only have four turnovers? It seemed like 8. Maybe the two failed 4th down attempts had something to do with it. Or maybe it was because they all happened in the second half. Who knows. Seemed like more.
- In fact, I barely even remembered that the game was 17-17 at halftime.
- OK, here's an attempt at a bright spot: Alec Vozenilek. He continues to be a very solid punter (if a bit slow getting it off, at least he's booming it when he does). And during this game he kicked two field goals as well. Props to him.
- As long as I'm being positive, here's another one: True freshman Keeon Johnson. He had three catches for 46 yards, and quite frankly seemed like the only receiver both willing and able to haul in Watford's passes.
- Jake McGee's reaction after his fumble was basically the same reaction I had in the stands. You could see how disappointed he was. As one of the elder members of the team, he needed to set an example at that point in the game and that was the wrong example. That said, his reaction tells me he knew it. So... next game, step up Jake!
- How many scoring plays did we have called back by penalties? How many first downs did we have called back by penalties? It seemed like every time something went well during the play, there was a penalty. Killed momentum. Killed drives. Killed the scoreboard.
- One of the worst of those penalties was the drive where we started off with a huge long touchdown pass - I believe to Tim Smith. Of course, it was called back by an ineligible man downfield penalty. At the time we were down 34-24 and there was still nearly the entire fourth quarter left. Instead of a quick strike for a touchdown to pull within three, we got a field goal after running more than four minutes off the clock. On Ball State's second play of the ensuing drive, they get a 72 yard touchdown to stretch their lead back to 10. There's no way to know if things would have been different, but some part of me wonders if the defense might have held after a big TD play rather than giving up a TD on their own after the offense stalled (again).
- The aforementioned Keeon Johnson had a long TD called back for a holding penalty as well. I say we keep giving that kid the ball. And, you know, not have the penalties.
- The roughing the passer penalty on Eli Harold looked live like maybe the worst call I've ever seen. I haven't seen the replay yet (and likely won't - no chance I watch that game again). But it looked to me like the hit to the head only occurred because the QB ducked. A defensive player shouldn't be punished for that. I understand the need to protect the QB, but that's a load of crap.
- Speaking of the refs: I'm not officially trained as an football ref. No surprise there. But there are two rules I'm certain about: 1) If the offensive player touches the pylon with the ball, it's a touchdown; and 2) if the ball touches the ground on a forward pass, it's an incomplete pass. Apparently these referees needed to go to the replay booth to be reminded of these very simple rules.
- I'll try to leave this with a slightly positive note: Kevin Parks had 104 yards on 16 carries (6.5 ypc) and two touchdowns. That's not bad.