Breakdown: Ball State’s offense

By Tony Osborne


Keith Wenning will start under center for Ball State Tuesday against NIU. Wenning comes into Huskie Stadium this season with 2,233 yards through the air and 15 touchdowns.

“[Wenning has a] strong arm, gets the ball out quick, can throw the ball down the field and has good touch,” said NIU head coach Dave Doeren.

Wenning has the ability to run, scrambling for 148 yards on the season. He is no stranger to the interception, however, throwing nine so far this season. NIU will need to make this sophomore make bad decisions through constant pressure.

“When you watch him, you can see his emotions are on the table,” Doeren said. “I have a lot of respect for him.” Grade: B+

Running Backs

The Cardinals do not have a stand-out running back, going with more of a running-by-committee approach to their offense.

Leading the way for Ball State is freshman Jahwan Edwards from Matthews, N.C. Edwards has 681 yards on 151 carries this season, although he has been held quiet for nearly a month now.

Edwards has not had a game over 56 yards on the ground since to Oct. 15.

The 5’11”, 232-pound back has 10 touchdowns on the season, three of which were against Army. Barrington Scott is also an inexperienced runner, with 89 attempts on the ground this season, resulting in 370 yards and one touchdown. Grade: B-

Wide Receivers

Ball State’s go-to guy for quarterback Keith Wenning to throw to is senior Briggs Orsbon. This experienced senior receiver needs only one catch to join the 200 receptions group. This season, Orsbon caught 52 passes for 498 yards.

“[Ball State’s] receivers run good routes,” Doeren said.

Orsbon’s biggest game this season came against Western Michigan when he eclipsed 100 yards for the first time this season with 103. Half of his total season touchdowns came in that game with two. Grade: C

Offensive Line

The offensive line for the Cardinals features some experienced players with size and quickness. The anchor of the offensive line, center Kreg Hunter, will look to get a good push off the line to jump start Ball State’s running game. At the two tackle positions, Dan Manick and Austin Holtz will start in the trenches against the Huskies. The guards that will take the field Tuesday at a blacked-out Huskie Stadium will be senior Jerrod Gray and Kitt O’Brien. The size of the offensive line for Ball State should be a great match-up for the NIU defensive line. Grade: B-