Ball State accepts GoDaddy Bowl bid with Arkansas State

By Rick Yencer

MUNCIE, INDIANA (SPORTS) -  Ball State football coach Pete Lembo was excited hearing that the record breaking Cardinals led by quarterback Keith Wenning will play in the GoDaddy Bowl on Jan. 5, a day before the BCS championship bowl between Auburn and Florida State.

 Already being recruited by BCS schools, Lembo said he had not seen the tape of Arkansas State that beat Kent State in last year's GoDaddy contest. But he was confident that the 10-2 Cardinals would be prepared to play the 7-5 Red Wolves in Mobile, Alabama. Lembo will be in Mobile Wednesday with Red Wolves coach Bryan Harsin to kick off the bowl extravaganza.

 Ball State played in the GoDaddy that was then known as GMAC in 2008 and was defeated 45-13 by Tulsa.

Bill Scholl, Ball State athletic director, was very excited by the GoDaddy invitation, since it comes just before the national championship game and is the only game on Jan, 5 broadcast on ESPN.

 Besides that, the game is a great trip to the deep South, compared to the Idaho Potato Bowl in snow covered Boise or the downtown Detroit site of the Little Caesars' Bowl.

It's something that Ball State football fans will enjoy and can get behind, said Scholl who wants to be the first AD to win a bowl game at Ball State.

Ball State competed in the Beef "O" Brady's Bowl last year, but Central Florida beat the Cardinals 38-17.

Scholl said the university knew they would likely be at the GoDaddy Bowl as there was no general team gathering to hear the announcement while the coaching staff including Lembo, was out recruiting.

Lembo says he will be coaching in that bowl game despite interest by Wake Forest and others in his experience and 100 win career so far.

The Cardinals practiced last week and Wenning was on top of the play, shooting passes to a variety of receivers. Wenning holds the school records for most touchdown passes at 91 and fifth in the nation with 299  passing yards or more in games this season.

Scholl hoped the bowl game would be special for the team and the group of seniors led by Wenning that would result in a post season win. Lembo warned that Arkansas State was a formidable opponent being a co-champion of the Sun Belt Conference. Besides that, Arkansas State is playing in its third consecutive GoDaddy Bowl. 

 Ticket and travel packages will be available Monday from The Ball State Sports ticket office besides online at of by calling  888-BSU-TICKET.