Iowa: Always bad news for Ball State football

Lembo hopes to do more than just score a touchdown

By Rick Yencer

MUNCIE, INDIANA (SPORTS) -  Ball State quarterback Ozzie Mann will face a tremendous opponent in Iowa on Saturday that beat Ball 101-0 in the last two outings during the last decade.

And offensive coordinator Joey Lynch knows that all too well when he quarterbacked Ball State to a 56-0 loss against Iowa in 2005. Lynch saw only 37 yards for 6 of 10 passes in that game.

Ball State Coach Pete Lembo was a bit more upbeat this week when talking about the team's chances against the Big 10 powerhouse that beat Northern Iowa 31-23 last Saturday.

"We are going to do more than score one touchdown," said Lembo when asked if the team would do more than the last two games.

Lembo was still at Elon in 2010 when Ball State got hammered 45-0 and barely got down the field in that game.

Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock has an incredibly deep offense, having 13 receivers or rushers who took the ball last Saturday. He was 31 of 41 passes for 250 yards.

Mann finished last week's 30-10 win over Colgate with 20 of 32 passes and 203 yards. But Mann had only a handful of receivers and rushers that played.

Lembo said he never played at Iowa, given his eastern upbringings, alma Mater at Georgetown and head coach at Lehigh and Elon before coming to Ball State.

"Iowa is a program that does it right," said Lembo. "And they find a way to win close games."

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, in his 16th year at Iowa, said Ball State was alot like Northern Illinois that beat Iowa and Ball State. 

Lembo credited Rudock with a diverse offense and a variety of plays making it difficult for the other team's defense to read or adjust.

But Ball State does have depth in its defense with Ben Engle who had 11 tackles Saturday against Colgate besides a veteran offense with Jahwan Edwards who was ranked 19th in the nation last year with rushing touchdowns and the return of KeVonn Mabon who scored a touchdown Saturday after a year off because of injury.

The game will be televised on ESPN2 on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. besides WLBC-FM .



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