A New Era for Ball State and Indiana Kick off Tonight in Lucas Oil Stadium

Eric SmithCorrespondent IIISeptember 3, 2011

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 9:  Turner Terrance #1 of the Indiana Hoosiers runs with the ball after making a catch against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium on October 9, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Ball State and Indiana will kick off their season opener tonight in an instate matchup between the schools at Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis.

This is technically a Ball State home game in a move to try and gain more fans. 

The Cardinals are dangerously close to losing Division 1 status due to low attendance figures.

The move the game to downtown Indianapolis is a smart move to gain more fans.  With it being Labor Day weekend and most kids at home with their families, there's expected to be 30-35,000 fans in attendance for tonight's matchup.

Tonight's game also opens a new era for both schools. 

Ball State hired new coach Pete Lembo in the offseason and Indiana hired Kevin Wright.

Both coaches are considered more offensive minded guru's and will run a spread no huddle offense. 

Look for this to be a very fast-paced game, but expect a lot of mistakes.  Both schemes are new to the respective schools and it will take some time for them to adjust to new the scheme.



Quarterback play:

The Indiana Hoosiers have yet to announce a starting quarterback for tonight's game.  They have three possibilities, but none of them have separated themselves enough to win the nod. 

Ed Wright-Baker is in my mind going to be the starter, but don't be surprised if Dusty Kiel or even freshman Tre Roberson get some playing time behind center.

Ball State on the other hand won't have a quarterback controversy. 

Ketih Wenning will get the start tonight.  Wenning threw for 1,373 yards last season with 14 Touchdown and 14 Interceptions.  He made bad decisions at times last year, and with Indiana switching up defensive schemes look for this to be a make-it-or-break-it scenario for both teams.

Indiana's O-Line vs. Ball State's Defense

Ball State is going to blitz a lot tonight due to their new scheme. 

What will win the game tonight for IU? 

If the O-:Line makes it hard for them to get to whoever's behind center. 

The Hoosier's line last year gave up only 12 sacks all season and was ranked 11th nationally.  All five return and will start tonight. 

If the Hoosiers line is as good as last year, look for Demarlo Beltcher to have a huge game receiving and the Hoosiers to control the game.


Prediction: Indiana 27  Ball State 14