It is #BeatBallState week. We have a new cornerback in town. Well, not in town, per se, but in the starting line up. Kenny Buyers, he of the interception late during the rally up in Athens will be getting the nod over Zac Whitfield. This is interesting in that Zac had done well but still had flaws that made him the target of opposing quarterbacks. He plays aggressively, makes good tackles and can run with most anyone. Where he does not excel: double moves and deep stuff. This isn’t particularly surprising considering he was a converted running back.
Here is the first, infamous gaffe:
Zac’s problem isn’t that he can’t run with the guy, nor is it that he didn’t know what to do. It was that he just didn’t go time his jump correctly and make the play. This is Danny Mac’s big problem. Apparently Zac makes these plays in practice. As we’ve seen in this game and against Troy, Arkansas State and others, he doesn’t always do it in the game.
Here is the second big game-changing play:
Once more we see Zac in the right place to make a play but come up short. This is tough. He’s man-to-man. Many a corner has been beaten on deliberate back-shoulder throws to take advantage of the receiver’s ability to react quicker than the defensive back. I feel for him here, but it certainly isn’t a good look to be the guy responsible for allowing a big first down at that point in the game.
Ball State can pass. Pete Lembo’s QB Keith Wenning has thrown for 665 yards in two games. We’ll see if Kenny Buyers can help slow him up some.