Ball State's football team, under the direction of third-year head coach Pete Lembo, will end spring practice this week with its annual Spring Game Saturday at 3 p.m.
This year's Spring Game is presented by Kia of Muncie, and is free for all interested fans.
Football's Spring Game - Saturday (3:00)
* Presented by Kia of Muncie
* Postgame Photo and Autograph opportunities with players and coaches
* FREE admission with gates opening at 1:30 p.m.
* FREE hot dogs courtesy of Fisher Meats to the first 1,000 fans beginning at 2:30 p.m.
* All Ball State students in attendance will get a FREE drawstring bag
* Concessions will be open for purchase
* Inflatables and games will be on the North Hill
* Prize giveaways at the Cardinal Fan Table located at Gate 1
* Coach Lembo will speak before the game at 2:45 p.m. on the North Hill
* Kickoff scheduled for 3 p.m.
* Interviews throughout the game
* Honorary coaches Mike Neu and Blaine Bishop
* Student Rewards Program Grand Prize Competition
- Top finishers will compete to win an iPad, PlayStation 3, 42" DHTV, $500 value at the Ball State bookstore, or $500 value at the Ball State Technology Store.
- Special thanks to our Charlie's Crew Student Rewards Program sponsors this year -- Ball State Alumni Association, Papa John's, Student Government Association and Sun Tan City.
The football program will use a Spring Game scoring system, which will include points for drive stops, three and outs, scoring and other offensive and defensive plays. The offense vs. defense scrimmage will allow for special teams drills between quarters. Their will be five series per quarter.
Lembo will give a pregame talk to all fans beginning at 2:45 p.m., and honorary coaches Blaine Bishop and Mike Neu will be in attendance.
“We are thrilled to welcome two of Ball State’s legendary players back to campus for the spring game,"Lembo says. "In 2011, we were honored to have Coach Paul Schudel and Coach Bill Lynch back on the sidelines. Now, we have two of the great players those head coaches had a chance to influence in a positive way. It is important our current players get to know important alumni like Mike and Blaine, because we want them to be engaged with the football program long after they graduate as well.”
Bishop, who lettered for the Cardinals from 1990-92 as a defensive back, went on to play 10 years in the National Football League and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection. A member the Ball State Athletics Hall of Fame, Bishop captained the Cardinals during his senior season in 1992, finishing his collegiate career with an appearance in the annual Blue-Gray All-Star Classic. The 1992 All-Mid-American Conference Second Team choice was selected by the Houston Oilers in the eighth round of the 1993 NFL Draft. The Sporting News named Bishop one of the NFL's Top 100 Players in 1998. While on the Titans' roster, Bishop also played in the 2000 Super Bowl, won by the St. Louis Rams. He retired from the league in 2002 after a single season with the Philadelphia Eagles but maintains his interest in the game through his work as a radio and television co-host and analyst in Nashville, Tenn.
Neu lettered at quarterback for Ball State from 1990-93 and led the Cardinals to the 1993 MAC Championship and a berth in the Las Vegas Bowl. The 1993 MAC Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year, Neu completed his career as Ball State's all-time leader with 6,221 passing yards and 43 touchdown passes. He played professionally in the Canadian Football League and Arena Football League before beginning a coaching career. Neu was the head coach of the AFL's Carolina Cobras and New Orleans VooDoo and was named the AFL Coach of the Year in 2004. He also coached the Arena Football League 2's Augusta Stallions to a conference title in 2000 with a 14-4 record and was named the AF2 Coach of the Year. Neu spent 2009-11 as a college scout for the New Orleans Saints and was a part of the team's Super Bowl Championship in 2009. This past season, Neu returned to the college ranks as the quarterbacks coach for the Tulane Green Wave.
The Cardinals will open the 2013 season with an Aug. 29, game vs. Illinois State in Scheumann Stadium.