Football Team Wins MAC Awards; 12 Earn All-MAC Honors
Ball State head football coach Brady Hoke has been selected the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year by the MAC News Media Association, while Nate Davis (Bellaire, Ohio/Bellaire H.S.) was selected the Offensive Player of the Year and Sean Baker (Canfield, Ohio/Canfield H.S.) was named the MAC Freshman of the Year.
In addition, 12 members of the Ball State football team were selected to the All-MAC squads, which were selected by the league’s head coaches. Seven received first-team honors, three were named to the second team and two were named to the third team.
Robert Brewster (Cincinnati, Ohio/Wyoming H.S.), Nate Davis (Bellaire, Ohio/Bellaire H.S.), Dan Gerberry (Austintown, Ohio/Austintown Fitch H.S.), B.J. Hill (Lanham, Md./Riverdale Baptist H.S.), Darius Hill (Blue Springs, Mo./Blue Springs H.S.), MiQuale Lewis (Fort Wayne, Ind./Snider) and Andre Ramsey (Cordele, Ga./Crisp County H.S.) were each named to the All-MAC First Team.
Brandon Crawford (Fort Wayne, Ind./South H.S.), Dante Love (Cincinnati, Ohio/Withrow H.S.) and Chris Miller (Libertyville, Ill./Carmel H.S.) were each named to the second team, while B.J. Hill was also named the second team punt return specialist.
Hoke is in his sixth season as the head coach at his alma mater, and directed the Cardinals to the most wins in school history this season. Ball State is 12-0 overall, 8-0 in the Mid-American Conference and will represent the MAC West Division in Friday’s MAC Championship Game vs. Buffalo at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich. The Cardinals enter Friday’s game ranked 12th in the latest Bowl Championship Series Standings and The Associated Press Poll, while ranked 13th in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The national rankings this season are the first ever in school history for Ball State. The Cardinals 8-0 conference record this season marks only the second undefeated league campaign in school history, matching the 1978 team record of 8-0 in the MAC. Coach Hoke was a player on the 1978 team, and later captained the 1980 squad at Ball State.
Davis, a junior quarterback for the Cardinals, has passed for 3,095 yards this season to become the first Ball State quarterback in school history to pass for more than 3,000 yards in a season twice in a career. He threw for a school record 3,667 yards in 2007. A 2007 All-MAC Second-Team selection, Davis is one of 10 finalists for the Manning Award, which goes to the nation’s top college football quarterback. He has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 28 of the last 29 games and ranks sixth in the nation in passing efficiency (169.28) and 17th in the country in total offense (278.0). Davis has thrown for at least 250 yards in a game seven times in 2008 and has completed 67 percent of his passes this season.
Baker, a redshirt freshman free safety for the Cardinals, is tied for 12th in the nation in interceptions per game with a 0.5 average. He has six interceptions this season plus leads Ball State with 90 tackles. Baker has added four tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and 10 pass breakups in 2008. Baker was named the Walter Camp Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week earlier this season after tying a Ball State school record with three interceptions at Akron.