MUNCIE, Ind. (WANE) – To highlight Ball State’s 95th Homecoming, the Cardinals are set to host Miami for the annual Red Bird Rivalry Saturday afternoon. Kick time is set for 3:30 p.m. ET inside Scheumann Stadium.
“Obviously, this is a big week,” Ball State head coach Mike Neu said. “We’re excited to be coming back home and playing against Miami. This is a rivalry game, so there’s a lot at stake, including it being Homecoming. Coming back home after two really exciting wins on the road in MAC play, the guys are fired up.”
The Cardinals come into the matchup having won three in a row, picking up wins vs. Army and at Eastern and Western Michigan, and sit at 4-3 overall and 2-1 in the Mid-American Conference. The RedHawks sit at 3-4 overall and 2-1 in the MAC. Both teams control their own destiny on the road to Detroit.
However, when it’s Ball State vs. Miami, throw out all the records. The Red Bird Rivalry means something a little more.
“It’s a rivalry,” Neu added. “When I was here during my playing days, that was made crystal clear from the time I entered this football program, and it’s still that same way today. In my last game on the field playing against them, we won that game 21-0 and that was en route to winning the MAC Championship in 1993. Last year, we opened up the shortened season in Oxford. It didn’t go our way. It was disappointing. That still doesn’t sit well. I know the year was special. It doesn’t sit well because there’s a trophy at stake.
“It’s the Red Bird Rivalry, and that’s important to us. That is important to our program. Everyone in our program – all 120-plus, including the staff and everybody else – knows how important this game is.”
The game will be carried on 104.1 WLBC, online at BallStateSports.com and on the Varsity Network app with the Ball State Radio Network trio of Joel Godett, Rich Spisak and Jack McMullen breaking down the action. The game will also be available on ESPN+ with Jim Barbar and Tyoka Jackson on the call.
On Saturday, Ball State University will celebrate 95 years of Homecoming. The Ball State Alumni Association and student-run Homecoming Steering Committee have planned a full week of activities for fans and alums to enjoy. For more information and a schedule of events, please visit www.bsu.edu/homecoming.
Ball State is 54-37-2 on Homecoming all-time and won its last event 52-14 over Toledo on Oct. 19, 2019. The Cardinals did not host a Homecoming game last season due to COVID-19. Ball State is 2-1 against Miami on its Homecoming all-time, earning wins on Oct. 1, 1988 (45-14) and Oct. 7, 1989 (37-9). The RedHawks got the better of the Cardinals in the last Homecoming battle on Oct. 18, 2003 (49-3).
In addition to the Ball State Radio Network’s regular coverage, Sports Link will also host a pregame show live from Scheumann Stadium prior to kickoff Saturday afternoon. Sports Link GameDay will stream live anywhere, on any platform and any device through Sports Link’s social media platforms.
Inside the Series: Miami
Ball State and Miami are set to square off for the 45th time in series history Saturday afternoon at Scheumann Stadium. The RedHawks have won four of the last five Red Bird Rivalry games, dating back to 2016. The Cardinals had four of the five previous duels. Ball State’s lone loss in 2020 came at the hands of Miami in the season opener, 38-31, as the RedHawks scored with 10 seconds left to go in the game. Saturday’s matchup is set to feature the last two MAC champions. Ironically enough, the loser of the Red Bird Rivalry has gone on to win the league title the last two seasons.
Ball State and Miami were granted rivalry status by the MAC in 2017. The cross-division foes play each year for the Red Bird Rivalry trophy. BSU has been known as the Cardinals since 1927, while Miami adopted the RedHawks moniker in 1997. The series dates back to 1931 but really heated up in the 1970s when BSU joined the MAC.
Coach Neu on Miami…
“Miami is a good football team. They’re 3-4 overall, but they’re 2-1 in the MAC. They played a tight game against Eastern Michigan two weeks ago. They had a good win against Akron this past weekend. They had a big win against Central Michigan at home. They play good, complimentary football. They’re going to play well offensively. They’ve got good balance. They’ve got good receivers. They’ve got good running backs. The quarterback’s confidence is growing. They play good defense. You kind of know what they’re going to do from a scheme standpoint, but credit them for that because that is what they hang their hat on. There’s high execution from that team, whether it’s offense, defense or special teams. You know they’re going to be well-coached. It’s going to be a great battle.”