(BALL STATE RELEASE)
MUNCIE, Ind. — The road for the defending Mid-American Conference champion is set, as the Ball State football team looks to run it back in 2021. The league office unveiled the complete schedule today for the fall.
The Cardinals’ non-conference dates were already in place — a Thursday, Sept. 2 opener against Western Illinois at Scheumann Stadium, road trips Sept. 11 to Penn State and Sept. 18 to Wyoming, and a home matchup Oct. 2 with Army.
Ball State also knew its league opponents, announced last month, just not the order. Now the complete picture is clear. The Cardinals will begin defense of their MAC title Sept. 25 against Toledo on Family Weekend at Scheumann Stadium.
“It is exciting to see our full 2021 schedule laid out before us,” head coach Mike Neu said. “Our guys are already hard at work in our offseason program, intently focused on the new season ahead. This special, championship group remains hungry to achieve even more against a slate of talented teams we know will be aiming for us in the fall.”
After the Army game and road trips to Western Michigan (Oct. 9) and Eastern Michigan (Oct. 16), Ball State will welcome Miami for Homecoming on Oct. 23. This year’s Red Bird Rivalry Game is a matchup of the past two MAC champions and a chance for the Cardinals to avenge their only loss from last season.
The calendar then turns to November with four midweek #MACtion games to close out the regular season. The first two of those are on the road with trips to play Tuesday, Nov. 2 at Akron and Wednesday, Nov. 10 at Northern Illinois, as BSU aims for a third straight win in the Battle for the Bronze Stalk.
The Cardinals will then finish with back-to-back home games, Wednesday, Nov. 17 against Central Michigan and Tuesday, Nov. 23 against Buffalo in a rematch of the 2020 MAC Championship Game.
This year’s MAC title game will be played Saturday, Dec. 4 at Ford Field in Detroit.
The Cardinals defeated the previously undefeated and 23rd-ranked Bulls in last year’s championship game and then went on to take down 19th-ranked San Jose State in the Offerpad Arizona Bowl. With those consecutive wins over nationally-ranked opponents, Ball State finished the year at No. 23 in both the AP Top 25 and the Amway Coaches Poll.
BSU is slated to welcome back 20 starters from that 7-1 team, and 16 seniors from are returning to take advantage of the additional year of eligibility being offered by the NCAA.
2021 Ball State Football Schedule
Sept. 2 (Thurs.) vs. Western Illinois
Sept. 11 (Sat.) at Penn State
Sept. 18 (Sat.) at Wyoming
Sept. 25 (Sat.) vs. Toledo* (Family Weekend)
Oct. 2 (Sat.) vs. Army
Oct. 9 (Sat.) at Western Michigan*
Oct. 16 (Sat.) at Eastern Michigan*
Oct. 23 (Sat.) vs. Miami* (Homecoming)
Nov. 2 (Tues.) at Akron*
Nov. 10 (Wed.) at Northern Illinois*
Nov. 17 (Wed.) vs. Central Michigan*
Nov. 23 (Tues.) vs. Buffalo*
Dec. 4 (Sat.), MAC Championship Game (Detroit, Mich.)