Hewitt to sit out on Sat.

The Falcons will head to Muncie, Ind. on Saturday without one of their veterans.

Linebacker Mitch Hewitt will miss Saturday’s game against Ball State with a severe ankle sprain which he sustained against Kent State over the weekend.

“Mitch Hewitt is a big loss,” said BG head coach Gregg Brandon. “The two games where we struggled defensively — the Eastern Michigan game and the second half of the Kent State game — Hewitt was not in. That’s the only consistent variable as to why we didn’t play well defensively. We’ll have to adjust.”

Hewitt has started all 10 games this season and is third on the team with 65 tackles.

“He’s such a great leader, aside from being an outstanding football player,” Brandon said. “You know that Mitch Hewitt’s going to be in the right place, you know Mitch Hewitt’s not going to miss many tackles and you know Mitch Hewitt can help get guys lined up and he knows the defense. He’s a middle linebacker, and that’s what we are going to miss.”

Jovon Burkes will take Hewitt’s place on Saturday. Burkes will be making his third consecutive start for the Falcons. He was second on the team with 11 tackles against Kent State over the weekend and has a team leading 37 tackles over the last four games. Despite missing the first two games of the season with a knee injury, he is tied for seventh place on the team with 51 tackles.

“Jovon Burkes has been a good leader and a good captain, but now he has to be a guy on the field for us” Brandon said. “Some of the seniors — the [Will] Teagues’, the [Rick] Mauers’, the [Janssen] Pattons’, the [Michael] Malones’ the [Jason] Mortons’ — they have to (say) ‘ Mitch isn’t there, let’s go guys, we’ve got to rally.'”

Brandon is hoping to have Hewitt back for the regular season finale against Toledo on Nov. 28, the game that will ultimately decide the winner of the Mid-American Conference West division.

The outcome of Saturday’s game against Ball State will have no effect on the Falcons chances of winning the division title. Despite this fact, Brandon does not intend to take the game lightly.

“We are going to play our best players and do what we have to do to win the football game,” he said. “We’ll make decisions as the game progresses, but we’re going in there with our guns loaded, or as loaded as they can be.”

Quick Facts:

BG leads the all-time series against Ball State 16-8-1.

BG won the last meeting between the two teams, 38-20 on Oct. 26, 2002 in Bowling Green.

The Cardinals won the last meeting between the two teams in Muncie, beating the Falcons 30-10 in 1995.

BG running backs coach Dennis Springer was an assistant coach at Ball State from 1993-2002.

BG strength and conditioning coach Aaron Hillman was a student assistant and a graduate assistant in strength and conditioning at Ball State from 1992-1996.