Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#141 Ball State 58 vs.
#142 Eastern Michigan -1
Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 2:00pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala



#141 Ball State University
#142 Eastern Michigan University


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It’s a matchup of teams from the West Division of the Mid-American Conference in the Great Lakes State. The Ball State Cardinals are on the road as they make the trip to face the Eastern Michigan Eagles Saturday afternoon. Ball State rallied for a 27-20 road win over Northern Illinois in their conference opener last Saturday. Eastern Michigan was drubbed 42-16 on the road by Central Michigan in their conference opener last Saturday. The Cardinals lead the all-time series 29-15 but the Eagles have won the last three matchups, including a 42-20 road win in the last meeting on October 20, 2018.

Ball State Cardinals Seek 2-0 Conference Start

Ball State rallied from a double-digit deficit to knock off Northern Illinois in their last contest to open up MAC play on a positive note. The Cardinals now try to make it back to back conference wins and get back to the .500 mark overall on the season. Ball State was down 17-3 at the half but reeled off 24 unanswered points in the second half to take a 10-point lead: they managed to hang on after Northern Illinois made it a one-score game with 2:45 to play in the contest. The Cardinals were outgained 388-269 despite owning a 20-18 edge in first downs and a 32:02 to 27:58 advantage in time of possession. Ball State turned the ball over twice but they forced three takeaways, which they converted into 10 points.

The Cardinals enter this contest 34th in the nation in passing offense with 282.4 yards per game while they are 80th in rushing offense by picking up 147.6 yards per contest. Ball State is 51st in the FBS in scoring offense by putting up 32.4 points per game and stands 104th in scoring defense by allowing 31.6 points per contest. Drew Plitt has completed 123 of 190 passes for 1,407 yards with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions: he adds 47 yards on the ground. John Paddock is one of two for five yards. Caleb Huntley leads the team with 97 carries for 440 yards and five scores on the ground this season. Walter Fletcher (40 carries, 126 yards, TD) and Justin Hall (10 carries, 102 yards, TD) have provided some production on the ground as well. Hall leads the team with 25 receptions for 241 yards plus a score this season. Riley Miller (23 grabs, 321 yards, two TD) and Antwan Davis (19 catches, 289 yards, team-high three scores) are solid secondary targets. Ryan Rimmler is 15 of 15 on extra points and nine of 13 on field goal tries with a long of 43 this season. Patrick LeCorre is two of three on extra points while not attempting a field goal this season.

Eastern Michigan Eagles Try to Bounce Back From Blowout Loss

Eastern Michigan saw their two-game win streak snapped as they were pounded into the ground in their MAC opener last week. The Eagles now look to even their conference mark as they are at home again for this contest. Eastern Michigan never led in the game and gave up 21 unanswered points to turn a 7-3 game into a 28-3 deficit. The Eagles were outgained 587-285 in the game, gave up 25 first downs while recording 21 and lost the time of possession battle 32:12 to 27:48. Eastern Michigan did force two turnovers while committing only one but their struggles in other forms of the game doomed them.

The Eagles are 43rd in the nation in passing offense as they average 265.6 yards per game: the run game is 124th in the nation by rushing for 97.4 yards per contest. Eastern Michigan is 89th in the FBS in scoring offense by putting up 26.2 points per game while ranking 109th in scoring defense as they allow 32.6 points per contest. Mike Glass III has completed 122 of 183 passes for 1,313 yards with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions this season: he is second on the team with 112 rushing yards and two scores. Preston Hutchinson is three of five for 15 yards. Willie Parker leads the team with 29 carries for 119 yards plus a score while Shaq Vann (33 carries, 111 yards) is in the mix as well. Dylan Drummond leads the team with 22 catches for 202 yards plus two scores. Matthew Sexton (18 grabs, 214 yards, two TD), Quian Williams (17 receptions, 229 yards, three TD) and Arthur Jackson III (14 catches, 237 yards, three TD) are also solid options. Chad Ryland has hit 10 of 11 extra points and five of six field goal tries with a long of 52 this season.

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Eastern Michigan had a tough time stopping the passing game against Western Michigan last week and that’s going to be a concern here. Ball State threw for at least 298 yards in each of their first four games before turning to the run against Northern Illinois. Given the fact that Eastern Michigan has had problems against the pass, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Ball State shift their offensive philosophy back to the air here. The Cardinals have momentum after their first win over Northern Illinois since 2008: look for them to earn a second straight conference win here.

Prediction: Ball State Cardinals -1.5

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We've seen plenty of big offensive numbers from Ball State this season. The Cardinals have yet to put up less than 23 points in a game this season but on the flip side, they haven't held an opponent to less than 20 points yet on the year. Eastern Michigan has gone both ways this season: when they win, they have scored at least 30 points in each contest but they have been outscored 80-33 in their two defeats. The Eagles haven't held an opponent under 23 points on the year: does that mean we have more fireworks on the horizon here?

The over is 3-0-1 in the Eagles' last 4 games overall, 3-0-1 in their last 4 games following a straight up loss of more than 20 points and 9-3 in their last 12 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game. The teams have gone over the total in nine of their last 10 meetings and five of their last six contests at Eastern Michigan. Look for this one to go over the total as there are plenty of big plays offensively on both sides.

Prediction: Over 58

Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.