Toledo Rockets (6-1 SU, 2-4 ATS, 3-3 O/U) vs. Ball State Cardinals (2-5 SU, 3-4 ATS, 4-3 O/U)
NCAAF: Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. EST
The Line: Toledo Rockets -22. Total: 57.5
The Toledo Rockets will be hoping to win their fourth game in a row when they visit the Ball State Cardinals at Scheumann Stadium on Thursday night. Toledo is coming off consecutive victories over Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, and Akron. The Cardinals, on the other hand, have lost four straight contests since starting the season 2-1.
After accounting for only one touchdown in Toledo’s previous two outings (albeit both wins), quarterback Logan Woodside threw for 304 yards and five scores during last Saturday’s 48-21 win over Akron. Woodside completed 17 of 24 passes and connected with 10 different receivers. For the season, the senior now has 16 touchdowns compared to just two interceptions. He tossed six scoring strikes during a 54-51 defeat of Tulsa on Sept. 16. Woodside’s impressive touchdown-to-interception ration is nothing new. As a junior in 2016, the Frankfort, Kent. native went for 45 scores while being picked off nine times.
Senior running back Terry Swanson, meanwhile, led the ground attack against Akron with 123 yards on 20 carries. Swanson has 268 yards and two touchdowns in the last two contests.
Ball State has not scored a touchdown since…wait for it…Sept. 23. That’s right; it has been more than a month since the Cardinals last found the endzone. The streak of futility has lasted more than 180 minutes, spanning losses to Western Michigan, Akron, and Central Michigan. Ball State lost starting quarterback Riley Neal and running back James Gilbert in a loss to Western Kentucky on Sept. 23, so fifth-year senior Jack Milas has been called upon to run the Ball State offense and freshman running back Caleb Huntley is now getting most of the carries. The Cardinals are also banged up on the offensive line and Milas was sacked a ridiculous seven times during this past weekend’s 56-9 loss to Central Michigan. They amassed only 214 yards of total offense to the Chippewas’ 455.
“This is a fragile football team right now,” head coach Mike Neu admitted. “As much as I hate to admit it, we are struggling to overcome some of the injuries. It’s not for lack of want to, guys are working hard, but we’re doing some things that are uncharacteristic for our football team.”
The Toledo Rockets are:
- 15-3 ATS in their last 18 road games
- 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games against teams with losing records
- 17-8-1 ATS in their last 26 games following a win
The Ball State Cardinals are:
- 1-4 ATS in their last five overall
- 16-35 ATS in their last 51 home games
- 3-11 ATS in their last 14 games against the Mid-American Conference
Ball State’s offense has been an utter disaster of late. In order to come within three touchdowns or so of Toledo on Saturday, that will have to change. The Rockets’ offense is simply too good right now with Woodside back on track. Of course, there is no reason to think that the banged-up Cardinals will suddenly be able to move the ball. Toledo is 15-3 ARS in its last 18 on the road, 9-2 ATS in its last 11 against losing opponents, and 17-18-1 ATS in its last 26 following a win. The Cardinals are 1-4 ATS in their last five overall, 16-35 ATS in their last 51 at home, 3-11 ATS in their last 14 against the Mid-American Conference, and 1-4 ATS in their last five on fieldturf. Don’t be surprised if those trends continue.
Pick: Toledo Rockets -22
Yards will not be easy to come for Ball State, and not just because it has been unable to churn any out in recent weeks. Toledo’s defense has been in fine form. It is a unit that has not allowed more than 21 points in a game since Sept. 24. It has allowed a total of 46 points in its last three outings. The under is 9-3 in the Rockets’ 12 overall, 6-1-1 in their last eight against the Mid-American Conference, and 7-3-1 in their last 11 on fieldturf. It is also 11-5 in the Cardinals’ last 16 against the Mid-American Conference and 5-2 in their last seven at home against opponents with winning road records. Additionally, the under is 5-0 in the last five meetings between the two teams and 5-2 in Toledo’s last seven trips to Ball State. Look for this one to stay under the total.