The epic Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl is upon us as Ball State will attempt to do what no other Ball State team has done before.
Win a freaking bowl game.
How big would a win be in program history? Top five moment? Top three?
The bowls are not what they use to be as over half of the teams get into them, but a bowl win in a watered-down bowl system is still a bowl win.
The problem is Central Florida has some weapons and I am not talking about the sword their mascot has.
Reasons for Optimism
- Ball State is hot winning their last six games. Confidence will not be a problem. Central Florida may still be down after dropping their chance to win the Conference USA Championship game.
- The defense has turned the corner. What started out as a calamity has been buttoned up. Plays that would have gone for touchdowns have been turned into smaller chunks. Remember that Jordan Lynch touchdown run that clinched the Oct. 6 game? Not sure the Huskies would have pulled that one out if the game was played in November. Oh what might have been?
The Joey Lynch factor
Rewind it back to 2004 where Bush was fighting Kerry, Battlestar Galactica was starting over, and some guy name Brady Hoke became the head coach at Ball State University. He had a young quarterback named Joey Lynch leading the rebuilding
effort. The Cardinals struggled to 2-9 season with the wins coming against Western Michigan and … Central Florida.
Yeah, Central Florida was actually in the MAC at one point. And we thought the Big East was the first to fail at geography. UCF struggled in the conference as it was a bigger misfit than a train with square wheels.
The good news is Lynch led the Cardinals to a fourth quarter comeback connecting with Dante Ridgeway for the winning score. Ball State won 21-17. High fives all around.
Lynch is still a big part of the program today being in charge of recruiting. Having a guy on the coaching staff who has already led the Cardinals to victory over the Knights goes under positive vibes. These games are eight years apart but when a team has the history edge is time to go on the offensive. Yea for logical fallacies! Just play like Joey Lynch in 2004 and your Cardinals are going to win a bowl game.
Reasons for concern
- I wish I knew details of Wenning’s injury and what percent level he will be Friday night but I’m a blogger not a doctor. Since Wenning has been participating in practice I bet he will be starting but you never know. His health is the biggest question mark going in.
- The Knights have experience on the defensive side of the ball. They were able to keep the Ohio State game respectable, losing 31-16. That is better than what Ball State did against Clemson. Yea for another logical fallacy! The team strength appears to be up front with a secondary that is slightly less
experience. Ball State might not have that much success on the ground game putting more pressure on Page or Wenning. If the Ball State running backs struggle this could be a long day.
Prediction: Ball State 30, Central Florida 23
Ball State’s offensive line has not shown many weaknesses this season. The Knights will be tested to control the line of scrimmage; something both teams are used to doing. If Ball State can run enough it should end the season with a bowl win and a 10-win season. If the Ball State could run for 169 yards on South Florida how hard could Central Florida be? Yea for another logical fallacy.
At the very worst, Ball State should do better than what Toledo did Saturday against Utah State. Yikes!