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Ball State & Toledo by the Numbers

By the Numbers200On Saturday the Fighting Football Cardinals return back to the friendly confines of the Scheu where they will take on the Toledo Rockets in a 3pm ESPN3.com-televised broadcast. The Rockets currently sit at 2-2 and 1-0 in the MAC with wins over Central Michigan (on the road no less!) and FCS Eastern Washington and losses on the road to open the season against Florida and Missouri, neither of whom have looked all that impressive overall, but both of whom are SEC teams.

For all intents and purposes, this is the first of a sort of “elimination game” for the MAC West. BSU fans circled two dates as Must Wins if the Cards wanted to be playing for the MAC Championship in Detroit, and this (along with NIU) was one of those two. A loss doesn’t necessarily kill your title hopes, but it certainly puts them in life support and leaves your destiny in someone else’s hands. That’s not a good place to be. What do the numbers tell us?

BSU vs. Toledo:
National Stat Rankings & Statistics
NCAA Stat BSU Toledo
Scoring Offense 19th (42.3) 84th (25.0)
Rushing Offense 87th (119.33) 59th (188.0)
Passing Offense 12th (336.0) 93rd (197.0)
Total Offense 39th (474.8) 79th (385.0)
Scoring Defense 59th (24.0) 63rd (25.0)
Rushing Defense 105th (218.0) 67th (160.25)
Passing Defense 55th (211.0) 64th (226.3)
Total Defense 91st (429.0) 67th (386.5)
Sacks 51st (7.0) 12th (11.0)
Sacks Allowed 44th (5.0) 2nd (2.0)
Turnover Margin 21st (+3) 21st (+3)
3rd Down Conv. % 16th (52.8%) 86th (36.5%)
Opp. 3rd Down Conv. % 88th (43.1%) 92nd (43.8%)
Red Zone Conv. % 29th (90.5%) 43rd (86.7%)
Opp. Red Zone Conv. % 35th (72.7%) 41st (75.0%)
Punting 76th (40.6) 91st (39.8)
Fewest Penalty Yards Per Game 31st (38.8) 69th (51.3)

Last week the Cardinals saw an opponent that had a statistical advantage in seven categories and they saw them on the road. They also blew them out by 31. This week’s opponent has a five stat advantage and one draw, and we get them at the Scheu. 40 point blow out? 50? Not so fast, my friend.

The one thing I’m concerned about is the Toledo rushing attack. It does numerous things, most notably put their strength against our weakest category. But a nice byproduct for the Rockets is it grinds the game out and keeps BSU’s high powered offense off the field. That’s bad.

In games this close it often comes down to the intangibles like turnovers or crowd support. We can’t control the former, but can encourage the latter. Game kicks at 3:00pm on Saturday, and if you’re anywhere near Muncie, here’s your chance to support the Cards on their way to greatness.

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