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Ball State & Kent State By the Numbers

By the Numbers200In case you haven’t heard, Saturday is Homecoming at the Scheu and BSU will attempt to win their third MAC game of 2013. This is the first of three games the Cards will play before they do battle with OUR MOST HATED RIVAL Northern Illinois in what many expect to be the zOMG GAME OF THE CENTURY!!!111 in Dekalb. But of course, for that to truly be the game of the century, or even the year, both teams have to take care of business with the also-ran bottom feeders that are on the schedule between now and then.

For the Cards, that means Ws over the likes of Kent State, @Western Michigan, @Akron, and at home against CMU. Combined record of those four opponents: 5-19. This is not a murderer’s row of opponents, but it is the classic trap game, over and over again. Need I remind you that it is the MAC? Where the level of surprise for some of the outcomes is actually more than if a dog walked into my apartment on its hind-legs, opened a beer, and sat down and discussed our national monetary policy.

It’s Homecoming this weekend so hopefully the good juju of thousands of alums can ward off the evil trap game spirits. Let’s see what the numbers say…

BSU vs. Kent State:
National Stat Rankings & Statistics
NCAA Stat BSU Kent State
Scoring Offense 21st (41.3) 110th (18.0)
Rushing Offense 86th (140.5) 87th (140.3)
Passing Offense 12th (337.5) 107th (183.8)
Total Offense 29th (478.0) 111th (324.2)
Scoring Defense 51st (24.5) 86th (30.3)
Rushing Defense 106th (208.2) 117th (241.8)
Passing Defense 62nd (223.5) 64th (231.5)
Total Defense 89th (431.7) 113th (473.3)
Sacks 56th (10.0) 73rd (9.0)
Sacks Allowed 42nd (8.0) 42nd (8.0)
Turnover Margin 11th (+6) 79th (-1)
3rd Down Conv. % 41st (46.1%) 63rd (41.3%)
Opp. 3rd Down Conv. % 93rd (43.3%) 99th (44%)
Red Zone Conv. % 17th (93.6%) 96th (76.9%)
Opp. Red Zone Conv. % 38th (76.5%) 99th (89.7%)
Punting 76th (40.6) 22nd (44.5)
Fewest Penalty Yards Per Game 7th (30.0) 72nd (51.8)

I’ve been doing By the Numbers for several years now, and I can’t remember a statistical advantage this sizable for the Cards. 1 push, and 1 statistical disadvantage is an epic thrashing on paper and may be why the sharps in Vegas continue to push this line up. In MAC games, it’s rare to have significant movement early because there are so many things unknown and the amount of money coming in usually doesn’t warrant a line change for a day or so, so those who wager enough to move a line do so on games with more attention where the line is fit to move anyway with or without them. BSU opened as an 11-point favorite and it has ballooned up to 15 yesterday and now sits at 14 as of this writing. Numbers? BSU advantage. Vegas money? BSU advantage. Consider me sold.

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