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Ball State & Akron By the Numbers

By the Numbers200On Saturday, Ball State attempts to go 8-1 on the 2013 season and 5-0 in the MAC as they travel to perhaps one of the best facilities in the MidAmerican Conference in Akron and Infocision Stadium. But sort of like the empty ghost towns in China just waiting for the housing boom to spread to them, don’t be fooled by the fancy stadium or meeting facilities. All that glitters isn’t gold in Akron, as the Zips and Terry Bowden have limped along to 2-6 overall and 1-3 in the MAC. In the Zips’ favor is only a 4-point loss at Michigan and a touchdown defeat at Northern Illinois. Both teams ranked, both on the road, both should have been epic blowouts. Then there’s the 40-point loss to Ohio. At home.

Akron is one of those teams that is certainly capable of getting blown out at home but they are also capable of beating damn near anyone. Unfortunately for BSU, Akron is the classic MAC team, who will spring a surprise on someone this season. Let’s hope it isn’t Saturday. The numbers…

BSU vs. Akron:
National Stat Rankings & Statistics
NCAA Stat BSU Akron
Scoring Offense 23rd (39.1) 108th(19.6)
Rushing Offense 93rd (140.0) 113th (106.8)
Passing Offense 13th (331.8 68th (228.0)
Total Offense 29th (471.8) 109th (334.8)
Scoring Defense 47th (23.5) 97th (31.5)
Rushing Defense 105th (204.5) 61st (156.0)
Passing Defense 43rd (216.1) 100th (258.9)
Total Defense 84th (420.6) 79th (414.9)
Sacks 65th (13.0) 8th (22.0)
Sacks Allowed 28th (9.0) 95th (17.0)
Turnover Margin 21st (+5) 92nd (-3)
3rd Down Conv. % 29th (48.1%) 50th (43.3%)
Opp. 3rd Down Conv. % 70th (40.0%) 100th (44.1%)
Red Zone Conv. % 56th (84.6%) 104th (73.7%)
Opp. Red Zone Conv. % 24th (73.9%) 52nd (80.6%)
Punting 56th (41.6) 23rd (43.7)
Fewest Penalty Yards Per Game 11th (33.8) 88th (57.0)

13-4 in statistics isn’t the biggest advantage BSU has enjoyed this season, but it is a sizable one. Most concerning is the high sack total combined with a stout (relatively speaking) rush defense. BSU is versatile to employ either the rush or the pass to get the W, but one of them has to work. If both struggle, it’s a long day at the office. Akron is slanted heavily towards the pass as opposed to the rush, and it has been the case in recent memory that passing teams sometimes enjoy a bit of success against the Cards. All in all, nothing supremely alarming, but a few areas of concern. The Vegas line opened at 11.5 and has been bet down to 10. That’s a bit surprising, as normally the line movement favors BSU and not the other way. The over/under has been bet down to 56.5 from an opening 58.5, so the sharps think it will be approximately 33-23 Cards. Your thoughts?

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