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Ball State hosts Central Michigan Wednesday night
By: Freddy Wander - StatFox
Published: 11/6/2013  at  5:13:00 AM
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Kickoff: Wednesday, 8:00 p.m. ET
Line: Ball State -20.5, Total: 58

Ball State attempts to stay undefeated in the Mid-American Conference on Wednesday night as it hosts Central Michigan, winners of two of its past three games.

The Cardinals have been on top of their game this season, with their only loss coming in the second week of the season against North Texas in a 34-27 game. They have really dominated in their five conference games this season, winning all five SU and going 4-1 ATS. Central Michigan has split its four conference games this season, both SU and ATS. The Chippewas were beat up by Northern Illinois at home, giving up 437 rushing yards in a 38-17 loss. Since 1992, Ball State has a 14-7 SU record against CMU but is only 7-8 ATS. The Cardinals have won the past two matchups in this series (both SU and ATS), but are 2-6 ATS in their past eight games against Central Michigan at home. Last season, Ball State won 41-30 on the road as a 3-point favorite, but the offensive numbers were similar with a 464 to 446 total yards advantage going to the Cardinals. The Chippewas have really struggled recently away from home and are 6-13 ATS in their last 19 road games.

Can Ball State cover the three-touchdown spread on Wednesday night? For the answer, connect to College Football Best Bets for all the StatFox Experts picks throughout the 2013 regular season and bowl season. The four experts are a combined 55.3% ATS (94-76-7) in college football Best Bets for the season, led by StatFox Dave who is 59% ATS (30-21-2) in Best Bets this season, including 71% ATS (17-7-1) during a run of six straight weeks of .500 or better. StatFox Brian is 57% ATS (24-18-1) in college football Best Bets this year, while StatFox Gary is 56% ATS (15-12-1) for yearly CFB Best Bets.

Central Michigan has had a lackluster season up to this point, but has seemed to settle into the middle of the MAC nicely, beating the teams that are weak, but losing decisively to the teams on top. Redshirt freshman QB Cooper Rush (1,575 pass yards, 11 TD, 10 INT) has been given the starting job and has been slowly making progress throughout the season. In CMU wins, Rush has gone a combined 50-for-81 (62%) for 660 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. But in team losses, he has combined to go 69-for-139 (49.6%) for 915 yards, five touchdowns and eight interceptions. While Central Michigan is near the bottom of the nation in rushing yards per game (125 YPG, 102nd in the nation), they have a solid HB in Saylor Lavallii, who has rushed for 758 yards on 154 attempts (4.9 YPC) and five touchdowns. In the team's two conference wins this year, he has averaged 167.5 rushing YPG and has two touchdowns. WR Titus Davis has seen most of the action in the passing game and has 34 catches for 627 yards (18.4 avg.) and five touchdowns. The Chippewas defense has surrendered 33.4 PPG, including 31+ points in each of their losses.

Ball State has had a tremendous season on offense and currently ranks in the top-20 in both passing yards (326 YPG, 16th in FBS) and scoring (39.4 PPG, 18th in nation). The biggest reason that this team is so high in the rankings is QB Keith Wenning, who has thrown for 2,865 yards, 23 touchdowns and only five interceptions on the year. Wenning has thrown for 300+ yards in eight out of nine games this season and has multiple touchdowns in all but one game. In the team's last game against Akron (42-24 Ball State victory), Wenning had a season-low 240 yards passing, but added a season-high five touchdowns. While the rushing attack adds only 142 YPG on the ground, they have scored 23 touchdowns running the ball. HB Jahwan Edwards has lead the way with 127 carries for 659 yards (5.2 YPC) and 12 touchdowns. Edwards is coming off of a 120-yard performance (4.8 YPC) with one touchdown against Akron. WR Willie Snead (65 catches, 1,057 yards, 10 TD, 16.3 avg.) and WR Jordan Williams (56 catches, 792 yards, 7 TD, 14.1 avg.) have accounted for just over 63% of the passing game. CB Jeffery Garrett (36 tackles, 4 interceptions) and the rest of the Cardinals defense has allowed 27 or fewer PPG during the teamís six-game win streak and will be sure to notch another win if they can limit their opponent again.

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