The Ball State Cardinals host the Northern Illinois Huskies in MAC college football action Wednesday night. The game is scheduled for an 8:00 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on ESPN2. Currently the odds for the game have Northern Illinois favored on the road in this one.
Northern Illinois has proven to be a power in the MAC the last few seasons, having potential early Heisman candidates and ending with a ton of wins, going 11-3, 11-3, 12-2 and 12-2 the last four years overall. That's a record of 46-10 which saw the country at times fall in love with the underdog Huskies. This year is a little different, however, with Northern Illinois getting blasted by Arkansas and losing a conference game to Central Michigan a couple of weeks back. With Toledo's win over Kent State last night they sit atop the MAC West standings with a 5-0 record with Western Michigan and Northern Illinois each having one loss.
A win here over Ball State would certainly be huge for the Huskies, who still have to play Toledo next week before road games at Ohio and at Western Michigan. The schedule isn't easy for the Huskies and this game isn't a for-sure win, either.
Ball State has had a down season, sitting at 2-2 in the conference and 3-5 overall. Ball State lost five games in a row this season but have found a way to rebound with two straight wins over Central Michigan and Akron.
Northern Illinois has won five straight in this series. Ball State, though, needs a win to have a chance at a successful season as they have winnable games down the stretch.
Dual-threat quarterback Drew Hare has fallen in line with the pedigree of a Northern Illinois quarterback. He's combined for better than 1,800 yards and 16 touchdowns. The Huskies do a great job at running the football, piling up nearly 270 yards on the ground per game. They score 32 points a game and have played well in two straight weeks.
Ball State comes in averaging 27 points per game themselves and is a decent offensive that averages 364 yards per game. While that wasn't good enough to get it done during their five-game losing streak that saw them lose by an average of a touchdown. The Cardinals have seemed to get it back in line, though, and a good bright spot for them is running back Jahwan Edwards, who has scored a touchdown in four straight games and has better than 800 yards on the ground so far this year.
This is going to be a very good game between two teams looking to continue the positives this season. Northern Illinois hasn't covered at all their last five games overall. This one will be close and the upset is very possible.
Free Pick: Ball State 31, Northern Illinois 30
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