The Arkansas State RedWolves take on the Ball State Cardinals in the GoDaddy.com Bowl tonight. The game is scheduled for a 9 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on ESPN. Currently the odds for the game have the Cardinals favored by more than a touchdown to win the game.
Ball State is one of the better teams in the country nobody really knows about. And Arkansas State will be playing for the third straight year in a bowl game with a coach that left the squad. Much like Hugh Freeze and Gus Malzahn in the past few years, Bryan Harsin won't coach the Red Wolves in their bowl game. Seems like the seniors would be used to this by now. Defensive coordinator John Thompson will be coaching Arkansas State in this contest.
Arkansas State has been very good the past three seasons, sporting a record of 27-11. It should come as no surprise that their past coaches have been snatched up by bigger programs. The Red Wolves struggled at the beginning of the season, starting 3-4. They did rebound to finish 4-1 in their last five contests.
Ball State is one of the better offensive programs in the country. They average better than 40 points per game and quarterback Keith Wenning chucks the rock all over the yard. Wenning is the all-time leader in touchdown passes (91), passing yards (11,187), completions (1,012) and attempts (1,598), Wenning set career highs this season with 3,933 yards and 34 TDs while throwing only six interceptions this season.
The Cardinals have gone 15-3 in their last 18 games dating back to last year. They can become the first MAC team to win a bowl game this season as Northern Illinois, Bowling Green, Buffalo and Ohio all lost their bowl games and weren't able to cover the number either.
Arkansas State has played the better schedule with both Auburn and Missouri on the schedule this season.
This is the final bowl game before the BCS National Championship. Ball State has been able to win games this season by forcing turnovers by their opponents, sitting at +12 for the season. They're also very efficient when they have the football, recording 4.5 yards per carry this season.
Arkansas State gives up better than 400 yards per game to opponents. Their QB Adam Kennedy played in every game this season but only threw 11 touchdown passes. Look for Ball State to get a comfortable lead and then run the football consistently in the second half.
Free pick: Ball State 34, Arkansas State 21
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