|Ball State at Miami Ohio Point Spread Odds, Betting Trends & Injuries|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Tuesday, 11 November 2008 10:02|
Ball State Big Favs
Oxford , OH - As one of five undefeated teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision, Ball State is drawing closer to a BCS bowl berth.
To reach that goal, the Cardinals need to avoid looking ahead to a couple of crucial Mid-American Conference games.
The 14th-ranked Cardinals look to open with 10 wins for the first time in school history and avoid a letdown when they visit struggling Miami of Ohio on Tuesday.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have Ball State –18.5 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Tuesday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 82% of bets for this game have been placed on Ball State –18.5 (View College Football bet percentages).
Ball State (9-0, 5-0) cracked the AP poll at No. 25 for the first time in school history Oct. 5, and has been climbing the rankings ever since. With Wednesday's 45-14 victory over Northern Illinois, the Cardinals moved up two spots in the poll and three places to No. 14 in the BCS standings.
"Everybody talks about going undefeated, but we just talk about trying to make every play that we can,'' Ball State quarterback Nate Davis said.
"The biggest thing is we've got to keep our heads straight."
Despite being unbeaten, the Cardinals don't have much room for error in their conference.
Ball State is tied with Central Michigan atop the West Division, a half-game ahead of third-place Western Michigan. The division will likely be decided in the next two weeks, as the Cardinals visit the Chippewas next Wednesday and then wrap up the regular season Nov. 25 against the Broncos.
Not only would those two games determine whether Ball State wins the division, they could also end up being the reason the Cardinals don't get a BCS berth, as one loss would almost certainly knock them from contention.
Despite what's likely to be at stake in those games, coach Brady Hoke isn't worried about his team overlooking Miami of Ohio (2-7, 1-4).
"I think our seniors have done a fabulous job of leading this team and a great job understanding what our goals and what we want to do as a program," Hoke said. "And we haven't achieved any of those."
If Hoke's players seem unfocused going into Tuesday, the coach could show them tape of their 2007 season-opening 14-13 home loss to the RedHawks. Brandon Murphy's 6-yard touchdown run with 17 seconds remaining lifted Miami to the victory Aug. 30.
That defeat was the first in a 7-6 season for the Cardinals, but much has changed since then. Ball State is off to its best start since the 1965 team opened with nine straight wins.
The Cardinals are led by an offense that's averaging 38.3 points and 458.4 yards, both 11th in the FBS, and had little trouble picking apart the conference's top-ranked defense last week.
Ball State amassed a season-high 529 yards against Northern Illinois and scored its most points since its season-opening 48-14 victory over Northeastern.
Davis completed 18 of 22 passes for 300 yards and four touchdowns, breaking Mike Neu's school record for career completions in the process. The junior has 592, eclipsing Neu's 580.
MiQuale Lewis recorded his seventh 100-yard game of the season, rushing for 119 yards and one score on 19 carries.
Lewis, 10th in the FBS in rushing yards with 1,108 and tied for fourth in running touchdowns with 15, has been at his best on the road. He's run for 589 yards and nine TDs in four games away from Muncie.
The junior rushed for 91 yards on 25 carries in last season's loss to Miami, but should have a good chance to exceed that total Tuesday. The RedHawks have allowed a total of 521 rushing yards in their last two games.
Miami gave up a season-high 476 yards of offense in last Tuesday's 37-17 defeat to Buffalo, and has been outscored 91-38 in losing its last two games.
Freshman J.R. Taylor ran for 69 yards and a touchdown against the Bulls, and has rushed for 309 yards and two TDs on 54 carries in his last three games.
The RedHawks have lost their last two against ranked opponents since Ben Roethlisberger led Miami to a 49-27 win over then-No. 20 Bowling Green on Dec. 4, 2003.
The RedHawks have won three of their last four against Ball State, but have lost the last two meetings in Oxford.
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Posted: 11/11/08 3:01PM