Ball State Cardinals vs. Miami Ohio Redhawks Preview and Pick

Ball State Cardinals (9-0) -17, N/A O/U at Miami (OH) University
Redhawks (2-7) +17, N/A O/U, Yager Stadium, Oxford, Ohio, 7 PM
Eastern, Tuesday, ESPN2

by Badger of

The 16th-ranked Ball State Cardinals look to continue their 2008 dream season as BCS Busters when they travel to Oxford, Ohio,
Tuesday night to take on the Miami (OH) Redhawks in a Mid American
Conference showdown on ESPN 2.

The Cardinals continued their march toward an undefeated season with a very impressive 45-14 victory over Northern Illinois last Wednesday night on ESPN. Ball State appears to be hitting on all cylinders
right now, as quarterback Nate Davis threw for 300 yards and four
touchdowns, running back MiQuale Lewis ran for over 100 and a score,
and receiver Louis Johnson had 165 yards a and a score as the
Cardinals offense topped the 500 yard mark for the first time this

Miami is about as low as they have been in their long storied
history. The Redhawks program is well know for their Cradle of
Coaches, with storied football coaching alumni both college (Woody
Hayes, Bo Schembechler and Ara Parseghian) and pro (Paul Brown, John
Harbaugh and Sean Payton), but its safe to say that most of them
would be worried about the current state of the Redhawks defense.

Not only did the Redhawks defense get gouged for 476 yards in a bad
37-17 loss to Buffalo last Tuesday on ESPN, but they were rolled for
468 yards in a 54-21 loss to Kent State the week before, and Kent
State is a meager 2-7 this season. For the year the Redhawks defense
is giving up an ugly 30.8 points per game and over 350 yards a contest.

Oddsmakers originally opened this game with Ball State as 15.5-point favorites, but most sportsbooks cant find enough takers on the Miami
Redhawks so the point spread has climbed up to 17-points at most
outlets. There is no total listed as of press time, and
the moneyline lists Ball State as -650 favorites with Miami as +520

Davis and the Ball State offense roll into town with some impressive
numbers under their belts already. Davis has thrown for over 2,000
yards with 18 touchdowns, Lewis is already over 1,000 yards rushing
with 15 TDs, and the receiver core is starting to show signs of
improvement after the tragic loss of senior Dante Love. Through nine
games the Cardinals offense is 11th in the country in both yards per
game (458.4 ypg) and points per game (38.3 ppg).

What makes times so tough in Oxford these days is the fact that the
Miami offense isnt much better than the aforementioned defense.
Daniel Raudabagh and Clay Belton have rotated in and out of the
quarterback position all season, but this week it will be Raudabagh
(1,252 yds., 4 TD, 5 INT) playing since Belton left last weeks start
versus Buffalo with an injury. Either way, the Redhawks are ranked
109th in all of the NCAA with a meager 18.3 points per game average.

The Ball State defense, allowing just 15.3 points a game (9th in
NCAA), is very capable of overmatching the Redhawks offense. On
paper, this game just looks ugly and one-sided on both sides of the

Never underestimate karma though, as Miami certainly seems to have
the Cards number lately. Last year the Redhawks stole a 14-13 victory
on the road with a late touchdown with just 17 seconds remaining on
the clock, and it was the Redhawks third win in the last four games
head-to-head with Ball State (also 3-1 ATS).

For the year Ball State has been a cash machine, going 7-1 against
the spread with an even 4-4 over/under record. Miami is 3-4 ATS, if
it matters, and also 3-4 over/under for the year.

But this may be Ball States year, and they also have one solid betting trend on their side: the road team is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings.

Badgers Pick: Im surprised its not higher than 17 points! This game is a giant mismatch. Ball State wins in blowout fashion, so take the Cardinals minus the 17 points.