jimmythegreek Posts:12627 Followers:392
On 10/19/2013 01:17 AM in NCAA Football


Ball St -20 over Western Michigan:
The Ball St Cardinals (6-1) travel to Waldo Stadium to take on the winless Western Michigan Broncos (0-7) on Saturday at 2pm EST. In week 7 things were a little too close for comfort in Ball State's 27-24 win over Kent St, but it officially gave the Cards bowl eligibility and showed the nation that even during the least of sharper performances that they have the ability to find a way to win especially coming from behind.

Ball St has now won 8 straight MAC Conference games. Trailing 24-20 the Cardinals drove down the field twice toward the end of the game. After failing to convert a fourth-and-six on the previous drive, the Cardinals faced another fourth down deep in the redzone, but converted it as QB Keith Wenning found Willie Snead again for a 7-yard go-ahead score with 1:29 remaining. Wenning completed 23/46 passes for 305 yards and 4 TDs and only 1 INT. Led by Wenning (164/271 2301 15 TD 5 INT), the Ball State offense has been efficient and balanced as they come all season. Snead (51-867 7 TD) has good outside speed and field presence representing Wenning's top target. Jordan Williams (40-603 5 TD) and Jami Smith (34-477 2 TD) add to the passing options especially in 3 and 4 receiver spreads. However most intimidating about the Cardinals offense is their duo tandem ground game featuring Jahwan Edwards (84-447 5.3 10 TD) and Horactio Banks (71-384 5.4 5 TD). That does not bode well for Western Michigan who yields 275 rushing yards per contest. Also glaring enough is that the Cards don't waste time putting up quick strikes. That's evident by their TOP which is only 27:00, so it's even more crucial that WMU makes consistent stops and puts together long drives in order to neutralize and contain the offense.

The good news is that WMU's pass defense is ranked 6th in the country giving up about 163 yards per game. However this could be a true test as Wenning has topped 300 yards every game so far this season. The Cardinals are efficient in the red zone, having recorded points on 31 of 36 chances and 24 of which have been touchdowns (15 rushing, 9 passing). Ball State has the tendency to mix up their play calling with the ability to throw off opposing defenses successfully wearing down their opponents as evident with their near 40 ppg average. In order to have a chance to stay close, WMU will have to win the turnover margin given they are last in that category in the MAC at -12. The Broncos have forced 9 turnovers and given up the ball 21 times so far this season. Ball St had numerous chances to put away Kent early in week 7 however they uncharacteristically coughed up the football twice in the first quarter inside the red zone.

In last week's 33-0 embarrassing humbling defeat to Buffalo, the Broncos managed barely 200 yards of total offense while committing 4 turnovers. QB Zach Terrell (40/81 489 2 TD 5 INT) completed just 16/34 passes for 164 yards and 2 picks. Who will be under center for the Broncos on Saturday is anybody's guess. Senior quarterback Tyler Van Tubbergen (80/178 906 4 TD 10 INT) suffered a shoulder injury in Western's 47-20 loss to Toledo on October 5th. Judging by their winless encounters, there's not much disparity between the two under center. In addition to turnovers, drive-killing penalties only adds to WMU's misfortune. RB Brian Fields (93-398 4.3 4 TD is one of the few bright spots in addition to Dareyon Chance (81-337 4.2 1 TD). Corey Davis (36-504 2 TD) has sported the bulk of the receiving core, and can expose isolation one on one if he can get behind Ball St's secondary.

Because Ball State likes to operate at a higher faster pace, the defense tends to play more plays and possessions than average. The defensive progress also manifested itself in individual success as defensive end Jonathan Newsome, linebacker Kenny Lee and defensive tackle Nate Ollie have all garnered defensive player of the week honors at points this season. Led by Defensive coordinator Jay Bateman, Ball State yields about 24 ppg which is about a TD improvement from 2012.

Last weekend was quite a disappointing effort by the Cardinals as they let down and nearly lost. However there are just too many advantages for Ball State in this contest. Don't be surprised if Wenning and the Cardinals offense becomes more one dimensional knowing that WMU has constant problems stopping the run. The matchup is textbook for the Cardinals for an opportunity to correct the rough performance last week. WMU will have to wait at least one more week before reaching the left side. Best of luck however you play!

Be sure to also check back in this thread between 4 and 5 PM EST for a possible Saturday evening pick especially given the status of my early play.

YTD 6-2 .750

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finance Posts:9356 Followers:232
10/19/2013 07:38 AM

Good luck today jtg!

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bobalou Posts:5403 Followers:148
10/19/2013 08:18 AM

GL JTG! Ball St has been playing well (6-1)! I like this play today!

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jimmythegreek Posts:12627 Followers:392
10/19/2013 05:17 PM

While we squeak by with Ball St covering by the slimmest of margins, here's my Saturday evening bonus play.

(12) Baylor -33 over Iowa St.
The 12th ranked Bears (5-0) are coming off a hard fought 10 point win on the road at Kansas St last week and return home to take on Iowa St (1-4) at Floyd Casey Stadium. Baylor in looking for a school record 10th straight victory, will try and not overlook a banged up Cyclones squad especially on defense where ISU gave up 666 yards in a 42-35 loss at Texas Tech. The Bears managed a season-low 451 yards while scoring less than half its 70.5 points per game after they had become the first FBS team with more than 700 total yards in three consecutive games, as well as the first with 3,000 yards in a four-game span since 1996.

Baylor still leads the country in total offense at 715.4 yards per game and scoring offense with an average of 63.4 points. With its eighth straight home victory, Baylor also has a chance to open conference play with a 3-0 record for the first time in the 16-year history of the Big 12. The explosive offense starts with QB Bryce Petty (80/114 13 T 1 INT) who is tops in the nation in pass efficiency and yards gained per completion at over 21. In the win over the Wildcats, Petty found Tevin Reese (23-609 6 TD) for a 54 yard scoring strike that gave the Bears the lead for good. Petty finished 13/22 for 342 yards and 3 TD overall in the 10 point win. Along with Reese, look for other top target Antwan Goodley (26-679 6 TD) to connect frequently with Petty on numerous opportunities to gain big yardage in the passing game.

Another luxury for the Baylor offense is the ability to succeed in the hurry up with a key arsenal in the ground game. Lache Seastrunk (65-643 9.9 8 TD), who leads the nation in yards earned per carry, has big play ability and speed to overwhelm opposing defensive front sevens if his offensive line provides plenty of open space. Shock Linwood (42-318 7.6 5 TD) is another ground game option and used frequently on 3rd down conversion attempts. ISU's defense gives up a lot of yards and points, and they will give up well over 700 tonight. They're going to need to force turnovers which would allow for more offensive possessions. While you can keep the Baylor offense off the field by also engineering slow successful drives on offense, the Cyclones hold a distinct disadvantage by not matching the big play ability nor playmakers to at best keep up. Sporting the worst pass defense in the conference and the second worst attack against the run could spell another field day for Baylor's offense. The Bears do not waste time and love dictating control early averaging 26 points in the first quarter, just two fewer than the Cyclones average in a game.

For the Cyclones offensively, QB Sam Richardson (101/176 1187 10 TD 4 INT), who is battling an ankle injury has thrown at least two touchdowns in six of the last eight games, and he has at least one TD pass in each of those games. He's also the Cyclones’ second-leading rusher with 243 yards, including the team-long 38-yarder. Aaron Wimberly (77-367 4.9 2 TD) has excelled primarily with good gains on first down, but has not seized the opportunity of scoring as frequently given the chances inside the 5 yard line.Richardson's two top targets, Quenton Bundrage (23-375 4 TD) and Tad Echy (16-173) could have their hands full especially if Richardson struggles with his efficiency. Against Texas Tech Richardson completed only 15/38 passes for 168 yards and a TD. Baylor's defense has been underrated all season yielding just 18 points and 345 total yards per contest.Linebacker Eddie Lackey labeled the importance on cashing in of forced turnovers as “game-changers,” and safety Ahmad Dixon added that the defenders pursue takeaways like a sprinter does the finish line. Defensive Coordinator Phil Bennett is in his third season and has built up the balance of the Baylor defense long dreaded from the days of Brian Norwood who is now the assistant to head coach Art Briles.The Cyclones also have been without offensive linemen Tom Farniok and Jamison Lalk due to injury, and they suffered another setback up front with Jacob Gannon likely out with an MCL sprain.

Baylor is simply a different team at home as opposed to on the road. Playing on the turf helps, since speed is by far their best asset, as does playing in front of a home crowd. Look for the combination of Seastrunk on the ground and Petty through the air to have a dominating performance against Iowa State's defense who will once again give up big plays due to it's lack of efficiency in the secondary and disadvantage in the front seven. Earlier last month we had Baylor giving Buffalo 4 TD's and they ended up more than doubling the spread with a 70-13 win. While the outcome may not be as embarrassing as that disparity, the Bears should cruise to another convincing win in their return to Floyd Casey Stadium. Best of luck however you play!

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jimmythegreek Posts:12627 Followers:392
10/19/2013 10:14 PM

Well the bad news is that Baylor didn't quite pitch a shutout, but the good news is we swept our second Saturday of the season as the Bears beat the Cyclones by 64. That's a TD more than the number of points they beat Buffalo by earlier in the season on another one of my best bets. Speaking of best bet Saturdays, that improves our season mark to 8-2 after week 8! Back up with the Sunday NFL Greek Insider and more best bets in CFB come week 9!

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spooky Posts:4695 Followers:319
10/20/2013 12:22 AM

Who is this guy? Its the return of the Greek.
The man, they myth and the legend has kicked off the 2013 season with what he does best.

Posting winner after winner along with all the great analysis all season long. Keep it rolling my friend.

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