UMass at Ball State
Saturday, 10 am PT
CRIS Opener: Ball State -3 O/U 65
CRIS Current: Ball State -3 O/U 66
UMass suffered its third straight conference loss last weekend in a 51-35 beat down at the hands of a ranked Toledo club that was actually trailing by 18 points at halftime. The Rockets flexed their muscle after the intermission and hung five straight touchdowns. With the loss, the Minutemen fell to 1-6 on the year as they have now allowed 48 or more points in four games this season.
Ball State dropped a 23-21 heart-breaker to Central Michigan last Saturday. The Cardinals are now 2-6 and like UMass, have had a ton of issues stopping the opposition. Even with Eastern Michigan in the MAC, UMass has allowed a league-worst 557.3 ypg in conference play. Ball State's game numbers are slightly better (458.3) but not from a yards-per-play standpoint as MAC teams are averaging 6.28.
Offensively both squads have the ability to move the football. Despite playing four fairly solid defenses (Temple, Notre Dame, FIU, and Kent State), UMass is averaging a respectable 5.67 ypp. Their main issue has been cashing in inside the red zone with a sub-par 68% scoring rate. Expect that to improve against Ball State as the Cardinals rank as one of the bottom 30 teams in the country in both red zone scoring and touchdown rate. It's a similar situation with Ball State as it has shown the ability to move the chains but unable to sustain drives. The elixir will be a UMass defense that is one of only two teams nationally to allow points on every opponent's' trip inside the red zone.
With both teams willing to play fast and far stronger offensively than defensively, this casual atmosphere really sets up well for a lot of points and a play on the over.