College Football Picks, Predictions, and Previews: The Way It Oughtta Be

Ball State vs. Central Michigan 12/5/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Ball State visits Central Michigan on 12/5/2020 at 2:00PM.

Ball State and Central Michigan face off in an important game for both teams as every game in this shortened season with limited or no fans in attendance means more. Ball State has a record of 3-1 this season. Central Michigan is 3-1 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Ball State Team Defense Preview

Ball State has had 34 total defensive drives this season and they yield 6.06 plays per drive. The struggle is real. Ball State cannot find a way to get opposing offenses off the field. Three and outs are not common and if the team needs a three-and-out late in a game to get the ball back, it is just not happening.Offensives should lick their lips given their inability to stop anyone, this is one of the worst defenses in the country. The Defensive Coordinator coaching search threads on Ball State message boards are flights of fantasy. Ball State opponents pass the football 54.85% of the time.Ball State tends to face teams that prefer to air it out or opponents want to air it out against them.

Ball State opponents have struggled with running the ball and this defense has crushed the spirits of their opponents with zero or negative yard plays. 4th and Short is not a cake walk against this defense, maybe passing on 4th and Short or having some sort of RPO is the way to go here because if an Offensive Coordinator thinks that they can just line and run a Quarterback Sneak or hand it off to a tailback, they are mistaken. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 2.65 yards per carry. Opponent offensive lines have been simply unable to support their running games against this defense. This is also a team that is allowing running backs and quarterbacks to get to the second-level in an average fashion. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to give up big rushing plays.

Ball State has made the turnover belt, chain, pads, lunch pail or whatever gimmick they use change hands a lot. This is a Defense that causes pure aggravation. Ball State should have a sign ready for opponents near the Visitor Locker Room that says “Welcome to Hell”, this front seven is deep and they cause a lot of problems. Ball State is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Ball State Team Offense Preview

Ball State has had 35 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 6.46 plays per drive. When you are among the best at plays per drive, you are certainly a team that aims to wear down the opposition with a high play count or with long, physical grinding drives that eat up a lot of clock. We need to find out more here when it comes to Ball State. Ball State has shown a capability to be explosive on first and second down to avoid third downs and has converted well (relatively) on 3rd and 4th Down situations. Passing plays make up 42.48% of their play calls.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Move the pile forward, falling forward, making progress, ensuring north-south running, smart Quarterback reads, well-adjusted alignments to ensure leverage, and an offensive line that is getting a great push forward are cornerstones of this offense. Based on the Adjusted Line Yards metric, which measures the amount of credit that should be ascribed to the offensive line for a rushing play, they average 3.16 yards per carry. This offensive line may be underappreciated, even though the running backs get the attention. The Ball State coaching staff really deserves credit for how they prepared this offensive line, but they could be a little bit better! This is also a team that is getting to the second-level in an average fashion. Offensive line and running backs are average in this regard. They feature a relatively average explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play, but it is not something to count on from them.

Defenses have been able to impose their will on the Ball State Offense this season. Front sevens are causing an average amount of trouble for the Offense. Ball State is a better passing team than running team this season.

Central Michigan Team Defense Preview

Central Michigan has had 49 total defensive drives this season and they yield 4.88 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Central Michigan is not a team that allows many plays per drive. This defense either gives up big plays quickly or induces a lot of three-and-outs, we shall find out more. Central Michigan has a generally average defense. Nothing too special about it, but they are capable of rising up when needed. Central Michigan opponents pass the football 46.44% of the time.Their opponents favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Central Michigan opponents have struggled with running the ball and this defense has crushed the spirits of their opponents with zero or negative yard plays. 4th and Short is not a cake walk against this defense, maybe passing on 4th and Short or having some sort of RPO is the way to go here because if an Offensive Coordinator thinks that they can just line and run a Quarterback Sneak or hand it off to a tailback, they are mistaken. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 2.33 yards per carry. Opponent offensive lines have been simply unable to support their running games against this defense. When it comes to getting to that second level, running backs are getting stopped. This defense does not allow themselves to be gashed. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to give up big rushing plays.

This Defense has had average success disrupting the flow of the opposing offense.. Getting more specific, this front seven is a cause of a lot of headaches for offenses. They may be good enough to cause trouble in pass rush with just four rushers!Central Michigan is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Central Michigan Team Offense Preview

Central Michigan has had 52 total drives this season and they generate 5.4 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive they run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. Central Michigan is an average offense when it comes to staying ahead of the chains, getting into 3rd and Short scenarios, and converting on 3rd and 4th Down. Central Michigan passes the football 43.06% of the time.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Move the pile forward, falling forward, making progress, ensuring north-south running, smart Quarterback reads, well-adjusted alignments to ensure leverage, and an offensive line that is getting a great push forward are cornerstones of this offense. Based on the Adjusted Line Yards metric, which measures the amount of credit that should be ascribed to the offensive line for a rushing play, they average 2.91 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average offensive line as far as their ability to set up the running game. When it comes to getting to that second level where linebackers have not crashed down on the line of scrimmage, they are getting stopped with ease. They are capable of busting out a long run, which is really good when the team has the ball in their own territory.

Central Michigan has bullied and controlled defenses this season, defenses have not been able to dictate what this offense is able to do to them. Opponents should consider a containment strategy. There has been a relatively good job done by this Offensive Line to prevent opposing front sevens from causing problems consistently. Central Michigan has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

The Ball State Roster

The Players to Watch for Ball State

Drew Plitt QB 6-2 217

This season, Drew Plitt has put up 1059 yards and 6 touchdowns. He has thrown 4 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 150.2thus far this season. Drew Plitt has thrown 4 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Drew Plitt has 34.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 57.3 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 40.0 times this season, which puts him in the 78.57 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 1.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Caleb Huntley RB 5-10 229

This season, Caleb Huntley has 437 rushing yards on 80 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 6 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Caleb Huntley picked up 13 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 1 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Justin Hall WR 5-9 186

This season, Justin Hall picked up 379 yards. He caught the ball 27 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 1 receiving touchdowns this season.

Jack Sape DL 6-4 292

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for Ball State, Jack Sape has 7 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 1 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 49.74 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 30.46 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Brett Anderson II S 6-0 190.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Ball State, Brett Anderson II had 28 tackles which puts him in the 78.68 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 1 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 73.47 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Brett Anderson II as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes this season, which puts him in the 38.31 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

Antonio Phillips CB 6-0 191

Considered the leading tackler among Cornerbacks for Ball State, Antonio Phillips had 19 tackles which puts him in the 74.93 percentile among Corners. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 35.19 percentile among Corners. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Antonio Phillips as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes this season, which puts him in the 37.54 percentile among Corners this season.

The Central Michigan Roster

The Players to Watch for Central Michigan

Daniel Richardson QB 5-10 205

This season, Daniel Richardson has put up 769 yards and 4 touchdowns. He has thrown 2 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 137.8thus far this season. Daniel Richardson has thrown 2 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Daniel Richardson has -14.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 10.63 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 14.0 times this season, which puts him in the 48.73 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 1.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Kobe Lewis RB 5-11 208

This season, Kobe Lewis has 391 rushing yards on 78 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 6 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Kobe Lewis picked up 70 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 12 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Dallas Dixon WR 6-1 189

This season, Dallas Dixon picked up 263 yards. He caught the ball 13 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 1 receiving touchdowns this season.

Mohamed Diallo DL 6-4 305

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for Central Michigan, Mohamed Diallo has 14 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 7 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 95.17 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 2 times this season, which put him in the 82.48 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 1 fumbles this season.

Devonni Reed DB 6-0 195.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Central Michigan, Devonni Reed had 28 tackles which puts him in the 78.68 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 32.62 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Devonni Reed as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes this season, which puts him in the 84.5 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

Ball State vs. Central Michigan Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Ball State 26 Central Michigan 31

Spread Pick: Central Michigan -1 -103 Pinnacle Sports
Moneyline Pick: Central Michigan -106 matchbook
Total Pick: Under 62.5 -111 Bookmaker