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2012 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl: Ball State vs. UCF

Bettors and fans have already gotten the chance to enjoy some intense early bowl game action, but the good news is bowl season is just kicking into high gear. We should have another great match-up in store for us today in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl as the 9-3 Ball State Cardinals out of the MAC take on the 9-4 UCF Golden Knights of Conference USA.

Ball State is coming into the bowl on a six game winning streak, while UCF is coming off a heart-breaking loss in the Conference USA Championship Game, a 33-27 overtime defeat at the hands of Tulsa. However, things may have worked out even better for UCF, which now gets to play in this bowl in St. Petersburg, which will pretty much act as a home game for them, as it’s only 100 miles from their campus.

UCF will look to pound Ball State with the run game

“We are very pleased with the opportunity to go to the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl and the chance to play Ball State who has a 9-3 record,” UCF coach George O’Leary told the school’s official website. “We’re looking forward to the competition as well as the festivities in St. Petersburg.”

Each team will bring in one of the higher powered offenses in the country, as each squad averaged more than 35 points per game this season. While Ball State features a more balanced attack, UCF does it damage mostly on the ground, something Ball State had trouble defending during the regular season. The Cardinals ended up allowing opponents more than 30 points per game, while UCF only allowed 22.5.

Playing what basically amounts to a road game against a tough offense will be a huge obstacle to overcome for the Cardinals, which are 0-5 in school history in bowl games.

Ball State will need to score plenty of points to keep up

“This game against Central Florida is going to be a tremendous challenge for our program, so we are going to have to do a great job in preparation, but we certainly hope to come down here and represent Ball State well,” said Ball State coach Pete Lembo.

UCF appears to have the better team and it comes as no surprise that it has a seven-point edge today against the Cardinals. However, the real question will be, how hungry will UCF be in a what basically amounts to a consolation game for it?

Considering the Knights will likely be playing in front of a strong contingent of their fans, they should come out and play inspired to end the season. Their late-season loss may have been the best thing to happen to them concerning winning here today. I like the Knights to cover -7 in this one and for the teams to go over 62 points.



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