Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Illinios vs. Ball State Preview

I think this is a game that most Illini fans are taking for granted. Maybe I'm wrong. But I think Illini fans, at this point see this game and the Minnesota game as the two that will give the Illini a minimum of 7 wins this year. The 7 win number is big because It will be a winning year rather than merely .500. 6 means bowl eligibility but Illini fans are craving respectability. The Illini who beat Penn State are simply supposed to beat teams like Ball State.

Let's see how this game stacks up. Illinois is the home team and is favored by 14. That's a lot of points for any Zook coached team to be favored by.

Ball State scores 34.2 ppg while Illinois allows 19.6 ppg.

Illinois scores 25.5 ppg while Ball State allows 26.1.

Ball State rushes for 163.1 ypg while Illinois allows 107.5 ypg rushing.

Illinois rushes for 230.1 ypg while Ball State allows 214.9

Ball State passes the ball for 288.8 ypg while Illinois allows 252 ypg

Illinois passes for 146.8 ypg while Ball State allows 212.1 ypg

It would seem that if Ball State is going to win this game, the Cardinals are going to have to find a way to stop the Illini running attack. Ball State should also look to pass the ball early and often to exploit the relative weakness of Illinois' pass defense.

Illinois has turned the ball over 16 times to date while Ball State has had only 7 turn overs. Needless to say the Cardinals need to win the turn over battle.

I think Ball State has a fighting chance in this game. This is a team that put up 610 yards on an admittedly bad Nebraska team. But they have weapons on offense and if they can keep the ball away from Illinois and avoid turn overs they can win it. Especially with Zook standing on the other sideline.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ball State hasn't played a defense ranked higher than 79th.

And they gave up 58 points and over 600 yards to Central Michigan.

This should be a tough one for even Ron Zook to screw up.