Beef 'O'Brady's Bowl Matches Up UCF With Ball State

By: Willie Bee | Friday, December 14, 2012

Ball State Cardinals vs. Central Florida Knights
Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl Betting Preview
12/21/2012 at 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Opening Lines: UCF -7½, O/U 63
(click here for latest college football odds)
Television: ESPN

Ball State Cardinals: A second-place finish in the MAC West sends the Cards (9-3 straight-up, 9-3 against the spread) to the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl in St. Petersburg against Central Florida. It's the first bowl appearance since the 2008 campaign when BSU went to the GMAC Bowl vs. Tulsa. Ball State ended the 2012 campaign with six consecutive wins, covering five of those victories. The Cardinals have injury concerns at quarterback where starter Keith Wenning is probable after missing the regular-season finale at Miami-OH with an ankle injury (click to check updated college football injury report). Backup Kelly Page is questionable with a concussion suffered in the win over Miami. A strong ground game is BSU's calling card with the team averaging 214.3 yards rushing per game. Sophomore Jahwan Edwards accounts for about half that figure with 110 yards per contest (21st in country). Ball State won the last meeting between these clubs in 2004, scoring a 21-17 victory at home to just cover the 3½-point spread.

UCF Knights: Runner-ups in Conference USA, Central Florida (9-4 SU, 6-7 ATS) suffered two tough losses to champion Tulsa in the final three games to fall just short of the title. The Knights bring a well-balanced offense into the contest, one reason behind 10 of their 13 games this campaign cashing for "over" bettors. Sophomore QB Blake Bortles directs the unit after completing over 62 percent of his passes this season for 2,787 yards and 22 TDs against seven interceptions. The ground attack features 1,000-yard rusher Latavius Murray, who averaged close to six yards per tote and scored 14 rushing touchdowns. Central Florida's defense ranked 42nd in the passing department, allowing less than 218 yards per game, and 29th in points allowed (22.5 per game). Each squad enters the game with solid "over" trends. Twelve of Ball State's last 17 contests have jumped the number while eight of Central Florida's last nine have gone past the mark.

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