Miami (OH) vs. Ball State prediction and game preview. The RedHawks try to keep their hopes of reaching the MAC title game alive when they face the Cardinals.
Miami (OH) vs. Ball State Game Preview
When: Tuesday, Nov. 22 – 7 p.m. ET
Where: Fred C. Yager Stadium, Oxford, Ohio.
TV Broadcast: ESPN3
It might seem tough to believe, but the same Miami (OH) team that began the season 0-6 has a chance to reach the MAC title game. The RedHawks have won five in a row to tie Ohio atop the MAC East at 5-2. Ohio holds the head-to-head tiebreaker, so Miami needs to beat Ball State and have the Bobcats lose to Akron on Tuesday in order to reach the conference title game.
Ball State has nothing on the line other than trying to play spoiler and snap a four-game losing streak. The Cardinals are at least two games behind every other team in the MAC West and last won Oct. 15 at Buffalo.
What To Know About Miami (OH)
Gus Ragland still is undefeated as the team’s quarterback this season, with his return sparking the turnaround. He’s thrown for 12 touchdowns and run for two more without throwing an interception in 114 attempts. Ragland had an easy day last week, going 7 for 14 for 105 yards and two touchdowns while adding a rushing TD in a 35-24 win over Buffalo. He isn’t flashy, but it certainly isn’t just a coincidence that Miami has continued winning since he took over under center.
What To Know About Ball State
One week after fumbling at the goal line in a seven-point loss to Eastern Michigan, sophomore quarterback Riley Neal tried to bounce back against Toledo. He’s had an up-and-down season, but he tossed two touchdown passes and rushed for 85 yards in the 37-19 loss. Neal can be dangerous both through the air and on the ground, so the RedHawks would be wise not to overlook him.
They won’t be able to forget about James Gilbert, who is going to get a heavy workload in this matchup. Gilbert is the MAC’s second-leading rusher and has as conference-best 12 touchdown runs.
Offense: Ball State – Miami’s offense has been better with Ragland, but the Cardinals still have the edge with Gilbert.
Defense: Miami (OH) – The RedHawks have the top-ranked unit in the conference allowing only 5.15 yards per play.
Special Teams: Miami (OH) – Nick Dowd has hit 9 of 10 field goals for the highest accuracy rate in the conference.
Coaching: Even – Chuck Martin needed this turnaround after two disappointing seasons with the RedHawks.
Intangibles: Ball State – The Cardinals have won the last three meetings.
Matchup To Watch
Gilbert vs. Miami (OH)’s rush defense
Something has to give. Miami is allowing fewer than four yards per carry, but Ball State is going to continue feeding Gilbert the ball to see if he can bust loose. If Gilbert goes off, this could be a victory for the Cardinals.
Spread: Miami (OH) -8
Over/Under: No line as of post
Miami (OH) vs. Ball State Prediction
It’ll be a low-scoring affair before Ragland throws his second touchdown pass of the game. The RedHawks hold Gilbert to fewer than 80 yards and pull out the victory.
Miami (OH) vs. Ball State final score prediction: Miami (OH) 17, Ball State 10