Georgia St. vs

Ball St.

at Montgomery
Sat, Dec 25
11:30 AM Pacific
Rotation: 231
Odds: Ball St. +6, Total: 53.5

Game Analysis

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Strong Opinion – Ball State (+6)  23   Georgia State  26

Lean – Under (53)

Georgia State is getting a lot of love, as this line has moved from 3.5 to 6 points. However, I don’t think the move is justified. Georgia State is certainly better now than they were early in the season with Cornelius Brown behind center and before Jamyest Williams starting to get double-digit carries. Darren Grainger was an upgrade at quarterback while Williams and Tucker Gregg combined for 1709 rushing yards at 5.8 ypr while replacing Coates and Carroll, who combined for just 3.8 ypr on their 78 runs.

The Georgia State offense was 0.8 yards per play worse than average for the season and they’re still 0.5 yppl worse than average even with the improvements to the offense. The rushing attack is good (0.3 yards per rushing play better than average), as Grainger adds to what Gregg and Williams are doing, but Grainger is 1.3 yards per pass play worse than average. Ball State defends the run relatively well, yielding just 4.7 yprp to teams that would combine to average 4.8 yprp against an average FBS team (which is really good for a MAC team) and Grainger isn’t likely to take full advantage of a Cardinals’ pass defense that is 0.9 yppp worse than average (which is better than Grainger’s rating). I project 408 yards at 5.5 yppl for the Panthers.

Ball State is offensively challenged, as veteran quarterback Drew Plitt had a down season and the Cardinals averaged just 5.1 yppl against a slate of opponents that would combine to allow 6.3 yppl to an average team. Ball State won’t be able to run the ball, as I project just 3.7 yprp against a good Georgia State run defense that is 0.6 yprp better than average. However, the Panthers are 1.2 yards per pass play worse than average when factoring in the quarterbacks that they faced (the beat Coastal Carolina without McCall and his backups are horrible). Ball State WR Justin Hall is not dressed for the game. Hall is the Cardinals’ best overall offensive weapon, as he is the team’s leading receiver, has 255 rushing yards at 6.9 ypr, and averaged 34.6 yards per kickoff return and 12 yards per punt return. Overall, Hall’s value is 2.2 points. I still project Plitt at only 5.7 yppp and for Ball State to gain just 344 yards at 4.7 yppl.

Ball State’s huge advantage, and the reason that they’re 6-6 and only outscored by 2.1 points per game despite being outgained by 79 per game, is their special teams. Ball State is +6.5 in net punt average and +2.4 in net kickoff average while Georgia State is -4.6 yards in net punting and -0.9 yards on kickoff differential. Not having Hall hurts the Ball State special teams a bit, but they still have a solid advantage in that area. Those yards add up and mean more in lower scoring games, as this one should be. My math model only favors Georgia State by 3.6 points and the Panthers apply to a 32-72-1 ATS bowl situation that applies to teams on a spread win streak. Ball State, meanwhile, applies to a 52-22 ATS situation that plays on teams that had to win their final regular season game to earn the right to play in a bowl. Such teams tend to savor the bowl experience more and are 2-0 ATS so far this season with Middle Tennessee upsetting Toledo and Tulsa covering against Old Dominion in a 13-point win. That situation is 15-2 ATS if the opposing team is a on a straight up and spread win streak and the line move backing the hot Georgia State team is a gift in my opinion.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Georgia St.
  • Ball St.


  • Run Plays 42.9 37.7
  • Run Yards 234.8 168.3
  • YPRP 5.5 4.5


  • Pass Comp 13.5 19.6
  • Pass Att 24.2 32.8
  • Comp % 55.9% 59.8%
  • Pass Yards 153.6 259.8
  • Sacks 2.0 2.7
  • Sack Yards 10.3 16.8
  • Sack % 7.6% 7.5%
  • Pass Plays 26.2 35.4
  • Net Pass Yards 143.3 243.0
  • YPPP 5.5 6.9


  • Total Plays 69.1 73.1
  • Total Yards 378.2 411.3
  • YPPL 5.5 5.6


  • Int 0.7 0.8
  • Int % 2.8% 2.5%
  • Fumbles 0.6 0.8
  • Turnovers 1.3 1.6
  • Points 26.3 27.7
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