UCF vs. Ball State Bowl Game Picks for Beef O’Brady’s Bowl 12/21

Last Updated: December 20th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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Beef O'Brady's BowlThe X’s and O’s of the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl predictions aren’t shared by many expert handicappers, but here at Bankroll Sports, we are giving up all of our insight and telling you all of the keys to the game for the UCF Knights vs. Ball State Cardinals. The Beef O’Brady’s Bowl picks are some of the hardest to make this year of all of the bowl games, so don’t miss out on all of our UCF vs. Ball State predictions!

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2012 Beef O’Brady’s Bowl: UCF Knights vs. Ball State Cardinals
2012 Beef O’Brady’s Bowl Location: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
2012 Beef O’Brady’s Bowl Date/Time: Friday, December 21st, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
2012 Beef O’Brady’s Bowl On TV: ESPN, Watch ESPN

Key #1: Blake Bortles has to keep control of the football
The Knights only turned the ball over a grand total of 15 times this year, and just seven came off of the arm of Bortles. Keeping those picks down has been key for UCF to stay in games and to win them. It has been over five games since the last time Bortles threw an interception, and he is going to be determined to keep that up here in the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl. Ball State only picked off seven passes and forced seven fumbles this year, making it one of the worst teams in the nation in forced turnovers, lower than some of the worst teams in the land. It’s not that the Knights are going to win this game if they don’t turn the ball over, but if they do turn it over more than once, perhaps twice, they almost certainly have no chance whatsoever to win the game, as the team preaches playing good defense and running the football. This is a club that isn’t afraid to punt, and it has to take advantage of that by not turning it over.

Beef O’Brady’s Bowl Odds at BetRevolution Sportsbook
UCF Knights -7
Ball State Cardinals +7
Over/Under 61.5
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Key #2: Keith Wenning has to stay away from AJ Bouye
Wenning threw 10 picks this year for the Cardinals, but he still threw 22 TDs and has two great wide receivers in WR Willie Snead and WR Jamill Smith. The two men have combined for 151 receptions, 1,776 yards, and 13 TDs this year, and both can light up the Knights for sure if given the chance. However, Wenning has to be smart with the football. UCF’s best DB is Conference USA second team All-Conference DB AJ Bouye, who is one of the three players in the history of the school to return both a pick and a fumble for a touchdown in the same season. Bouye is probably the best player in this secondary, and he is one of the ones that might hear his name called in the NFL Draft come April. He can’t cover both Snead and Smith though, and Wenning has to be smart and figure out how to keep the ball away from the crafty senior, because disastrous things have been proven to potentially happen when push comes to shove when the ball comes his way.

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Key #3: Jahwan Edwards has to poke some holes in the UCF defense
Part of the key to keeping the ball away from Bouye and those Knights’ defenders is going to be getting the ball going with the run. We know that RB Jahwan Edwards can run the ball and bust some big ones, as he averaged 6.1 yards per carry this year and had 14 trips to the end zone. But can the sophomore stay consistent? That’s the real question here, knowing that he has had four games this year with less than 80 yards and three with more than 140 yards. Edwards also had six games this year where he averaged over 6.0 yards per carry, but he also had four games in which he averaged less than 5.0 yards per carry as well. If Edwards doesn’t get up to that 5.0 yards per carry mark against a defense that ranked 64th in the nation against the rush, it is going to be a long day for Wenning and this passing attack in the teeth of a ferocious pass rush.

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Posted in College Football - Last Updated on Thursday, December 20th, 2012 @ 12:58 am (EST)
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