NIU-Ball State Preview: A Math Lesson

It's another Tuesday night game for Northern Illinois, and for some reason, playing on an odd day of the week has been good to the Huskies.

The offense has erupted. The defense... well, the defense has been good enough and then very good.

The Huskies are in first place in the West, and it looks like if they can just not repeat their games against Kansas and Central Michigan that another trip to the MAC Championship game is on the horizon. At least they know another bowl game is likely to be theirs.

So the game against Ball State is important only because it can't be a letdown.

And Huskies fans likely don't have to worry. Just look at the numbers.

109: That is the rank of the Ball State defense against the run this season. That is worse than Northern Illinois, who faced both Army and Cal Poly. That is worse than Akron.

33: The average number of points that Ball State has surrendered this year, almost putting them among the worst 20 teams in the FBS again.

41.6: The average number of points that Northern Illinois scores per game. Only one game so far this season has seen less than 40 points from the Huskies. Ball State won't be able to make that two.

0: The amount of punt return yardage by Huskies opponents all season. Not that Northern Illinois punts that often (just 3.7 punts per game), but Ball State should expect to "win" good field position should its defense hold at all.

111: Ranking of the Ball State defense against the pass. Chandler Harnish can throw the ball too.

4.5: Average yards per carry of Ball State's leading rusher, Jahwan Edwards

8: Average yards per carry for Harnish, Northern's top runner.

18: The line on this game, in Northern Illinois' favor. Tough one to call here. The Huskies will likely score in bunches though (O/U is 73.5) so take Northern, and watch the scoreboard explode.

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