Under The Hood: Ball State

We're resurrecting the "Under the Hood" format we used last season to take a look at Nebraska's opponents throughout the 2007 season. It's early in the season, most teams are still playing non-conference schedules, and looking at stats this time of season probably won't tell us a damned thing, but that shouldn't prevent us from having a little fun, eh?
Ball State's record on the season is 2-1 with two wins on the road.

Here's the Cardinals' 2007 schedule to date:

Miami (Ohio) L - 13-14
@Eastern Michigan W - 38-16
@Navy W - 34-31

Average margin of victory in their two wins - 20.5 points.
Average margin of victory in losses....1
Sagarin's ratings for the two teams?
- Ball State is at 78, with a schedule ranking of 109th.
- Nebraska is at 18th, with a schedule ranking of 17th.

What about Ball State's performance statistically? Below are tables of Ball State's season totals so far, with national rank in parentheses.

Ball State By The Numbers: Offense
Rush YPG Rush YPC Rush TD Pass YPG Pass YPA Pass TD QB Rating Total Offense Scoring Offense
185 (40)
4.70 (36)
2 (93)
260.3 (40)
7.2 (40)
8 (21)
136.11 (35)
445.3 (31)
28.3 (49)
Nebraska By The Numbers: Offense
Rush YPG Rush YPC Rush TD Pass YPG Pass YPA Pass TD QB Rating Total Offense Scoring Offense
186.33 (38)
4.23 (53)
9 (17)
286.3 (26)
7.1 (45)
4 (60)
124.26 (58)
472.7 (23)
34.3 (31)

The two are remarkably similar if all you are looking at are the offensive statistics. The most glaring difference is that the Cornhuskers have scored most of their points on the ground with the Cardinals scoring their TD's in the air.


Ball State By The Numbers: Defense
Rush YPG Rush YPA Rush TD Pass YPG Pass YPA Pass TD Total Defense Scoring Defense
268.67 (115)
6.15 (117)
6 (101)
112.3 (4)
5.8 (31)
1 (5)
381.0 (74)
20.3 (44)
Nebraska By The Numbers: Defense
Rush YPG Rush YPA Rush TD Pass YPG Pass YPA Pass TD Total Defense Scoring Defense
208.67 (99)
5.44 (105)
7 (102)
130.7 (13)
4.8 (12)
2 (18)
339.3 (45)
25.3 (68)

Again, very similar. Obviously the teams match up very well, right?


Moving on to a simple comparison of opponents, we find.....

Nebraska-Ball State Opponents' Positional Ranks
Total Offense Rank Nebraska Opponent Total Defense Rank -- Total Offense Rank Ball State Opponent Total Defense Rank
39
Nevada
89
--
59
Miami (Ohio)
99
94
Wake Forest
64
--
109
Eastern Michigan
71
33
USC
41
--
34
Navy
93

- Ball State's offense is ranked above USC at this point (33rd versus 31st for Ball State overall).
- Looking at Ball State's opponents you see why. The Cardinals are playing some teams with pretty poor defensive rankings. The same is true for a lot of teams (like Kansas, ranked 7th in overall offense). They haven't played good teams.
- I was surprised to see Wake Forest ranked 94th offensively because they did a decent job of running the ball against us. I hope this isn't a bad sign for the rest of the season.
- Ball State has the fourth ranked passing defense in the nation. The teams they've played are 33rd, 105th, and 119th in passing offense.
- Anything else standing out that I've missed?

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