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Nick’s Pick for the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg Bowl

> Nicks MAC Football picks - Follow @VandelaySports


Ball State (9-3, 6-2 MAC) vs. Central Florida (9-4, 7-1 C-USA)


Friday, December 21, 2012 • 7:30 pm ET • St. Petersburg, Fla. • Tropicana Field (28,453)

ESPN • Announcers: Dave Neal (play-by-play), Andre Ware (analyst), Desmond Howard (analyst), Cara Capuano (sideline reporter)


About Ball State:

  • Finished the regular season with a 9-3 overall record and a 6-2 mark in MAC action...The Cardinals three losses -- Clemson, Northern Illinois and Kent State -- are to teams that completed the regular season with a combined record of 33-5
  • The nine wins ties for the third most victories in a single season in school history and marks the most wins since 12 in 2008 and 10 in 1978...Ball State football teams also compiled nine wins in 1965, 1975 and 1977
  • Won six straight games, marking its first six game winning streak since 2008The Cardinals ended the regular season with wins in their final five MAC games and their final four road games
  • The Cardinals’ six Mid-American Conference wins in a single season are the most since their 8-0 campaign in 2008... It marks only the second time since 1996 the Cardinals have won at least six league games
  • Won four games this season with a game-winning score in the final two minutes or overtime...The Cardinals have won three games on their final possession
  • Ranks second in the MAC and 22nd in the nation in total offense (471.33)...The Cardinals are 23rd in rushing offense (214.25), 48th in passing offense (257.08) and 31st in scoring offense (35.00)

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About UCF:

  • Making its fifth bowl appearance in the last eight seasons & picked up their first bowl victory in a 10-6 win over Georgia in the 2010 AutoZone Liberty Bowl
  • This will be UCF’s second trip to the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl - the Knights dropped a 45-24 decision to Rutgers in 2009
  • UCF won the Conference USA East Division this year for the fourth time since joining the league in 2005
  • Currently averaging just 4.00 penalties per game, which is tied for the school record
  • Averaging 35-points per game led by QB Blake Bortles who threw for 2,787 yards, 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions…RB LaTavius Murray has powered the ground game with 1,035 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns though he failed to reach 100 yards in the last three games

> 2012 MAC Football Standings

> 2012 MAC Football Scores


Nick’s Pick: UCF 34 - Ball State 26

Comment: Neither team has much of a bowl history as UCF has only win bowl ever while Ball State has none. BSU’s defense is allowing 206-yards per game on the ground - near the bottom of the FBS & 217 through the air, which could prove fatal against the balanced UCF attack. If the game is really close, we like Ball State’s chances given their knack to win close games under Lembo. This game may not be that close in the 4th quarter.


























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