Big Al's Daily Angle: NCAA Football Preview

by Alec McMordie

The Wednesday sports card features another three college football games in the Mid-American Conference.

Eastern Michigan travels to Ball State for a game starting at 7 PM ET. The Eagles lost their opening contest at Kent State by a 27-23 score as a 4.5-point underdog last Wednesday. Junior Preston Hutchinson completed 21 of 35 passes for 241 yards with two touchdown passes and two interceptions while adding another rushing touchdown. Eastern Michigan returned 11 starters from the team last year that finished 6-7 after a 34-30 loss to Pittsburgh in the Quick Lane Bowl. Head coach Chris Creighton is in his seventh season with the program.

The Cardinals lost by a 38-31 score last Wednesday at Miami (OH) as a 1-point favorite. Senior Drew Plitt completed 19 of 32 passes for 309 yards with a touchdown pass and an interception in the losing effort. Ball State has 14 starters back from its team that finished 5-7. Fifth-year head coach Mike Neu was given a two-year extension through 2023 after leading the Cardinals to their most victories since 2014.

Ball State is a 9-point favorite with the total set at 61.5 (all odds from BetAnySports). The CBS Sports Network has the broadcast.

Western Michigan hosts Toledo at 8 PM ET. The Broncos blew out Akron on the road last Wednesday by a 58-14 score as a 19.5-point favorite. Sophomore quarterback Kaleb Eleby completed 12 of 16 passes for 262 yards with three touchdown passes and no interceptions in leading his team to victory. Western Michigan has 11 starters back from the team that lost to Western Kentucky in the First Responder Bowl by a 23-20 score to settle with a 7-6 record. Head coach Tim Lester is back for his fourth season with the program. 

Toledo looks to builds off a 38-3 victory over Bowling Green last Wednesday as a 24-point favorite. Senior quarterback Eli Peters completed 20 of 32 passes for 214 yards with four touchdown passes and another 67 rushing yards on the ground. The Rockets have 14 starters back for head coach Jason Candle’s fifth season with the team from the group last year that did not get invited to a bowl game after a 6-6 season.

Western Michigan is a 3-point favorite with an over/under of 58.5. ESPN has the broadcast.

Central Michigan travels to Northern Illinois for a game starting at 8 PM ET. The Chippewas upset Ohio at home last Wednesday as a 2.5-point underdog by a 30-27 score. Redshirt freshman quarterback Daniel Richardson completed 23 of 41 passes for 243 yards with a touchdown pass in leading his team to victory. Central Michigan has 13 starters back in head coach Jim McElwain’s second year with the program. The Chippewas reached the Mid-American Conference championship game last year, where they lost to Miami (OH) by a 26-21 score. After their defeat to San Diego State by a 48-11 score in the New Mexico Bowl, Central Michigan settled with an 8-6 record. 

Northern Illinois comes off a 49-30 loss at home to Buffalo last Wednesday as a 14.5-point underdog. Sixth-year senior quarterback Ross Bowers completed 17 of 28 passes for 202 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the losing effort. Not only did the Bulls return that interception for a 65-yard touchdown, but their defense scored another two touchdowns from fumble recoveries. The Huskies have ten starters back from the team that finished with a 5-7 record in Thomas Hammock’s second year coaching the team. 

The Chippewas are 7.5-point road favorites with a total of 58.5. ESPNU has the broadcast.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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