A MAC team and a Mountain West team will face off against each other on Thursday in the Arizona Bowl as the Ball State Cardinals travel to Arizona Stadium to take on the San Jose State Spartans. Ball State enters this game with a 6-1 record after beating Buffalo by ten points in its last game while San Jose State enters this game with a 7-0 record after beating Boise State by 14 points in its last game. This game will start at 2:00 P.M. EST.
(Late line movements and injury reports were updated on Wednesday evening.)
The line has moved in favor of the home team for this contest as the week has gone on. San Jose State opened as a seven-point favorite when the lines came out and, as of Wednesday evening, the Spartans now stand as a nine or a 9.5-point favorite at the majority of sportsbooks for this contest. 73 percent of the bets ATS are backing the Spartans giving the points as they look to earn the victory in the Arizona Bowl.
The total for this contest has moved bumped up slightly during this week. After opening at 62 points, the total has bumped up to 63, 63.5 or 64 points, depending on your sportsbook of choice. A solid majority, 66 percent, of the bets on the total are expecting this contest to end up going over the mark.
Game-time Weather: It’s going to be pleasant afternoon in the Valley of the Sun to close out 2020. Temperatures at kickoff are expected to be in the high-50s with mostly sunny skies and the real-feel temperature in the low-60s. There is no chance of precipitation in the forecast during the contest. The mercury will climb to near 60 degrees during the game. Winds are from the south at six miles an hour with the wind gusts kicking up to eight miles an hour.
Ball State Looks To Extend Its Winning StreakThe Ball State Cardinals have been on fire ever since they lost the season opener as they have won each of their last six games including a ten-point victory against the Buffalo Bulls in the conference title game. In that game, Ball State's offense was great as it scored 38 points while recording 22 first downs. Leading the offense was senior quarterback Drew Plitt who had four total touchdowns along with 273 passing yards. Now, the Cardinals will be looking to extend their winning streak to seven games on Thursday while also hoping to win the first bowl game in program history.
Ball State's offense has been very good this season as it currently ranks 26th in the nation with 34.3 points per game. In addition, the Cardinals are averaging 276.7 passing yards per game which ranks 27th in the nation as they have been able to move the ball with ease through the air on a regular basis.
Leading up to this bowl game, Ball State coach Mike Neu commented about how grateful his team is for having the opportunity to continue playing.
"Our team has worked so hard and persevered through so much to become champions and to earn the chance to play on a stage like this. We are thankful to CBS, the Arizona Bowl and the MAC for their work in making this game happen despite the obstacles of this year. It's a tremendous opportunity for this special group to continue an amazing ride, and we can't wait to play in Tucson."
Ball State Injury Report:
OUT: RB Caleb Huntley, WR Qian Magwood, OL Luke Martin, OL Kevin Meeder
Spartans Look To Finish The Season With An Undefeated RecordThe San Jose State Spartans have been the Cinderella story of the college football season as they managed to win the Mountain West conference despite being massive longshots before the season started. San Jose State enters this game having won each of its first seven games including a 14-point victory against Boise State in the Mountain West title game. In that game, San Jose State's defense looked sharp as it only allowed 20 points while holding the opposition to just 224 total yards of offense. Now, the Spartans will be able to finish the season with an undefeated record if they are able to win this bowl game on Thursday.
Leading the Spartans offensively is senior quarterback Nick Starkel who has 16 passing touchdowns and just four interceptions this season. In addition, he is completing 65.1% of his passes up to this point as he has showcased tremendous accuracy on a regular basis.
San Jose State's defense has been amazing so far this season as ranks 13th in the nation with just 17.86 points allowed per game. In addition, San Jose State ranks 16th in the nation with just 111.0 rushing yards allowed per game as the Spartans have dominated the line of scrimmage all season long.
Following the victory against Boise State, San Jose State coach Brent Brennan could not stop praising his team's defense.
“Our defense was lights out. I can’t get over our defense. I couldn’t be more proud of this football team."
San Jose State Injury Report:
OUT: DL Kyane Schmidt
- Spartans are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games in December.
- Spartans are 8-1-2 ATS last 11 after a SU win.
- Spartans are 13-3-2 ATS last 18 after an ATS win.
- Spartans are 4-1 ATS last 5 neutral site games.
These trends are from Covers.com:
- Cardinals are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Bowl games.