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Ball State Cardinals vs. Army Black Knights Free Pick - 9/7/13

Army Black Knights (1-0) at Ball State Cardinals (1-0)

NCAAF Football: Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm (Scheumann Stadium)

The Line: Ball State Cardinals -7 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN3.com

The Army Black Knights take their option on the road to face the Ball State Cardinals.

Army's motto has always been to keep things simple and that is exactly what they did in a 28-12 decision over Morgan State in week one. Keeping it simple means employing their option attack and grinding away on the ground and it was mission accomplished. Once the Black Knights took a 21-6 lead in to the break we knew the Bears couldn't stop the option and were going to get a big dose of it over the final 30 minutes. True to form, the ground attack piled up 295 yards with Angel Santiago totaling 120 yards with three scores, while Larry Dixon added 107 yards. Santiago even put the ball in the air eight times, with four completions for 101 yards and a touchdown, which is prolific for a team that hates the pass. The Army defense held up their end of the bargain by holding Morgan State to 301 yards and limiting their run first attack to 3.6 yards per attempt.

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Ball State Cardinals vs. Army Black Knights Free Pick - 9/7/13

Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Ball State learned a lesson right out of the gate, it's not how you start, but how you finish. The Cardinals trailed sub division Illinois State 21-9 in the second quarter before their defense tightened up and the offense broke loose in a 51-28 decision over the Redbirds with a 35-7 second half burst sealing the deal. The Cardinals piled up 420 yards in a one dimensional air attack that featured a big day under center from Keith Wenning, who threw for 340 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions. The run was a concern, with only 80 yards on 32 carries because they tried to do something on the ground and were generally stuffed. The BSU defense came to life after the half and allowed 356 yards overall, with the most damage occurring in the opening two quarters.

I am still trying to figure Ball State out because beating Illinois State told me nothing. My thinking is the Cardinals get their act together against Army, but facing their option is a definite worry.

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