Ball State on the defensive

Central Florida has a clear matchup edge in the Beef 'O'Brady's Bowl

Updated: December 20, 2012, 8:12 AM ET
By Brent Sobleski | ESPN Insider

Motivation is a factor often mentioned when it comes to bowl games -- we often hear performances explained by how excited or disappointed a team is to be there -- but matchups matter plenty, too. And Friday's Beef 'O'Brady's Bowl features one particular matchup that heavily favors Central Florida over Ball State.

The largest determining factor will be Central Florida's offense versus Ball State's defense. The Cardinals' defensive unit currently ranks 104th in the nation, allowing a whopping 460 yards per game, and Central Florida certainly presents matchup problems in both the run and passing games.