The NC State Wolfpack will host the Ball State Cardinals in non-conference week four action Saturday night from Carter-Finley Stadium. The Cardinals dropped a 41-31 home decision to FAU in their week three action, and the Wolfpack fell to 2-1 on the season with a rough 44-27 road loss against West Virginia last week. There are no previous meetings between these two schools.
Ball State Defense Falters in Loss to FAU
The Ball State Cardinals enter their first road game of the season on a losing note. The Cardinals were poor defensively in a 41-31 home loss to FAU in a game that had the Cardinals as 2.5 point favorites. The Cardinals passing game has been a bright spot led by QB Drew Plitt who accumulated 303 yards and three TD’s last week. The junior QB is having an outstanding season, logging 1040 passing yards with an 11:3 TD to INT ratio. Leading rusher Caleb Huntley rushed for 86 yards last week, and the junior RB has amassed 231 rushing yards on an average of 4.7 yards per attempt. He will be challenged by a stellar rush defense in this one.
Look out for Riley Miller in this game. The senior wideout has recorded 236 receiving yards in three games, after bringing in 878 receiving yards in 2018. The Cardinals will likely lean on their potent passing game especially considering the fact NC State features a terrific rush defense.
🚨 Week 3 Top Plays 🚨
5️⃣: @BallStateFB with the #ScoopNScore
4️⃣: @Nathan_Rourke keeps it himself for 6️⃣
3️⃣: TIP DRILL! For BGSU's @Perce_5
2️⃣: @WMU___2 runs wild
1️⃣: EMU's @c_ryland38 kick seals B1G win#MACtion pic.twitter.com/8A8GF3TG3v
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The Ball State defense was exploited in the air by FAU last week, surrendering 366 passing yards. They now rank down at 120th against the pass and 57th against the run. The Cardinals lost 34-24 to Indiana in week one. Ball State has averaged 37.3 points in two games, positioning them 35th in the FBS, while allowing an average of 34.7 points, pegging them 11th overall.
NC State Stunned by West Virginia
The NC State Wolfpack enter their non-conference finale hungry for a win. They were handed a 44-27 road loss to West Virginia last week in a game that had the Wolfpack labeled as seven-point favorites. The Wolfpack cruised to two easy wins against East Carolina and West Carolina in their first two games. QB Matthew McKay had a rough afternoon in the defeat to WVU, completing only 18 of 38 passes for 207 yards with one TD. The sophomore QB has tallied one touchdown pass in each of his three games, and he has registered 715 passing yards with a 3:0 TD to INT ratio in his first year as the starting QB.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 14, 2019
Zonovan Knight is dangerous on the ground, averaging six yards per attempt for a combined 233 rushing yards in three games. The freshman RB rushed for 72 yards last week. The Wolfpack feature four receivers with at least 100 receiving yards through three games. Emeka Emezie has recorded a team-leading 205 receiving yards after posting 616 yards in 2018. NC State has a different look with a new QB and #1 RB this season, and so far they have fared well.
The Wolfpack defense was an issue last week after an outstanding effort in week one and two. Their rush defense has especially been a strength, ranking 12th in the FBS, while their pass defense is at 54th. NC State is averaging 34 points through three games, placing them 50th in the country. They have conceded an average of only 16.7 points, good for 35th overall.
The Ball State Cardinals are:
- 2-8 ATS in their last 10 road games.
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games.
- 4-12 ATS in their last 16 games following a straight up loss.
The NC State Wolfpack are:
- 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games against a team with a losing road record.