The possibility of opening the season 5-0 is very realistic for the Ball State Cardinals. After last week’s convincing 40-14 victory over the Army Cadets, Ball State is in a position to run the table over the next three games. The team is averaging 45.5 points per game and is finding its rhythm as the season progresses. This week’s matchup with the North Texas Mean Green figures to be a tough battle, however, the Cardinals seemed poised for the challenge.
Ball State’s offense is averaging 332.5 passing yards per game. The Cardinals senior quarterback Keith Wenning has shown leadership and big play ability over the first two games. Wenning has completed 65.3% of his passes for 665 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. Junior wide receiver Willie Snead is on a blistering pace to start the season. Snead has caught 14 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns. The Cardinals will look to exploit a very tough Mean Green defense on Saturday. North Texas is giving up only 16.5 points per game and is allowing 234 passing yards per game.
The Cardinals will need the running game to balance out their offense. Ball State has struggled early on this season in carrying the rock. The Cardinals have averaged 97.5 rushing yards per game and sophomore Horactio Banks leads the team with only 97 rushing yards through two games. Ball State will need to get some yards through the middle off the North Texas defense. This will soften up the pass coverage and allow Wenning and company to throw over the top of the defense.
Ball State must contain a very potent North Texas passing attack. The Mean Green have averaged 299.5 passing yards per game and have a big play wide receiver in Darnell Smith. Smith has 13 receptions for 168 yards and 1 touchdown this season. Senior quarterback Derek Thompson is very accurate completing 75% of his passes for 544 yards with 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. In order for Ball State to record victory No. 3 this season, they will need to continue to be opportunistic on the defensive side of the football. Over their last two victories, the Cardinals are a +4 in turnover margin.
Game time is set for 4:00 pm at North Texas.