The Ball State Cardinals continue to impress this season as the team won a hard-fought 31-24 contest over the Toledo Rockets last Saturday. The victory brought their season record to 4-1 and the Cardinals will try to duplicate the outcome this week as the team takes to the road to face the (2-2 ) Virginia Cavaliers .
The Cardinals have one of the nation’s most lethal passing attacks in the country, averaging 335.8 passing yards per game. Quarterback Keith Wenning is the leader of the offense and is having a breakout season. Wenning has completed 64.1 percent of his passes for 1,650 yards with nine touchdowns and three interceptions.
Wenning has two standout wide receivers in Willie Snead and Jamil Smith. The Cardinals will be looking to test a Cavaliers secondary that is yielding 152.8 passing yards per game. The Cardinals cannot press the issue on Saturday and must take what the Virginia defense gives them in the passing game.
Their rushing attack will be critical to take the pressure off of the offensive line and be an important component for the play-action passing scheme. The Cardinals are 91st in the nation in rushing, averaging 136.6 yards per game.
Defensively, the Cardinals will need to stop the Cavaliers’ rushing attack. Virginia is 69th in the country, averaging 163.8 yards per game and has an underrated running back in Kevin Parks (4.1 yards per carry). Virginia has a methodical offense and prefers a ball-control attack. The Cavaliers are scoring 20.3 points per game, and have been held under 20 points in three of their four games this season.
The Cavaliers’ offense has struggled through the air and they are ranked 110th in the nation averaging 158.6 passing yards per game. Quarterback David Watford is showing growing pains in his first year as a starter, and is completing 59.3 percent of his passes with three touchdowns and six interceptions.
The Ball State Cardinals are giving up 24 points per game and have been very opportunistic on defense with a +2 in turnover margin. Virginia has struggled with turnovers on the year and is a -4 in turnover margin.