Western Kentucky at Ball State
Time: 2 PM CT
Spread: BALL -2.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
Ball State is 1-2 after suffering consecutive losses to Notre Dame and Indiana following its Week 1 win over Central Connecticut. The Cardinals now host in-state rival Western Kentucky as 2.5-point favorites in Week 4, with an over/under set at 54 points according to college football oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes. The game will be at 2 PM (CT) and is not nationally televised.
Ball State lost badly to rival Indiana last week, falling 38-10. Starting quarterback Riley Neal struggled in throwing 12 of 24 for completion for a mere 115 passing yards, while the Ball State Cardinals did generate 204 yards on the ground. James Gilbert paced the backfield attack with 89 yards on 16 carries and the lone Ball State Touchdown.
Neal rushed for another 35 yards on 10 carries, but Ball State gave up 457 total yards to Indiana and allowed Peyton Ramsey to complete 20 of 27 passes while Stevie Scott had a 100-plus rushing yard game on the Cardinals’ defense.
Neal is 58 of 104 passing on the year with just a 5.33 yard per attempt average, and he has two interceptions to his three touchdowns. Gilbert has been consistent with 5.3 yards-per-carry on his 49 attempts this season, and he leads the team with two rushing TDs. Riley Miller, Corey Lacanaria and Justin Hill all have caught for 100-plus yards through three games. None of this will matter, of course, with Ball State’s defense being so porous.
The Cardinals have surrendered 31 points per game over the past two weeks while managing to average just 13 offensively. With its soft schedule that might still be enough to eke out a few wins, but Ball State will need to take advantage of being favored here in Week 4.
Western Kentucky is 0-3 after falling to Wisconsin in Week 1, Maine in Week 2, and a 20-17 loss to Louisville last week in Week 3. The Hilltoppers were defeated as Dae Williams rushed for a pair of 1-yard TDs in the fourth quarter. Louisville out-scored WKU 14-3 in the game’s final quarter, mostly erasing an otherwise strong defensive game from the Hilltoppers.
Davis Shanley threw 22 of 33 for 240 yards with a touchdown, and D’Andre Ferby rushed for 74 yards on 16 carries. Shanley rushed for another eight yards, including the lone rushing TD for the Hilltoppers. Wide receivers Quin Jerighan and Lucky Jackson each caught four passes for 66 and 56 receiving yards, respectively. Malik Cunningham was simply too much for WKU, as Louisville’s QB threw for 88 yards and rushed for 129 (6.1 yards-per-carry).
Western Kentucky will need to do a much better job with a far less talented QB this week as it faces Neal.