Scheumann Stadium -- Muncie, IN
Ball State actually has a bit of momentum already. The Cardinals have won two of their last three. Of their last five contests, the only losses were one-score setbacks to Toledo (13-6) and Bowling Green (24-21).
Kent State, meanwhile, is riding a seven-game losing streak, with most of those losses coming by multiple scores.
Among the stories for this matchup is Ball State running back Marquez Cooper. He transferred to Muncie this season from Kent State. Cooper rushed for 2,813 yards over the past three seasons with the Golden Flashes to rank sixth in school history for total rushing yards. He rambled for over 100 yards 13 times in a Kent State uniform, including 168 yards and a touchdown in last year’s game vs. Ball State.
The Cardinals and Golden Flashes have met 30 times on the gridiron, with Ball State claiming 22 victories, including last year’s 27-20 road win.
KENT STATE (1-9, 0-6 MAC)
-- The Flashes nearly broke their current losing streak Nov. 8 but fell to rival Akron 31-27 when the Zips rallied for 21 unanswered fourth quarter points.
-- KSU is coming off a 49-19 home loss to Bowling Green. The Falcons, were up 28-6 at halftime, outgained Kent State 476-358 overall.
-- The Flashes netted just 74 yards rushing. Jaylen Thomas carried 18 times for 73 yards (4.1 ypc) and a TD).
-- Quarterback Tommy Ulatowski completed 23 of 40 attempts, good for 284 yards with one TD and one interception.
-- Top KSU receivers were Luke Floriea (9 catches, 95 yards) and Trell Harris (5 catches, 78 yards).
-- Nick Giacolone led the defense with 12 tackles and also forced a fumble.
-- Bryce Sheppert had a big day as well for the Flashes’ defense, he totaled seven stops and his tackle for loss stopped BG drive on fourth down...Sheppert added an interception later in the half, turning over the Falcons twice.
BALL STATE (3-7, 2-4 MAC)
-- After two weeks on the road, BSU finishes with two home games: Kent State this week and interdivision rival Miami Nov. 25.
-- The Cardinals are coming off a 20-17 road victory at Northern Illinois last week.
-- The Huskies and Cardinals were tied at intermission 10-10. After a scoreless third period, NIU took a 17-10 lead. However, Ball State responded with a 6-yard Kiael Kelly to Tanner Koziol touchdown pass to again tie the contest with 3:36 to play. NIU ran just two plays before Tyler Potts sacked NIU's quarterback. Kyron Mims recovered at the Huskies 41. Eight plays later, Jackson Courville kicked a game-winning field goal from 36 yards out.
-- Kelly completed 15 of 25 passes, good for 115 yards and one touchdown. Ahmad Edwards led BSU receivers with five catches totaling 32 yards.
-- Ball State's ground game provided 186 yards and a touchdown. Marquez Cooper led the way with 25 trips totaling 93 yards. Kelly ran 14 times for a total of 66 yards with one score.
-- Since Kelly was inserted as the starting quarterback for Week 3 of the MAC season against Toledo, Ball State is 2-2 while falling to only Toledo and Bowling Green by a combined 10 points.
-- Mikhari Sibblis (2) and Jordan Riley helped BSU claim a season-high three fumble recoveries at NIU.
-- The Cardinals have scored on 10 of 11 Red Zone opportunities the past three weeks with seven touchdowns and three field goals.