Ball State vs. FAU prediction and game preview. Find out who is projected to win when the Cardinals face the Owls in Florida.
Ball State vs. FAU Game Preview
When: Saturday, Sept. 24 – 6 p.m. ET
Where: FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, Fla.
TV Broadcast: N/A
Riley Neal had an up-and-down first two games but comes into this contest looking to build on a solid effort. Neal finished 28 of 39 for 238 yards and two touchdowns while adding one on the ground in last week’s 41-14 win over Eastern Kentucky. That’s a positive sign considering FAU’s defense allowed 336 yards through the air last week.
The Owls were crushed, 63-7, at Kansas State, and although the defense had its troubles, the offense didn’t help it out much. Jason Driskell committed all four turnovers, tossing two interceptions and losing two of his three fumbles. FAU’s lone score came when it was already trailing 49-0. This game should be tighter.
What To Know About Ball State
Coach Mike Neu was pleased with Neal’s progress after the sophomore seemed to lack confidence at times in the first two games. It helped that the running game was working as the Cardinals rushed for 193 yards, including 44 from Neal. The offensive line will need another solid performance against the Owls to keep the pressure off Neal as he continues to grow.
What to Know About FAU
It can only get better from here for Driskell. His turnovers gave the Wildcats shorter fields and put the defense in poor positions. The 10 penalties didn’t help, and the running game failed to reach the 100-yard mark for the second straight game. That doesn’t bode well going up against a Ball State defense that gave up just three yards on the ground last week.
Offense: Ball State – Neal is coming along and the ground attack is better than FAU’s.
Defense: Ball State – The Owls have allowed at least 470 yards in each of their three games.
Special Teams: Ball State – Morgan Hagee has hit 2 of 3 field goal attempts from beyond 40 yards.
Coaching: Even – Both Neu and Charlie Partridge are trying to turn their programs around.
Intangibles: FAU – This game should be tight, so having it at home could help.
Matchup To Watch
Neal vs. FAU’s defense
Kansas State had success throwing last week against FAU, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Neal use his dual-threat abilities to confuse the Owls at times.
Spread: Ball State -3 1/2
Ball State vs. FAU Prediction
FAU takes an early lead, but Ball State bounces back behind Neal’s three total touchdowns as the Cardinals leave Florida with a win.
Ball State vs. FAU Score Prediction: Ball State 27, FAU 21