College Football
Preview
Arkansas State vs Ball State
When: 9:00 PM ET, Sunday, January 5, 2014
Where: Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama

GODADDY BOWL STORYLINES

1. John Thompson must feel like it’s Groundhog Day in Mobile, Ala. For the second consecutive season, Arkansas State’s defensive coordinator is also serving as interim head coach for the GoDaddy Bowl against Ball State on Jan. 4, this time after Bryan Harsin bolted for Boise State when that job opened up earlier this month. Last season he guided Arkansas State to a 17-13 win over Kent State after Gus Malzahn was hired at Auburn.

2. Expect plenty of offense in this matchup as Ball State comes in averaging 40.1 points with no less than 27 in every game this season. Arkansas State put up 29.7 points during the regular season, averaging more than 200 rushing yards per game.

3. Cardinals quarterback Keith Wenning is No. 5 in the nation with 3,933 passing yards this season and has the luxury of two 1,000-yard receivers in Willie Snead and Jordan Williams. Wenning will not only be trying to lead Ball State to its first Division I bowl victory in seven tries, but it will be a good opportunity to showcase his arm to NFL scouts as well.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Ball State -8.5

ABOUT ARKANSAS STATE (7-5, 5-2 Sun Belt): Adam Kennedy’s decision to transfer from Utah State after last season and finish out his college career at Arkansas State has turned out to be a good one for everyone involved. Kennedy completed 69.4 percent of his passes for 2,349 yards and 11 touchdowns during the regular season, getting intercepted six times along the way but just twice in the last six games. He gives the Red Wolves another option in the run game as well, rushing for 514 yards and four touchdowns.

ABOUT BALL STATE (10-2, 7-1 Mid-American): Almost buried beneath a 4,000-yard passer and the pair of 1,000-yard receivers is running back Jahwan Edwards, who is 36 yards from reaching 1,000 for the second straight season. Edwards has a nose for the end zone, evident by his 38 career rushing touchdowns and is a reliable receiver out of the backfield when needed. Horactio Banks did a good job spelling Edwards but suffered a torn ACL in mid-November, leaving backup duties to freshman Teddy Williamson, who totaled 80 yards and a touchdown in the regular-season finale against Miami (Ohio).

PREDICTION: Ball State 45, Arkansas State 38
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Arkansas State 7-5 L1 29.7 26.7 5-1 2-4 1-1 0-0 5-2
Ball State 10-2 W1 40.1 24.8 6-0 4-2 1-0 0-0 7-1
Last Meeting
Arkansas State Ball State
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
No previous meeting.
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Arkansas State N/A
Ball State N/A
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Arkansas State N/A
Ball State N/A
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Arkansas State N/A
Ball State N/A
Touchdowns Player TD
Arkansas State N/A
Ball State N/A
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Arkansas State A. Kennedy 69.3 2327 11 6
Ball State K. Wenning 65.2 3933 34 6
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Arkansas State M. Gordon 106 717 6.8 10
Ball State J. Edwards 184 964 5.2 13
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Arkansas State J. Jones 51 630 12.4 4
Ball State W. Snead 97 1429 14.7 14
Touchdowns Player TD
Arkansas State M. Gordon 11
Ball State W. Snead 14
Quickchart Matchup
Arkansas State Off vs  Ball State Def
413.3 yards
420.8 yards
4.6 yards/rush
4.7 yards/rush
7.3 yards/attempt
6.7 yards/attempt
Ball State Off vs  Arkansas State Def
486.3 yards
418 yards
4.5 yards/rush
4.8 yards/rush
8.6 yards/attempt
7.2 yards/attempt