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Ball State will take on its third non-conference opponent this Saturday in more unfamiliar territory as the Ball State Cardinals take on the Wyoming Cowboys in Laramie, Wyoming.
Ball State faced Penn State in a 44-13 loss last Saturday putting a halt to their eight-game winning streak. The Cardinals will look to bounce back at the elevated Memorial Stadium that stands at 7,220 feet above sea level.
Last week’s loss to the Nittany Lions tied the Cardinals record 1-1 while Wyoming stands undefeated (2-0) after Saturday’s matchup against Northern Illinois (1-1).
The last time Ball State hit the gridiron against a Mountain West Division opponent was in the bowl game last season where they defeated San Jose State in the Arizona Bowl following the MAC Championship. The Wyoming Cowboys are no stranger to the Mid-American Conference having outscored them in the past three encounters.
With another new matchup for the Cardinals underway, this team hopes to advance on the mistakes of last week to create a different story in the kickoff against the Cowboys.
“The biggest thing is just finishing those drives,” Fifth-year Fullback Cody Rudy following the Penn State loss. “We get down into the red zone or close to the red zone, we gotta come out with touchdowns every time. Wyoming’s a good defense, they’re a good football team they played really well last week against Northern Illinois, so you know it’s gonna be a challenge, we just gotta come away with touchdowns however we can do that and kind of own the game in that way.”
After notching 50 points against Northern Illinois in week two, the Cowboys will look to continue to open up their passing game when they face the Cardinals in week two. Quarterback Sean Chambers set another career-high in passing yards throwing 13-23 finishing with 204 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Chambers has led this offense throwing 400 yards and three touchdowns leading them to 69 points over two games.
Redshirt sophomore Isaiah Neyor earned his keep scoring two receiving touchdowns with one rushing touchdown against the Huskies. Chambers will look to fifth-year senior Ayden Eberhardt who has played a key role on this offense averaging 60 receiving yards at the start of the season. Junior runningback Xazavian Valladay is another player that Ball States defense should be on the lookout for as he totals 178 yards, 40 carries, and two touchdowns already this season.
Against NIU the Cowboys were able to find offensive balance rushing for 191 yards and passing for 204 yards as well.
Wyoming must be prepared for this Cardinals defense with fifth-year seniors Brett Anderson and Bryce Cosby who combine for 21 tackles against Penn State last week.
The Cowboys were able to force three turnovers against the Huskies making way for a comeback win, along with Linebacker Chad Muma’s intercepted pass that lead to a pick six in the third against NIU.
Muma leads this Cowboys defense with 21 tackles so far (16 solo) and one sack. Wyomings secondary can pose as a challenge for Ball State’s offense with C.J Colden following behind Muma with 16 total tackles to start the season.
The Cardinals have struggled in their first two games when it comes to their passing game. Ball State currently averages 207 yards per game with quarterback Drew Plitt throwing for 364 passing yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions so far this season.
The Cardinals will face the Cowboys on Saturday at 4 p.m ET.