Arkansas State Red Wolves vs Ball State Cardinals (-7, 65)
Game to be played at 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 opened -9 and is now -7. The total is up one point from the opening 63.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the mid-50s with a 23 percent chance of rain. Wind will blow across the field at 15 mph.
* Red Wolves are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Cardinals are 1-4 ATS in their last five neutral site games.
* Over is 4-0 in Red Wolves last four games overall.
* Over is 4-0 in Cardinals last four games overall.
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).