GoDaddy Bowl Preview

Willie Snead and the Cardinals look to beat Arkansas State on Sunday. Photo Courtesy: Sandy McAnally
Willie Snead and the Cardinals look to beat Arkansas State on Sunday. Photo Courtesy: Sandy McAnally

By Frank LaCosta

Game Info
Arkansas State Red Wolves vs Ball State Cardinals
Sunday – January 5 – 8:00 PM
Ladd-Peebles Stadium – Mobile

Arkansas State comes into this bowl for its third consecutive GoDaddy Bowl appearance. In other word, the team and its fans are quite familiar with the confines of Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Even though this game is technically on neutral ground the Red Wolves in a sense might feel that they have a “home field” advantage. Ball State on the other hand has already accrued 10 wins for the season and are looking for a win to complete to a nice season.

Arkansas State Red Wolves
Arkansas State, for the third straight season will be without the head coach that helped guide them here. In 2011 it was Hugh Freeze who left for Ole Miss, last season coach Gus Malzahn left for Auburn and this season is no different with Bryan Harsin departing for his alma mater Boise State. Adam Kennedy is the man under center who put up decent numbers by passing for 2,349 yards through the air with 11 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He is steady and efficient with his arm. Look for sophomore Michael Gordon to take the rock for the ground game. Gordon is averaging 6.8 yards per rush and will likely catch a couple of passes in this one. Julian Jones is the targeted wide out has has lots of speeds once the reception has been made. The Red Wolves do not make many turnovers on offense and this should be a huge benefit for this bowl game.

Ball State Cardinals
The Cardinals will rely on the leadership of Keith Winning (awesome last name) to guide them to victory. The senior quarterback holds the record for all-time passing yards for the school. He isn’t a dual threat type and will sit in the pocket to pick apart of the Red Wolves defense. You can pretty much be he’ll put up at least 300 yards passing in this game. The ground game belongs to Jahwan Edwards. He nearly broke 1,000 yards this season and is very workmanlike in his efforts. Junior Willie Snead leads the team in receiving with 97 receptions, 1,429 yards and 14 touchdowns. Snead will be the difference maker on offense. The offense is potent and will look to exploit the Red Wolves whenever possible. The defense is a steady group and will keep them in the mix. If there’s a turnover to be made, this unit will pounce it. They are one of the best in the country in doing so.

Prediction: Ball State will take charge and win convincingly. Ball State 31 – Arkansas State 20