Ball State vs Kentucky Picks and Prediction – 9/2/2023

By: Eddie Kline |

Last Updated: 08/27/2023 at 10:24 PM ET

Ball State at Kentucky 09/02/23 - College Football Picks & Predictions
Game Start: 9/2/2023, 4:00 PM UTC
Latest Odds: KEN -26.5 (-5000); O/U 48.5

The Saturday college football schedule will kick off with a matchup between the Ball State Cardinals and the Kentucky Wildcats from Kroger Field. If you are not a fan of Ball State or Kentucky then check out all of our other great college football picks. The Cardinals (5-7) started off MAC Conference play with a 3-1 record, but ended on a three-game losing streak and finished with a second consecutive losing season. Ball State ranked fourth in the conference in total offense and averaged 23.3 points per game.

Well traveled QB Layne Hatcher arrived via the transfer portal and is expected to be the starter. Ball State lost bruising RB Carson Steele (1,556 yds) to UCLA. The Cardinals will look to replace that production with former Kent State RB Marquez Cooper.

The Kentucky Wildcats failed to live up to expectations last season with an offense that ranked last in the SEC Conference. The Wildcats (7-6) lost QB Will Levis to the NFL and their offensive struggles were exposed during a 21-0 loss versus Iowa in the Music City Bowl. Kentucky must improve an offensive line that ranked 126th out of 131 teams nationally in sacks allowed.

Head coach Mark Stoops landed former NC State QB Devin Leary in the transfer portal and he will work with returning OC Liam Coen, who spent last year calling plays for the Los Angeles Rams. On defense, 348-pound DT Deone Walker earned Freshman All-American honors and will anchor the line. 

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Ball State started last season with a 59-10 road loss against SEC Conference power Tennessee and will be overmatched here. Kentucky wants to get back to establishing a physical running game and will find plenty of success. Take the Wildcats to flex their muscle on defense and cover at home. Final Score Prediction, Kentucky Wildcats win 41-7.

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