Ball State (1-1) will take on Eastern Kentucky (1-1) on Sept. 17 at Scheumann Stadium, the first meeting between the two schools since 1970.

The Cardinals are coming off a road loss against the Indiana Hoosiers, while the Colonels earned their first win of the season last week against the University of Pikesville. Eastern Kentucky leads the all-time series between the schools 3-0.

Jake Fox, the Daily News football writer, will cover the game Saturday and offered up some insight on the key positional matchups:

Ball State running backs vs. Eastern Kentucky rush defense

Ball State has stuck to a true running back by committee approach to start the season. Powerful sophomore James Gilbert leads the way, with fast and elusive junior scatback Darian Green changing the pace on passing downs.

The running game has carried the offense thus far, averaging 232.5 yards per game against Georgia State and Indiana. Eastern Kentucky is giving up 182 yards per game on the ground, including 261 yards to Purdue in Week 1.

The Cardinals’ versatility in the backfield — along with the emergence of true freshman Malik Dunner against Indiana — should provide another big rushing total this weekend.

EDGE: Ball State

Eastern Kentucky quarterbacks vs. Ball State pass defense

Through two games, Eastern Kentucky has played four different quarterbacks. The group is headlined by Missouri transfer Maty Mauk and Benny Coney, who is the lone passer without an interception.

Both Coney and Mauk missed the last game with injury, and Tyler Swafford started the game against the University of Pikesville. All three quarterbacks are listed as co-starters on the latest depth chart.

Ball State’s defense was burnt on a few big plays by Indiana but held the Hoosiers to 10 points in the second half. Look for the secondary to bounce back and take advantage of the Colonels’ uncertainty at QB.

EDGE: Ball State

Eastern Kentucky running game vs. Ball State linebackers

Of all the matchups in the game, this appears to be the closest one.

The Colonels have rushed almost twice as many times as they’ve passed this season, gaining 460 net yards on 102 carries through two games. Four different players have carried the ball more than 10 times, led by fifth-year senior Jared Sanders.

However, Eastern Kentucky only averaged 3.7 yards per rush against Purdue in a 45-24 loss. Ball State is only giving up 132 rushing yards per game, and defensive coordinator Tim Daoust is fired up about improving on last week’s performance.

EDGE: Ball State

Ball State wide receivers vs. Eastern Kentucky secondary

This is a big game for the Ball State receiving corps. KeVonn Mabon has been solid (13 catches, 153 yards), and Corey Lacanaria is next on the list with seven receptions.

Lacanaria is battling a shoulder ailment, and head coach Mike Neu said he is a “game-time decision" for this weekend. Jordan Hogue, Devin Reece and freshman Damon Hazelton Jr. are expected to see a lot of time against the Colonels regardless of Lacanaria’s status.

Eastern Kentucky’s pass defense was strong last week, but look for quarterback Riley Neal to spread the ball around and get his receivers involved early on Saturday.

EDGE: Ball State