The Cardinals have one last game to straighten out their issues before Mid-American Conference play starts.

Ball State (2-1) closes out non-conference play with a road game at Western Kentucky (1-2, 0-1 Conference USA) 7 p.m. Saturday. The Cardinals are 2-1 all-time against the Hilltoppers, but the two teams haven’t faced off since 2008.

Ball State is coming off a 28-13 win over Tennessee Tech while Western Kentucky lost 23-22 to Louisiana Tech on a last-second field goal last week.

Colin Grylls, the Daily News football reporter, is covering the game and offered some insight on the key positional matchups:

Ball State secondary vs. Western Kentucky passing offense

Hilltoppers redshirt senior quarterback Mike White averages 242.7 passing yards per game and completes 67.0 percent of his passes. While he only has one passing touchdown, he’s also only thrown one interception in three games.

The Cardinals only allow 184.0 passing yards per game, but that number is slightly skewed by their first two games against Illinois and UAB, who both feature read-option offenses.

White’s game-management and accuracy should limit turnovers and test Ball State’s secondary — if he can stay upright.

Edge: Western Kentucky

Ball State defensive line vs. Western Kentucky offensive line

Ball State redshirt senior defensive end Anthony Winbush still leads the nation with 6.5 sacks. Overall, the Cardinals are tied for eighth in the Football Bowl Subdivision with 11.0 sacks.

Through three games, Western Kentucky lost 74 yards on 10 sacks.

Edge: Ball State

Ball State run game vs. Western Kentucky front seven

Ball State averages 186.3 yards per game on 4.4 yards per carry. Their three running backs — junior James Gilbert, sophomore Malik Dunner and freshman Caleb Huntley — all have more than 100 yards on the ground.

The Hilltoppers limit their opponents to 3.3 yards per carry, but all three of the Cardinals' running backs have runs longer than 45 yards this season.

Edge: Ball State

Ball State passing offense vs. Western Kentucky secondary

Cardinals junior quarterback Riley Neal averages 219.7 yards through the air and the Hilltoppers allow 244.3 passing yards per game.

With the running game behind him, Neal shouldn’t have to carry Ball State’s offense, and he’s thrown six touchdown passes.

The Cardinals’ tight ends also make the passing game difficult to defend in the red zone because the defense has to respect their blocking ability. Ball State tight ends have a touchdown in all three games so far this season.

Edge: Ball State

Final Prediction

It’ll be close.

A two-score game would be a bigger surprise than a Ball State upset even though Western Kentucky is favored by eight points according to ESPN.

But the Cardinals have a favorable matchup and are in a great position to pull off the upset.

Edge: Ball State