For the second year in a row, Ball State football hosts a Football Championship Subdivision team on Family Weekend.

Saturday’s 3 p.m. game at Scheumann Stadium is the first-ever meeting between Ball State (1-1) and Tennessee Tech (0-2). The Cardinals, however, are 3-1 in their last four games against FCS teams, including a 41-14 win in last season’s family weekend matchup with Eastern Kentucky.

Ball State is coming off a 51-31 win over the UAB Blazers (1-1), while Tennessee Tech lost 27-14 against Kennesaw State in its last game.

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

Ball State running backs vs. Tennessee Tech front seven

Three different Cardinals running backs — junior James Gilbert, sophomore Malik Dunner and freshman Caleb Huntley — scored touchdowns last week. Huntley, listed third on the depth chart, actually led Ball State with 89 yards on the ground against UAB, and the Cardinals average 165.5 rushing yards per game.

In two games against FCS teams, Tennessee Tech allowed an average of 303.5 rushing yards per game.

Edge: Ball State

Ball State defensive line vs. Tennessee Tech offensive line

Redshirt senior defensive end Anthony Winbush leads the Football Bowl Subdivision with 4.5 sacks through two games. The Cardinals are 20th in the nation with 7 team sacks, pushing opposing offenses back 60 yards — the sixth most yards in the country.

Tennessee Tech’s quarterbacks have been sacked five times in two games.

Edge: Ball State

Ball State secondary vs. Tennessee Tech passing game

Ball State allows just 156.5 passing yards per game, though its first two opponents featured run-heavy offenses. Tennessee Tech averages 274.5 yards through the air and completes 63 percent of its passes.

But even if the Golden Eagles can move the ball through the air, their quarterbacks have thrown 5 interceptions in two games. 

Edge: Ball State

Ball Control

Ball State is fourth in the nation on third down, converting 60.5 percent of its attempts. Tennessee Tech’s opponents have converted 42.3 percent of their attempts, but the Golden Eagles only convert 34.8 percent of the time.

The Cardinals’ average time of possession is 35:36 and should post similar numbers this weekend.

Edge: Ball State

Final prediction:

Ball State is a run-first team playing against a team that struggles stopping the run. Tennessee Tech’s offensive line has to contend with one of the best pass rushers in the country.

It’ll be a good Family Weekend for the Cardinals.

Edge: Ball State