Ball State’s star quarterback didn’t perform up to his lofty standards during the 44-13 loss at No. 10 Penn State, finishing 25-for-39 for 176 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions in front of a crowd of 105,323 at Beaver Stadium. Plitt, a sixth-year senior with nearly 7,000 career passing yards, will be looking to pick apart a UW defense ranked 90th in yards allowed (399.0 per game) and 98th in points allowed (29.5 per game).
The senior wide receiver is the NCAA’s active leader in career receptions (271) and fourth in all-purpose yards (4,191). Hall has at least one reception in all 45 games of his career with 2,944 receiving yards and 17 total touchdowns. UW’s secondary will have to contain Hall, an all-MAC first team selection in 2019 and 2020.
The talented cornerback from Belleville, Ill., is off to a strong start to his junior season. Through two games, Coldon is second on the team with 16 tackles behind only tackling machine Chad Muma (21). He also leads the team with five pass breakups. Coldon locked down his side of the field in the opener when fellow starter Azizi Hearn was shown the gate after a first-half targeting penalty. Last week in his return to his home state, Coldon had two of UW’s four pass breakups and nine tackles in the 50-43 win at Northern Illinois. The Cowboys will need Coldon to play even better Saturday to help contain Ball State’s veteran wide receivers. If Coldon, who did not have any of UW's three interceptions last week, can come up with a pick it could be the difference Saturday.
Ball State will have to focus on slowing down wide receiver Isaiah Neyor, who scored three touchdowns at NIU, and all-Mountain West first team running back Xazavian Valladay, who finished with his 11th career 100-yard rushing game. UW’s offense will need tight end Treyton Welch, who caught the game-winning touchdown in the opener against Montana State, to help loosen up the Cardinals’ defense. If linebacker Brandon Martin, the co-MAC defensive player of the year, is unable to return from a knee injury that kept him out of the Penn State game, Welch should be able to find some soft spots over the middle.