No. 1 Georgia is huge favorite as Ball State visits Sanford Stadium

Ball State (0-1) at No. 1 Georgia (1-0), Saturday, 12 noon ET (SEC Network)

Line: Georgia by 43.5 points, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: First meeting


Facing an overmatched opponent for the second week in a row, Georgia will be pushing for a big leap forward to build momentum for its Southeastern Conference opener against South Carolina. The Bulldogs got off to a sluggish start in Week 1 against FCS school Tennessee-Martin before romping to a 48-7 victory. Coach Kirby Smart has always preached that a team makes its most significant improvement between the first and second games. He'll be expecting a more complete performance from the nation's top-ranked team against the Cardinals of the Mid-American Conference.


Georgia's running backs vs. Ball State's defensive front. The Bulldogs rushed for 159 yards against Tennessee-Martin with a committee approach, but they need more production out of a backfield that has been plagued by injuries. The return of Daijun Edwards, who missed the opener with a sprained knee, could give the ground game a boost.


Ball State: RB Marquez Cooper turned in an impressive performance when his previous school, Kent State, faced the Bulldogs a year ago. Cooper carried 21 times for 90 yards and a touchdown in Georgia's surprisingly tough 39-22 victory. He's got another crack at the Bulldogs after transferring to Ball State.

Georgia: QB Carson Beck heard some grumbling when he missed a few throws against Tennessee-Martin. He still managed a solid performance in his debut as the Bulldogs' starter, completing 21 of 31 passes for 294 yards and a touchdown, in addition to running for a score.


Georgia has a school-record 18-game winning streak that began with a 34-11 victory over Michigan in the College Football Playoff semifinals during the 2021 season. ... The Bulldogs have won 19 straight games at Sanford Stadium. ... Ball State is facing a reigning national champion for the first time in school history. ... Georgia was originally scheduled to travel to Oklahoma on Saturday, but realignment forced a cancellation of that game. Ball State stepped in to fill the void. ... The Cardinals are facing an SEC school for the second week in a row. They lost to Kentucky 44-14 in the season opener. ... Despite the 30-point defeat, Ball State did some good things against the Wildcats. They had an edge in first downs (18-17) and dominated time of possession (38:02-21:58).


AP college football: and