The Akron Zips and Kent State Golden Flashes are in action on Tuesday night at Dix Stadium. Limited attendance will be available at Kent State University, but even if max attendance was allowed, the crowd wouldn’t be big anyway. That’s kind of what you get when it comes to the MAC.
It’s only possible for ESPN to broadcast MAC games because of the audience of gamblers that tune in. You have to ask yourself who would be interested in Akron and Kent State if it wasn’t for the betting angle? Crickets. I will watch any kind of football whether I have money on the game or not, so I might be guilty of watching the MAC regardless, though.
Kent State has been quite the story over the last few years. From one of the worst teams in the country to a contender in the MAC in 2020. I had the Golden Flashes as the worst FBS team in the nation back in 2017. They went 2-10 that season and showed absolutely nothing on the field.
While Kent State finished with the same record in 2018, there were at least a couple of positives to find. That 2017 team was a lot of yikes. Without an average quarterback, they utilized some hybrid version of the triple-option that didn’t work at all. From 2014 to 2018, Kent State went 2-9, 3-9, 3-9, 2-10, 2-10.
Even before the awful 2017 campaign, Kent State was not a competitive football team. However, they broke out of a lengthy funk last season, as the Golden Flashes went 7-6, which included a win over Utah State in the Frisco Bowl, 51-41. Kent State were the more motivated team and that was the difference. It was their first trip to a bowl game since 2012 and first ever bowl win ever.
Kent State also went to the MAC Championship in 2012. That resulted in a 44-37 loss for Kent State, but that shows it wasn’t THAT long ago the Golden Flashes had some success. There is a decent enough chance Kent State will be back in the MAC Championship, but Buffalo is going to be a tough team to oust in the MAC East. It should be a good race down the stretch. Head below for our free Akron vs. Kent State pick for November 17, 2020.
Akron Zips vs. Kent State Golden Flashes MAC Football Betting Odds:
Akron vs. Kent State Prediction:
Dustin Crum played a big role in getting Kent State going in the right direction last year. He was responsible for getting this team to a bowl and leading them to a win in a shootout. Crum passed for 20 touchdowns and 2 interceptions on 69.2% passing. He was also an effective runner on the ground. He’s a sneaky dual-threat for the Golden Flashes. Crum ran for 707 yards and 6 touchdowns on 4.2 yards per attempt in 2019.
He’s off to a fast start this season as well. In two games, Crum has passed for 6 touchdowns and 1 interception on 69.6% completions. The Golden Flashes also have a steady backfield spearheaded by Bryan Bradford. Bradford has gained 185 yards on just 25 carries for 7.4 yards per carry. He’s only a freshman, so the sky is going to be the limit for him in his career. The potential for Crum to hit a defense hard is freeing up opportunities for the backfield to cash in on big plays.
Kent State are sixth in the nation with 549 yards and 44.5 points scored per game. Crum should be able to have his way against Akron on Tuesday night. The Zips were torched for 54 points in a 58-13 loss to open the season, and then settled down in a 24-10 loss against Ohio last week. That really wasn’t a bad performance from Akron. Much better than anticipated, at least for the defense. Akron quarterback, Zach Gibson, passed for 218 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions.
Gibson has passed for 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions on 60% completions in 2020. He’s led the Zips to just 23 points in two games. That certainly isn’t going to be enough to compete with Kent State tonight. And while the offense has made major strides for Kent State over the last three years, the defense has been going in the right direction as well. The Golden Flashes have conceded 333.5 yards per game for third in the MAC. Kent State by four touchdowns looks about right to me.