The Kent State Golden Flashes keep chugging along on their nightmare tour of 2017. They’ve been severely overmatched against just about anyone not named Howard University. Their latest foul came against Bowling Green last week, as they took a 44-16 loss to a team who only had one win prior to meeting Kent State. Is it the personnel on the fields fault? They’re doing what they can, there isn’t much talent to be had on their roster.
The Golden Flashes are trying to operate a variation of the triple-option. It is not the traditional wishbone formation in the backfield. Kent State puts a wide receiver in motion, and they either hand it off to him, the running back, or the quarterback keeps it. To run it effectively, it’s imperative to have speed on offense. If not, defenses are going to read it and react before the play goes anywhere.
In time, Kent State may be able to recruit speed, but as it is now, they don’t have the right personnel to do what they want to. Western Michigan are coming off a rainy 35-28 loss to their rival, Central Michigan. The Broncos had the game in their hands, as they controlled the contest for three quarterbacks, but late blunders ultimately was the deciding factor. Western Michigan turned the ball over on the Central 5-yard line, as they were going in for a kill shot, and then running back Jarvion Franklin fumbled on the 50 to give the Chippewas another gift.
Despite the fumble, Franklin powered ahead for 228 yards and 2 touchdowns. On top of the miscues in the second-half, I thought the coaching effort by Western Michigan was putrid, too. They made zero adjustments in the second-half, while Central were able to look better. Franklin had a no-contact fumble. Ball protection with a lead in a rainy game is of the utmost importance, but Western did everything possible to lose the game. We’ll see if they’re focused and ready to go against Kent State tonight. Head below for our free Kent State vs. Western Michigan pick.
Kent State Golden Flashes vs. Western Michigan Broncos Betting Odds:
Kent State +21.5(-110)
vs. Western Michigan -21.5(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Kent State vs. Western Michigan Pick:
Western Michigan will be forced to go with Reece Goddard at quarterback again. Starter Jon Wassink broke his collarbone a few weeks ago, forcing the Broncos to go with their backup. Goddard will make his third consecutive of his young career. The freshman’s numbers looked horrendous against Central, passing for 42 yards with an interception. I will say, though, his wide receivers let him down frequently in that one. They had a chance to go down the field to tie it up, and his receivers had back-to-back drops. Can’t blame Goddard for that. Western also kept the ball on the ground in the sloppy weather.
There isn’t any rain expected on Wednesday evening, but I still expect the Broncos to keep the ball on the ground here. Kent State are 118th at defending the run, allowing an average of 221.4 yards per game. Expect Franklin to eclipse 200 yards again this week. Western may not need to pass the ball much in this spot. Kent State are 49th against the pass, their only redeeming quality. I expect Franklin and the run game to pound them into submission.
Where Kent State really struggles is on the offensive side. Against a bad Bowling Green defense, they didn’t put together much of a good game. Overall, Bowling Green are allowing 35 points per game and 497 yards per game, 118th in the FBS. Kent State managed 3 interceptions and just 144 yards rushing.
If you’re a school who wants to run the ball, that’s not a good number in college. Bowling Green made Kent State pass the ball 35 times last week. Forcing George Bollas to pass that much is a disaster waiting to happen. He currently has 2 touchdowns and 7 interceptions with a 48.7% completion percentage. Bollas is not a passing quarterback, clearly.
This matchup against an angry Western Michigan team should go about the same for Kent State as it did last week against Bowling Green. The Falcons were playing for nothing and just showed up and won 44-16. Here we have a Western Michigan team who can clinch a bowl game and are looking for a team to beat up on after losing to a rival. It should make for a blowout in Kalamazoo.