Kent State Golden Flashes (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. Buffalo Bulls (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
College Football Week 4
Date/Time:Wednesday September 19th, 2012. 7:00PM Eastern
Where:University Buffalo Stadium Buffalo, N.Y.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread:KSU +3/Buf -3
Over/Under Total: OFF
College football kicks off one day earlier this week when the Buffalo
Bulls meet the Kent State Golden Flashes for a
Mid-American Athletic Conference opener on Wednesday night. Both teams have
experienced similar starts to the 2012 season. Kent State is coming off
a bye week following a 1-1 start. The Golden Flashes were destroyed by Kentucky
47-14 in their last outing but captured a win over Towson out of the FCS
41-21 in the season opener. Buffalo is also coming off a bye week following
a 56-34 victory over Morgan State out of the FCS. The Bulls also fell victim
to a superior SEC opponent earlier this year losing to the Georgia Bulldogs
45-23 in their season opener. Now both teams look to set the tone for the
remainder of the season as they look to grab a victory this Wednesday night
in an important conference opener.
The last time these two teams met was all the way back in November 2009. Kent State pulled out a 9-6 snoozer in that game but we hope for a bit more excitement this Wednesday night. Still, Kent St. has some major issues on the offensive side of the football that they hope to have improved around with the extra week of preparation. So far through 2012, the Golden Flashes rank 101st in total offense averaging just 338 yards per game. Kent State’s offense posted just 267 total yards in their win over Towson earlier this year and then followed that performance by posting just 14 points against the Kentucky.
Still, Kent State was competitive in that 47-14 loss to the Wildcats. In fact, Kent State took Kentucky into the 3rd quarter in a 17-14 ball game before the Wildcats knocked off 30 unanswered points. The Golden Flashes defense simply wore down and allowed over 500 total yards. The offense was able to move the ball at times on the ground with the help of running backs Trayion Durham and Dri Archer but the offense failed to capitalize in scoring situations. Durham has posted 141 yards averaging 4 yards per carry on the season. However, Archer has added a spark in the running game carrying the ball just 16 times and averaging over 8 yards per carry. Archer will get a bit more carries going forward so it will be interesting to see if he can add a boost to the Golden Flashes ground attack.
Behind center quarterback Spencer Keith needs to play better going forward. Keith has completed just 38 passes on 62 attempts for 309 passing yards through the first two games without a single passing touchdown. In fact, backup QB David Fisher has thrown the only passing touchdown for the Golden Flashes this season. Only 12 teams in the nation have equal or less passing touchdowns than Kent State at this point in the season. Therefore, Keith has to do a better job of getting the ball out quickly (Kent State averages 3 sacks allowed per game) and making accurate throws to help the offense.
Despite the concerns on offense for Kent State, they may still be able to move the football against a rather weak Buffalo defense. The Bulls defense has allowed 425 yards per game so far this season and a flat embarrassing 39.5 points per game (110th in FBS). However, Buffalo’s offense has also proved that they can move the football on anyone so far this season. Even against Georgia, Buffalo was able to run the football for 199 yards on the ground. The Bulls currently rank 17th in rushing offense averaging 252 yards per game. Junior running back Branden Oliver is the work horse on offense. Oliver has carried the ball 55 times for 349 yards through 2 games and found the end zone 3 times. Oliver seems to set the tone for the offense with a repetitive ground attack which helps QB Alex Zordich hit some passes down the field when defenses lose focus.
In fact, Zordich has been solid completing 30 of 45 passing for 385 yards with 5 touchdowns and just 1 interception. The recipient off all 5 touchdown passes is star wide out Alex Neutz. Neutz has posted 206 yards on 13 catches this season for 5 out of 6 of all Buffalo’s passing touchdowns on the year. Therefore, expect Neutz to be the targeted guy on the outside when the Bulls attempt to stretch the field in the passing game. Overall, this game will come down to the offense that can make plays and keep pressure on the opposing defense. So far through 2012, neither Kent State nor Buffalo’s defense has been impressive. Therefore, I think the better offensive team rolls here and that will be Buffalo.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Kent St. has injury issues at it’s skill positions. This isn’t a strong play by any means but if I were betting this game I’d take Buffalo -3. The line is very fish and often times this means the underdog is LIVE. The MAC is as unpredictable as they come folks. It might be a good night to go mow your grass or take your wife out for a nice dinner so you can buy some tv watching time this Saturday 😉
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