Kent State Golden Flashes vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Betting Odds and Pick to Cover the Point Spread

Kent State Golden Flashes (1-1 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. Penn State Nittany Lions (1-1 SU, 0-1 ATS), Week 3 College Football, 12:00 p.m. EST, Saturday, September 18, 2010, Beaver Stadium, State College, Pa.
by Ryno of

Betting Odds: KSU +21/PSU -21
Over/Under: 45.5

Penn State has done what it’s supposed to do thus far. The Nittany Lions blew out Youngstown State and lost to Alabama. It will still be a few weeks before we really find out how good this Penn State team is. What are the Nittany Lions expected to do this week? Win easily at home over Kent State.

Penn State opened up the season with a 44-14 win over Youngstown State. Scoring 44 points is fine for a defensive-minded Penn State team. But allowing 14 points to Youngstown State is not a good thing. The Nittany Lions were down 7-6 late in the second quarter before scoring 38 straight points. Penn State was unable to force a single turnover while the Nittany Lions committed just one themselves.

Penn State’s pass defense did not fare well, allowing Youngstown QB Kurt Hess to go 21-for-25 for 189 yards and two touchdowns.

New PSU starting QB Robert Bolden had a decent debut with 239 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on 20-for-29 passing. Running backs Evan Royster and Stephfon Green, the focal points of the PSU offense this season, combined for 17 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Brett Brackett had a standout performance with eight receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns.

The Nittany Lions lost 24-3 to No. 1 Alabama on the road last week. Bolden really struggled at QB against a terrific Alabama defense, completing just 13-of-29 passes for 144 yards and two interceptions. Royster had only 32 rushing yards and the entire team totaled 127 rushing yards on 31 carries. The Nittany Lions allowed 229 passing yards and 180 rushing yards. Penn State turned the ball over four times and only forced one turnover. Penn State had trouble putting together successful offensive drives, while Alabama moved the ball easily on its first few drives to establish an early 17-0 lead in the second quarter.

Kent State also did what it was supposed to do in its first two games. The Golden Flashes blew out Murray State, 41-10, and then lost 26-13 at Boston College. In the first game, QB Spencer Keith had a nice effort with 275 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Running back Eugene Jarvis (he’s OUT this week) only ran for 45 yards. The Flashes totaled 137 rushing yards as a team on 39 carries. Their rush defense was incredible, as Murray State totaled -65 yards on the ground on 22 carries. Against BC, it was Kent State who struggled running the ball with only nine yards in the loss. The Flashes totaled five turnovers and forced two of them.

With Royster and Stephon Green in the backfield, Kent State isn’t going to entirely shut down the PSU run game. But if the Flashes can hold Penn State to around 100 yards or less on the ground, they will have a chance to stay in the game. If their run defense does come to play, the key will be limiting the turnovers. If they give the ball to Penn State every other possession, they will have no chance of keeping the game remotely close. But if they can control the ball and stop the run, they will be forcing Bolden, a freshman, to win the game himself, and that’s a good tradeoff for sure.

Kent State is 8-2-1 ATS in its last 11 games overall and 3-0-1 ATS in their last four games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game. The Flashes are 0-4 ATS in their last four games against the Big Ten. Penn State is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 home games, 1-5 ATS in its last six non-conference games, and 0-7 ATS in its last seven September games. The over is 10-2 in Kent State’s last 12 September games. The under is 5-0 in PSU’s last five non-conference games, 4-0 in its last four games against MAC teams, and 5-1 in its last six September games.

Ryno’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I like Kent State to get the money here! Take the Golden Flashes to provide you with a green flash at the cashiers cage!