#23 Western Michigan at Kent State Golden Flashes: Preview, TV, Streaming, Start Time, Betting Line

#23 Western Michigan (9-0, 5-0 MAC) at Kent State Golden Flashes (3-6, 2-3 MAC)

  • Start Time: 6:30 PM EST
  • Location: Dix Stadium, Kent, Ohio
  • TV: ESPN2
  • Streaming: WatchESPN
  • Series: Western Michigan leads the all-time series 33-20-1
  • Live Stats: Here.
  • Line: WMU: -21. Over/Under: 56.

Western Michigan:

Those that watch college football and are not familiar with Western Michigan have purposely written them off without giving them a chance. The Broncos are the best G5 team in the land and the favorite to take on a big time opponent in the Cotton Bowl.

As the season has progressed, we have had the pleasure of seeing more and more of start wide receiver Corey Davis. The senior is in the top ten in multiple receiving categories and has the chance to be the first receiver chosen in the 2017 NFL Draft. He is the perfect combination of size, speed, and catching ability. He does have the momentary lapse of concentration, but Davis is easily one of the most talented players in all of college football.

It doesn’t hurt that the Broncos have a senior quarterback at the helm. Zach Terrell is making a late push for all-conference honors with multiple 300+ yard passing games in recent weeks. He leads an offense that is scoring over 45 points per game, rank in the top five nationally in efficiency, and lead the nation with 5.67 points scored per trip inside the 40.

We haven’t even gotten to the run game. The Broncos possess one of the best running back duos in the nation. Jarvion Franklin and Jamauri Bogan are the last two reigning MAC Freshman of the Year. Bogan has fought through injuries this season after a stellar 2015, so Franklin took the reins after an incredible 2014 season. The duo has combined for just over 1,600 yards and 16 touchdowns, while averaging over 5.5 yards per carry.

Led by junior linebacker Robert Spillane, the Broncos have a defense that does an incredible job of limiting scoring chances. They are a bend but don’t break defense that loves to force turnovers. The defense has 11 interceptions to go along with nine forced fumbles Those may not seem so impressive, but WMU does a great job of turning a takeaway into a score. Expect Kent State quarterback Nick Holley to run for his life with Eric Assoua (6.5 tfl) and Keion Adams (12.0 tfl, 5.5 sacks) on the attack.

Kent State:

Before today, I would have told you to only seriously worry about the two players with Holley on the back of their jerseys. That is no longer completely true as star safety Nate Holley has likely ended his college career after criminal charges were brought against him today. He is, by a significant margin, the leading tackler on the team and was the heart and soul of the defense. Hopefully, he gets whatever help he needs after today’s news.

The Kent State offense is Nick Holley, Nick Holley, and more Nick Holley. He is the quarterback, leading rusher, and only honest threat on the offensive side of the ball. Holley is a running back playing quarterback and it is evident in the passing game. He is only connecting on 51.9% of his passes and has only three passing touchdowns on the year.

When he is successful in the passing game, it is on short routes to running backs Justin Rankin and Raekwon James. The two have caught over 62% of targets and have a strong run after catch ability. Outside of the running backs, it could literally be anyone catching the ball with 14 players targeted on the year.

Prediction:

It will take some sort of miracle for Kent State to even stay close in this game. Asking them to win is an even more ridiculous proposal as they are a mismatch for pretty much every position battle on the field. The only hope is that WMU is looking so far ahead that they forget to show up, not figuratively but literally.

Western Michigan 47, Kent State 6.

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