Akron vs. Kent State Prediction, Game Preview

    Akron vs. Kent State prediction and game preview. Projecting the winner when the Zips take on the Golden Flashes in a MAC battle.

    September 27, 2016

    Akron vs. Kent State prediction and game preview. Projecting the winner when the Zips take on the Golden Flashes in a MAC battle.


    Akron vs. Kent State Game Preview

    When: Saturday, Oct. 1 – 3:30 p.m. ET
    Where: Dix Stadium, Kent, Ohio.
    TV Broadcast: ESPN3

    Thomas Woodson’s performance last week mostly looks good on paper. The junior finished 31-of-43 for 353 three yards and tossed three touchdown passes to three different receivers. But Woodson also tossed two first-quarter interceptions as the Zips fell behind by 10, and they never could recover in a 35-28 home loss to Appalachian State.

    At least Kent State has a better excuse for its defeat – it ran into the top-ranked team in the country. The Golden Flashes were held to 166 yards of total offense and punted nine times in a 48-0 loss at Alabama. Their offense might be able to find more of a groove this week, though, given Akron’s struggles defensively.

    What To Know About Akron

    There’s plenty of good to draw from Woodson’s effort and that of his receivers, led by JoJo Natson’s 10 catches and Jerome Lane’s 134 yards. But the defense left plenty to be desired for the third straight week.

    The Zips gave up 587 total yards – 307 of them on the ground – and are allowing an average of 577.7 over their last three games. Marshall still racked up 560 two weeks ago despite turning the ball over four times. Woodson can play as well as he wants, but Akron isn’t going to win many more games unless the defense starts stopping someone.

    What To Know About Kent State

    The Golden Flashes need to figure out where their offense is going to come from. Starting quarterback Mylik Mitchell suffered an injury to his non-throwing hand against Alabama and his status is “not good” to play this week. With freshman Justin Agner still hurt, George Bollas is likely to get the start against the Zips.

    Bollas completed 4 of 8 passes for 71 yards and rushed for 26 in relief last week, narrowly missing a touchdown on a fourth down when his knee touched just short of the goal line. He’ll be counted on heavily to produce, but at least he’s facing what appears to be a pretty weak defense.

    Advantages

    Offense: Akron – Woodson seems to be clicking with his wideouts.

    Defense: Kent State – Forced at least one turnover in every game before last week.

    Special Teams: Akron – Kent State missed a field goal inside 40 yards last week and has allowed a punt return this season.

    Coaching: Even – Terry Bowden and Paul Haynes both have their work cut out for them.

    Intangibles: Akron – Bollas started last year’s meeting, which the Zips won 20-0.

    Matchup To Watch

    Woodson vs. Kent State’s defense

    Woodson might not need to have as big of a game as he did last week to keep the Zips in it considering this might be the easiest game for Akron’s defense. If Woodson goes off, it could turn into a rout.

    Betting Odds

    Spread: Akron -7
    Over/Under: 54.5

    Akron vs. Kent State Prediction

    Akron’s defense finally holds a team to fewer than 500 yards, Woodson throws for nearly 400 and four touchdowns and the Zips win easily.

    Akron vs. Kent State final score prediction: Akron 38, Kent State 21

    MORE: 1-128 College Football Rankings – Week 5

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