Big Al's Daily Angle: NCAA Football Preview

by Big Al Staff

The Tuesday sports card features two games in Mid-American Conference college football action. A third MAC matchup between Miami (OH) and Ohio was canceled on Sunday amidst a COVID outbreak with the Bobcats football team.

Buffalo travels to Bowling Green for a game on the CBS Sports Network at 7 PM ET. The Bulls have won their first two games of the season after defeating Miami (OH) last Tuesday at home by a 42-10 score as a 7-point favorite. That victory came on the heels of their 49-30 win at Northern Illinois two weeks ago.

Junior quarterback Kyle Vantrease completed 17 of 27 passes for 353 yards with four touchdown passes in the victory. Vantrease is completing 63.6% of his passes this season for 528 yards with five touchdowns and just one interception. He is averaging 12.8 yards-per-attempt. Junior running back Jaret Patterson has rushed for 210 yards on 40 carries after breaking a program record last season with 1799 rushing yards. The first-team conference All-American is complemented by junior Kevin Marks, who has rushed for 141 yards on 22 carries after gaining over 1000 rushing yards last year.

Buffalo has 15 starters back from the team that finished 8-5 in head coach Lance Leipold’s fifth-year with the program. The Bulls defeated Charlotte by a 31-3 score in the Bahamas Bowl. Buffalo has expectations of not only earning the opportunity to win their second bowl game in school history but also winning the MAC East division and playing for the conference title in the MAC championship game.

Bowling Green has lost their first two games this year after enduring a 62-24 loss at home to Kent State last Tuesday. The Falcons are allowing 50.0 points-per-game, which is the lowest of all the 126 teams competing in the FBS this season. Bowling Green is giving up 595.5 yards-per-game as well, with 302.5 of those yards coming on the ground.

Junior quarterback Matt McDonald completed only 6 of 20 passes for 105 yards in the loss to the Golden Flashes. The Boston College transfer has been a disappointment by completing only 14 of his 50 passes this season for a 28% completion percentage. He has only 233 passing yards in two starts with two interceptions and without a touchdown pass. The Falcons offense ranks 122nd in the nation by scoring 13.5 points-per-game, and their 316.0 yards-per-game average ranks 116th in the FBS.

Twelve starters are back in head coach Scott Loeffler’s second year with the program. Bowling Green won only 12 games in the previous four seasons after their 3-9 campaign last year. Loeffler has recruited well, but the fruits of that labor have yet to develop. The Falcons lost their opening game at Toledo by a 38-3 score.

Buffalo won the meeting between these two teams last season at home by a 49-7 score. Buffalo is a 31.5-point road favorite this year, with the total set at 59.5 (all odds from BookMaker).

At 8 PM ET, Akron plays at Kent State for the game on ESPN. The Zips lost their first two games of the season after their 24-10 loss at Ohio last Tuesday. Akron trailed by just a 17-10 score in the fourth quarter before the Bobcats pulled away with a final touchdown. The Zips outgained Ohio by 128 net yards after their offense gained 435 yards by controlling the time of possession for over 34 minutes in that game. 

Redshirt freshman Zach Gibson completed 18 of 30 passes for 218 yards in the losing effort. He threw a touchdown passes, but his two interceptions contributed to Akron’s -3 net turnover margin. He will likely get his third straight start with senior quarterback Kato Nelson questionable as he recovers from the shoulder surgery he underwent just before the season started. Gibson is supported by a Zips’ rushing attack that is averring 173.0 rushing yards-per-game. 

Second-year head coach Tom Arth has 70 new players on this roster who are either freshman, redshirt freshman, or transfers. Akron was winless in their twelve games in Arth’s first-year with the program. 

Kent State won their first two games this season after their 62-24 victory at Bowling Green last Tuesday as a 20.5-point favorite. The Golden Flashes put up 657 yards of offense while producing 34 first downs. Senior quarterback Dustin Crum completed 18 of 27 passes for 271 yards against the Falcons with four touchdown passes. He has six touchdowns to just one interception on the season. Crum leads an offense that is scoring 44.5 points-per-game while averaging 549.0 yards-per-game. 

Head coach Sean Lewis’s team opened their season with a 27-23 victory at home against Eastern Michigan. Kent State’s pass defense has shined by producing seven sacks and holding their two opponents to 173.0 passing yards-per-game, which is the lowest mark in the MAC. 

Thirteen starters are back from the Golden Flashes’ team that won their final four games to finish 7-6. Kent State ended last season by defeating Utah State in the Frisco Bowl by a 51-41 score. 

The Golden Flashes won the meeting last year between these two teams by a 26-3 score at Akron. Kent State is a 25.5-point favorite with the over/under at 58.5.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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