Get the best handicapping articles and gambling advice throughout the football, basketball and baseball seasons from the world's top sports handicappers, as well as from Bovada (Bodog) Sportsbook and Casino.
Kent State Football Preview
by Matt Fargo - 08/18/2008
No. 96 Kent St. Golden Flashes
2007 Record ~ 3-9 SU ~ 2-9 ATS
Starters Returning ~ Offense (7) Defense (8)
Kent had some of the worst luck of any team in the nation last season. Despite a 3-9 record, the Golden Flashes were outgained by only 18.9 ypg which is better than some teams that finished over .500. They could not win the close games as four games were lost by a touchdown. The thinking is that those losses come full circle and turn into victories but I am not sold on that type of thinking. There are too many questions to turn it completely around although it should be much better as far as wins go.
Should is the key word there. Until the Golden Flashes find a passing game, they will not be going very far as the running game can carry them only so much. Julian Edelman is healthy after getting hurt in the second week last season but even if he can regain his 2006 ability, he does not have much to throw to. Eugene Jarvis is a solid running back who rushed for 1,669 yards last season and can be better. The offensive line is decent and if some wideouts do emerge, this offense can surprise.
Defensively, Kent had a great unit two seasons and returning eight starters last year was thought to bring a repeat of that. Instead, the Golden Flashes fell to 75th in scoring defense, allowing 29.2 ppg which was over 9.0 ppg more than in 2006. They ranked 10th in the nation two years ago in passing defense and fell to 60th last year and that is once again a big question. The secondary is young and could be in trouble in the pass happy MAC. The front seven is going to be very solid.
Kant starts the season with four straight non-conference games and only one of those is at home which can be a big hit as far as momentum and confidence goes. The good news is that the final two against Delaware St. and UL-Lafayette should both be won. As far as the MAC slate, Kent misses Central Michigan and Western Michigan out of the West but get Miami and Bowling Green, the two top teams in the East, on the road. Look at the under early on as the defense will be solid and the offense will need time to catch up.