Featured Video from Scott Reichel
There are only two college football games on Thursday this week and ours, Buffalo at Kent State, will be the first to kickoff. The game will broadcast on CBS Sports Network and is a chance for Buffalo (5-4) to become bowl eligible. Kent State (3-6) needs to win out in order to become eligible for a bowl game.
Kickoff for the MAC rivalry game is set for 7:00 P.M ET.
Buffalo has dominated the rivalry recently, winning four of the last five meetings. Last year was especially bad as the Bulls whooped the Golden Flashes by a 48-14 final score. Buffalo held Kent State to just 183 total yards while posting 478 themselves.
Up & Down Season in Western NYThe Buffalo Bulls football team has been all over the place this year. They pulled a big upset over Temple early in the season. Later on, they fell to a two-win Ohio team. Altogether, the Bulls are 5-4 and eager to gain bowl eligibility with a win against Kent State.
In a division where defense isn't always great, the Bulls are at the top of the heap. They're allowing the least points per game in the MAC (22.3) and in their last three games, they've been even better. In their last three games, they have allowed opponents to score 34 combined points (11.3 per game).
Matt Myers started the season as QB1 but he got hurt and is out for the season. He was only completing 46 percent of his passes and had a 1-3 record against FBS teams. Sophomore Kyle Vantrease took over and he's been an improvement, going 3-1 with five touchdowns, a 61 percent completion percentage and just one pick.
Flashes Solid vs. MACKent State's record won't wow you, yet when you dig deeper they're not as bad as their record indicates. When they're playing equal competition (non-Power-5 teams), they're 3-3. None of these three losses were by double figures and two were by just one score.
Kent State has dropped three in a row but being home is something to be excited about. Their biggest win this year came at home (62-20 over Bowling Green) and in conference games, they're allowing just 21.5 points per game on their home turf. The Golden Flashes have also stayed healthy this year and have a clean injury report vs. Buffalo.
The Kent State offense goes through first-year starter Dustin Crum, a junior. Crum leads the team in rushing as well as passing and has only thrown one interception this season on 212 passing attempts.
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 conference games.
- 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This is a very good spot for Kent State and the best part is that it's being overlooked. The public action is heavy on Buffalo, the more well-known team, but the Golden Flashes are going to cover and possibly pick up a straight-up win. Kent State is overdue for a big win; it's only a matter of time. They have been playing good football lately, losing three consecutive MAC games by just one score. Second-year head coach Sean Lewis has his team improving and everyone around the program has to be happy with the progress. The Golden Flashes limit mistakes on offense; quarterback Dustin Crum has just one interception this year and he's the most accurate passer in the conference (67.9 completion percentage).
Prediction: Kent State +6
Full-Game Total Pick
If this game goes the way I think it will, it will be as much of a dogfight as you can get in the MAC. Both defenses are good against the pass, allowing less than 215 passing yards per game. With that, expect each team to try and get their running games going. The Golden Flashes defense steps up at home, allowing 21.5 points per game in conference home games. What's more, n their last seven home games, the over has only come out twice. Likewise, the Bulls defense travels; they have allowed just 34 points combined in their last three conference road games.
Prediction: Under 56.5