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ARKANSAS STATE vs. KENT STATE
Sunday, Jan 6, 9:00 pm
This bowl game might as well be called the "Need New Coaches" bowl as both schools will be looking to replace the main guys that got them to this point. Kent State's Darrell Hazell just took the job at Purdue and Arkansas State's Gus Malzahn is heading back to Auburn to try and rebuild a program that is just a few years removed from winning a national title. The Red Wolves won two straight Sun Belt titles. They also finished with nine wins overall, scoring 34 points in their opening game at Oregon in a game they lost. They also fell to Nebraska and Western Kentucky. Malzahn's offensive mind helped Arkansas State win several games and he'll head back to Auburn looking to continue winning there. This year's Red Wolves team scored 36 points per game, averaging 264 yards passing and 217 yards on the ground. Pretty balanced, which will certainly help them in this bowl game. Defensively they've been pretty solid as well, giving up just 25 points per game.
Kent State has had an impressive season overall, winning 11 games already. Prior to losing to Northern Illinois in the MAC Title game, the only blemish on Kent State's record was to Kentucky back in September. They had risen into the Top 15 nationally. They don't spend a lot of time throwing the football. On the ground is where they win football games. On defense they gave up 25 points per game, equal to what Arkansas State gives up.
Defense will be the key in this one. As I have stated before I follow the Sun Belt since my kid went to school at FAU. I have Arkansas State winning this game by almost 2 touchdowns and see no reason not to see them back that up in this game. I always like the game plan they throw at their opponents and unless something changes with the coaching staff heading into this game to change that up, I see the same thing happening. Both have been pretty solid this season and whichever defensive unit can come up with key stops will win and I see that as Arkansas State. Will come back later this week with anything else and thoughts on the total. So to almost close out another winning year in bowl season a couple of thoughts. I always buy the point. Its a no brainer for the most part. Some of the lines may be listed from 2-3 weeks ago when I originally played the game but anytime I can get the benefit of the doubt I do.
My biggest screw ups this bowl season are gonna haunt me though. Minnesota, Georgia Tech, Clemson and Texas A&M we had the right side based on the system and I went the other way. There is not 1 game that I decided to change that worked out in my favor so I guess at some point I need to learn a lesson. If you stuck with the numbers, power rankings and system you would of had an unreal season. And I think we did well anyway. Tomorrow we will run into the same issue so lets get thru todays game. I dont really have Bowl Games of the Year although if we did we would have cashed Cincinnati and Tulsa this year. With that said and totals being a lower priority than the sides in bowl game (and why the difference in smileys) if we had a Bowl Game Total of the Year it would probably have been Florida State game and tonight. Love the Over in tonights game as well. Tomorrow I am not sure about yet. All this said, lets add the Total and hope Arkansas State comes to play tonight and puts up 60 points themselves.