at Kansas State 37 ... Kent State 0
Posted Sep 17, 2011

Week 3 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - Kent State at Kansas State

2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 3 - Kent State at Kansas St

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Sept. 17 at Kansas State 37 ... Kent State 0
CFN Analysis: COMING

(AP) MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Kansas State didn't need any late-game heroics this time.

David Garrett returned an interception 45 yards for a first-quarter touchdown, Collin Klein dazzled with his legs and the Wildcats beat penalty-prone Kent State 37-0 on Saturday night for their first shutout in more than five years.

Kansas State, which needed a touchdown pass by Klein in the closing minutes two weeks ago to beat Eastern Kentucky, had no such trouble with the Golden Flashes. The Wildcats scored on five of six first-half drives to build a 34-0 lead, and then coasted through an uneventful second half.

They'll carry some momentum into a high-profile showdown at Miami next weekend.

Kent State (0-2) at Kansas State (1-0) Sept. 17, 7:00

Here's The Deal … Uhhhh, Kansas State, you are better than 10-7 against Eastern Kentucky, right?

The Wildcats didn't exactly come out roaring needing a 33-yard touchdown pass in the final minutes to get by the FCS team, and they've had two weeks to sit and stew over the horrendous performance. The defense was great, but the offense was miserable and there were way too many turnovers and inconsistencies to expect anything special this year, but that might have been an aberration. It has to be.

With a date at Miami coming up and followed up by Big 12 play against Baylor and Missouri, the offense has to find some firepower in a huge hurry or the season will be over before it can get started. There's no chance of competing in a league with teams like Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas A&M without being able to do one thing well, and this is the week to find out what it is.

Kent State did what it could against Alabama in the opener, predictably losing but forcing several mistakes and not looking embarrassing against what might be the best team in the country. And then came the home opener against Louisiana, losing 20-12 to a Sun Belt team in head coach Darrell Hazell's first appearance in front of the fans. The layup comes next week against South Alabama, but with the way KSU played two weeks ago, the chances will be there to pull off the upset.

Why Kent State Might Win: The defense is good enough to stop the Kansas State offense cold. The Wildcats don't have a passing game, and even though they came through late against EKU they were painfully inconsistent and didn't come up with anything through the air until it was desperation time. The offensive line needs time and seasoning, and it showed with way too many problems against a mediocre pass rush. Kent State has a pass rush.

The Golden Flashes gave up five rushing touchdowns to Alabama, but they held Trent Richardson to 2.8 yards per carry and it took several quirky plays to come up with any big runs. The pass rush hasn't quite taken off like it did last year, but the pieces are in place to come up with several big stops behind the line and bring the pressure on a regular basis. Roosevelt Nix was fine against Bama, but he has yet to breakout. The reigning MAC Defensive Player of the Year is due to turn it loose.

Why Kansas State Might Win: Turnovers. Kent State shot itself in the foot time and against with four giveaways against a mediocre Ragin' Cajun defense. Quarterback Spencer Keith struggled to get the short to midrange passing game going, and a running game that was mediocre to begin with was stagnant at best, non-existent at worst.

All of Kansas State's problems in the opener were on offense. The defense was tremendous against EKU, allowing just ten yards rushing, while the pass rush was dialed in from the start against the overmatched FCSer. The line came up with four sacks and ten tackles for loss, and after two weeks, the Kent State offensive line doesn't appear ready to handle any pressure of any sort, getting destroyed by ULL as well as Alabama. There's no spark and there's no pop whatsoever. If Kansas State can somehow get up early, it's over.

What To Watch Out For: Uhhhhh, Bryce Brown? The one-time No. 1 recruit in the nation was supposed to come in to Kansas State after transferring from Tennessee and rip up defenses from Day One. Instead, on a day when nothing was happening from the rest of the offense, he still didn't get any work carrying just three times for 16 yards. Call it a message being sent from head coach Bill Snyder as he's hinted that his star prospect just isn't quite doing the work needed this offseason to be ready for a big workload. The offense desperately needs him to add some star power to the equation, and it has to start this week.

Kent State has to find some semblance of a running game out of Jacquise Terry, the slithery quick back who hasn't been able to find any room over the first two games. The Golden Flash ground game has been non-existent, and it has to start picking up the load in a big hurry with the one player the offense couldn't lose, wide receiver Sam Kirkland, out after suffering bruised lungs against Louisiana. The attack struggles to hit the home run to begin with, and now it's without its lone deep threat.

What Will Happen: First one on the board wins? The Kansas State offense will still struggle and it'll still have problems to move the chains through the air, but the running game will start to work compared to the opener, and it won't have to do much with the defense stuffing the pathetic Kent State offense cold. If the Golden Flashes gain 200 yards, consider it a success.

CFN Prediction: Kansas State 24 … Kent State 3
- Click For Latest Line From ATS: Kansas State -17.5   O/U: 46.5

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