2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 5 - Ohio at Kent State
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Oct. 1 at Ohio 17 … Kent State 10
CFN Analysis: It was way too much of a push for a team with dreams of winning the MAC title, but Ohio and Tyler Tettleton got past Kent State with a good passing day and enough defense to hold off the charge. Noah Keller made ten stops and three tackles for loss, while Tettleton was able to keep things going on the ground while also while also coming up with just enough big plays to get by. The Bobcats might not be explosive, but they're getting decent production out of all the parts available – using Phil Bates well as a runner – and with Buffalo up next, continuing to win the turnover battle is a must. The only was Ohio loses in Amherst is by screwing up.
Dead last in the nation in total offense, dead last in scoring, and dead last in passing efficiency, Kent State isn't generating much of anything on offense. The Ohio game was there for the taking, but there wasn't any semblance of a passing attack to move the ball on key third downs and there were way too many mistakes. With four turnovers and just 200 yards of total offense, it was impressive the Golden Flashes didn't get blown away. The defense has been fine, but it'll have to start coming up with more big plays and doing things on its own to make up for the problems on offense.
(AP) ATHENS, Ohio -- Tyler Tettleton threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns as Ohio held off Kent State 17-10 on Saturday to start a season 4-1 for the first time since 1997.
Tettleton needed 252 yards to move into second place all-time for passing yards by a Bobcats sophomore and has 1,200.
By winning the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams Ohio is 3-0 at home for the first time since 2005, Frank Solich's first season as head coach.
After the Golden Flashes (1-4) took a 7-3 lead on a 1-yard run by Spencer Keith with 4:01 to go before halftime, LaVon Brazill caught a 4-yard touchdown pass to put the Bobcats ahead for good. Brazill finished with eight catches for 102 yards to move into fifth place all-time among Ohio receivers.
Ryan Boykin added a 7-yard scoring reception with 2:15 left in the third quarter and also had 72 yards rushing.
Kent State (1-3) at Ohio (3-1) Oct. 1, 2:00
Here's The Deal …Welcome to conference play. Ohio had a strong showing throughout the non-conference slate until giving the game away against Rutgers last week-coughing the ball up four times. It'll be looking to right the ship and kick off the MAC schedule on the right foot against a Kent State team that has struggled out of the gate mightily on offense. For the Golden Flashes, one good bit of news is that they were able to get new head coach Darrell Hazell his first victory against an FCS opponent, the University of South Alabama last week. The two teams have met 63 times with Ohio holding the all-time edge 38-23-2, but in more recent times at Penden Stadium, Kent State has taken it to the home team by winning four of the last five. Both need a victory to serve notice to the other teams in the MAC.
Why Kent State Might Win: Competition and confidence. Kent State has played a murderous non-conference schedule by going to Alabama to kick things off, and then having a cameo at Kansas State. Nobody in the MAC is going to come out of those two bear traps without some things to work on. The silver lining however, is that early on the difference in competition can get a team ahead of the bell curve of improvement as they step back into a level playing field.
That's just what will happen this week. After ringing in the season against bigger, faster, and stronger players, it will feel like there are bigger holes to run through, more time to throw, and less time to simply duck and get out of the way. That's what happened last week against a better than you'd think South Alabama team, and the difference showed. The same should be true this week as OU comes out with athletes more on caliber with KSU. The stats aren't there to back up much of a chance at victory for the Golden Flashes because of the competition, but they'll be more than ready to go in this one with some confidence of years past in mind and the understanding that they have had their way in Athens in recent memory. Mind over matter could be all that's needed.
Why Ohio Might Win: Ohio looks like a legitimate contender in the MAC this year. And though the competition has not been great, it has done it on both sides of the ball, with multiple phases. The offense is putting up over 460 yards a game, and has seemingly been able to do it in whatever fashion needed. Up until last week, the Bobcats were a team that could pound the ball against teams that would allow it, but then came out of their shell to throw the ball all over the yard for 339 yards last week.
This same defense that got gashed a little bit against Rutgers last week should have no problem stopping a Kent State offense that is at the bottom of almost every statistical category. The Golden Flashes are 101st in running, 118th in passing, and 119th in total offense, meaning they would have an issue scoring against air. Ohio is going to score points, and it doesn't look like Kent State is going to be able to keep pace.
What To Watch Out For: For all of the bad offensive stats that Kent State has put up so far this year, the defense does have one bright spot. The Golden Flashes have done an admiral job stopping people on the defensive side-especially considering the competition level. They have done it mostly because of the pressure that the defensive line has been able to put on people via Roosevelt Nix and company and the solid secondary behind him. This was the best defense in the MAC last year, and it will be interesting to see which way Ohio goes when attacking it.
Speaking of Ohio, keep an eye on its top cornerback Travis Carrie. He had to leave the game last week with a concussion, and it made all of the difference in the world as his absence paved the way for a record setting day for Rutgers receiver Mohamed Sanu. His 176 yards of receiving yards and two TDs in combination with turnovers literally won the game for the Scarlet Knights. All indications are that Carrie is ready to play this week, but if he gets dinged again, or isn't able to be the same exceptional corner that Bobcat fans have been accustomed to, the anemic KSU offense could get a lift through the air.
What Will Happen: Ohio is going to come out serving its main dish of running the ball because that's the best matchup of their offense versus the Kent State defense. It'll have some success, but not as much as in previous games and stall on a few drives early. Kent State will keep it close by realizing that it is not the Crimson Tide on the opposite sideline. It will have more ability to move the ball a little more consistently and play the field position game for a while. In the second half, the OU team will begin to wear away at the Golden Flashes and score a couple of TDs while the offense will continue to be a problem for Kent State. The Golden Flashes will have to settle for too many field goals, and the boys from Athens will be able to protect their home turf for a win to start out conference play on the right path.
CFN Prediction: Ohio 34 … Kent State 16
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