Akron vs. Kent State

Akron vs. Kent State | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Written by on November 16, 2020

There were supposed to be three college football games from the Mid-American Conference on Tuesday night but one, Ohio at Miami of Ohio, was canceled due to the coronavirus. The late matchup Tuesday features Akron at state rival Kent State on ESPN.

How to Bet Akron at Kent State NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

Last Meeting

Akron was the only winless team in the country last season and was blasted 26-3 by Kent State. Dustin Crum threw a touchdown pass, and Matthew Trickett kicked four field goals as the Flashes snapped a four-game skid against the Zips in the annual Crystal Clinic Wagon Wheel trophy game. Crum’s 49-yard pass to Isaiah McKoy capped Kent State’s opening drive, Trickett added a 36-yard field goal and Will Matthews scored on a 5-yard run for a 17-3 halftime lead. Trickett kicked a 43-yard field goal in the fourth quarter and a 45-yarder after Jabbar Price recovered a fumble. Crum was 16 of 21 for 149 yards passing and gained 82 yards on 14 carries while Matthews gained 126 yards on 25 tries.

The schools separated by just 13 miles are meeting for the 63rd time on the football field. Akron owns a 35-25-2 advantage all-time but the Wagon Wheel Trophy Game is 24-24-1.

Why Bet on Akron? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Because the Ohio-Miami of Ohio game was canceled, this was shifted to ESPN and 8 p.m. ET. It was originally slated to kickoff at 7 p.m. and be broadcast on ESPNU.

Akron (0-2) comes off a 24-10 loss at Ohio last Tuesday. The Zips were 27.5-point underdogs, coming off a Week 1 loss by 45 points and carrying an 18-game losing streak. Yet, Akron rose above the adversity to keep the game close, down only 17-10 heading late into the fourth quarter before Ohio salted the game away with a touchdown run by De’Montre Tuggle with 2:02 remaining.

Junior Teon Dollard has a career-high 165 yards rushing and Akron total 217 yards overall yet still managed just 10 points. The Zips finished with 435 combined offensive yards. Dollard became Akron’s first 100-yard rusher since Van Edwards Jr. ran for 109 yards vs. Morgan State on Sept. 28, 2018, with a 39-yard scamper on a 3rd-and-1 play from the Zips’ 39-yard line.  Dollard has more rushing yards after two games this year (232) than the Akron’s leading rusher had all last year in 12 games combined (Brandon Lee, 179 total rushing yards).

Dollard’s 165 yards represented the highest single-game rushing total since Jawon Chisholm ran for 184 yards against Kent State on Nov. 28, 2014.  Redshirt freshman QB Zach Gibson passed for a career-high 218 yards (18-of-30), including connecting with six different receivers.

Akron is looking for its first-ever win under second-year head coach Tom Arth. The Zips were tabbed to finish sixth in the East Division in a pair of 2020 Mid-American Conference Football Preseason Polls by the members of the MAC coaches and media.

Five Akron football players were named to Phil Steele’s 2020 preseason All-Mid-American Conference teams. Earning preseason first-team All-MAC was sophomore KR Michael Mathison. Named to the preseason second-team All-MAC was redshirt junior LB Bubba Arslanian.

The Zips are just 109th in the FBS in passing offense this season with an average of 172 yards per game. Akron is tied for 57th in the nation in rushing with an average of 173.5 yards per contest. The Zips are 123rd of 125 FBS teams to take the field this season in scoring offense with an average of 11.5 points per game.

Why Bet on Kent State? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Kent State (2-0) trashed Bowling Green 62-24 last Tuesday to improve to 2-0 for the first time since 1988. Dustin Crum sprinkled the ball around to the tune of a career-high four touchdowns. The senior finished 18-for-27 for 271 yards and added 25 rushing yards.

Isaiah McKoy had an impressive night, reeling in six passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns. It was McKoy’s second career multi-touchdown game. The Golden Flashes threw for 372 yards and rushed for another 295 on their way to a 667-yard offensive depth charge. The converted 34 first downs, including 11-for-19 on third down.

Kent State rolled up a commanding 667-365 edge in total offense, racked up a 34-16 advantage in first downs and controlled the clock by a 32:14 to 27:46 margin.

Kent State rushed for 295 yards against the Falcons. That marks the fifth straight game the team has rushed for over 200 yards as a team. The Golden Flashes pass defense was stout against the Falcons, holding BG to just 105 yards passing. That is the fewest passing yards allowed since holding Western Michigan to 97 in 2017.

The Golden Flashes are 13th in rushing offense with an average of 253.5 yards per contest. Kent State is 10th in the FBS in scoring offense with an average of 44.5 points per contest. The Golden Flashes are 37th in the country in scoring defense as they allow 23.5 points per game.

Kent State has won six in a row dating to last season. That is the longest win streak since they ran off 10-straight wins in the 2012 season. At 34 years of age, Sean Lewis remains the youngest head coach in the FBS and is in his third season with the Golden Flashes. Lewis engineered a five-win improvement from year one to year two, closing the 2019 season on a four-game win streak.

Game Trends

  • Zips are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 meetings.
  • Zips are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 meetings in Kent State.
  • Underdog is 10-4 ATS in their last 14 meetings.
  • Home team is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings.
  • Under is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings.

Expert College Football Prediction

Kent State 45, Akron 20


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