Kent State vs. Miami (OH) prediction and game preview. The Golden Flashes try to keep the RedHawks winless when they meet Saturday.
Kent State vs. Miami (OH) Game Preview
When: Saturday, Oct. 15 – 2:30 p.m. ET
Where: Fred C. Yager Stadium, Oxford, Ohio.
TV Broadcast: ESPN3
Due to injuries, senior Nick Holley has gotten the chance to take over the offense. Holley hasn’t disappointed, putting together strong games in both of his starts while sparking the Golden Flashes’ offense that was struggling to move the ball through its first four contests.
The complete opposite is happening for Miami (OH). Sophomore starter Billy Bahl wasn’t able to lead the RedHawks to a victory in four games before he was injured Oct. 1 against Ohio, but at least his play was steady. Freshman Noah Wezensky stepped in last week against Akron and struggled as Miami dropped to 0-6.
What To Know About Kent State
Kent State averaged 265.8 yards per game through its first four with freshmen Mylik Mitchell getting most of the reps. When he went down with an injury, Holley stepped in and has helped the Golden Flashes gain over 400 yards in each of the last two. He threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 117 and a score in a close loss to Akron on Oct. 1, then ran for 224 yards and four touchdowns in last week’s 44-20 win over Buffalo. There’s little reason to believe Holley won’t be the main focus of the offense again in this contest, although Miami ranks third in the MAC in total defense.
Speaking of defense, Kent State has been better on that side of ball over the last two games as well, allowing fewer than 400 yards. It also has forced four turnovers in that stretch and is facing a RedHawks team that has the second-most giveaways in the conference with 14.
What To Know About Miami (OH)
Wezensky has struggled in his first two starts, completing 52.8 percent of his passes while being sacked five times. Miami’s offense has regressed with him under center, gaining fewer than 300 total yards in each contest. It’s uncertain how long Bahl will be out. He threw eight touchdowns against four interceptions – Wezensky had two in last week’s 35-13 loss to Akron – and he’s clearly the better fit for the offense.
It’s certainly tough for Wezensky to get his bearings, though, when the running game is averaging 2.7 yards per carry. That’s the second-lowest average in the nation, and the RedHawks’ two rushing touchdowns are tied for the fewest in FBS. It’s not for their lack of trying, as three different players have been credited with at least 40 carries.
Offense: Kent State – Holley looks to stay hot and keep Miami winless.
Defense: Kent State – The Golden Flashes are holding opponents to 4.99 yards per play, the best average in the MAC.
Special Teams: Miami – Kent State is allowing nearly 13 yards per punt return, which is the most in the conference.
Coaching: Even – Kent State’s Paul Haynes and Miami’s Chuck Martin both are trying to revive programs that traditionally are near the bottom of the MAC.
Intangibles: Kent State – Offensive coordinator Don Treadwell was fired as head coach of Miami after an 0-5 start in 2013, and he’ll be devising a scheme to beat his former employer.
Matchup To Watch
Holley vs. Miami’s defense
The RedHawks will be on their way to 0-7 if they can’t slow Holley, who has been on fire. Holley has shown he can get the job done through the air and on the ground, and he’ll keep Miami on its toes all day.
Spread: No line
Over/Under: No line
Kent State vs. Miami (OH) Prediction
Holley accounts for 300 total yards and three touchdowns, Miami continues to have its problems running the ball and Kent State leaves with a road victory.
Kent State vs. Miami (OH) final score prediction: Kent State 31, Miami 7