Northern Illinois vs. Kent State Prediction, Game Preview

Northern Illinois vs. Kent State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins when the Huskies face the Golden Flashes in a MAC battle Friday afternoon.

Northern Illinois vs. Kent State Game Preview

When: Friday, Nov. 25 – Noon ET
Where: Dix Stadium, Kent, Ohio.
TV Broadcast: CBS Sports Network

The quarterback injuries keep piling up for Northern Illinois. Drew Hare went down first. Then Ryan Graham, then Anthony Maddie, then Ryan Graham again. Redshirt freshman Daniel Santacaterina came on in during the second half last week after Graham was rocked with a big hit and rallied NIU to a 31-24 overtime victory over Eastern Michigan.

Kent State can’t even claim it was competitive last week. The Golden Flashes were crushed, 42-7, by Bowling Green. Both Nick Holley and George Bollas both saw time at quarterback, and that could be the case again this week against NIU.

What To Know About Northern Illinois

It’s still unclear if Graham will be able to play in this one, as there’s a possibility he suffered a concussion. That would leave Santacaterina to be in line for his first start after rushing for 91 yards last week. He also threw a 74-yard touchdown pass to Aregeros Turner, but he finished 5-of-15 for 103 yards passing.

The Huskies are like to feed Jordan Huff as much as possible given the shaky quarterback situation. Huff ran for 173 yards and three touchdowns against Eastern Michigan, getting a season-high 23 carries as NIU kept the ball on the ground for the majority of the contest after Graham left.

What To Know About Kent State

The Flashes have allowed 749 rushing yards over their last two games, which might not bode well against a Huskies team that’s going to continue running the ball as long as they don’t have a true passing threat.

On the other hand, Kent State finished with nine rushing yards last week against Bowling Green on 22 carries. It only completed 15 passes between Holley and Bollas as well. Holley isn’t comfortable throwing the ball, but if he continues getting shut down in the running game, too, it’s going to be a long day.


Offense: Even – Huff had a breakout game, but that’s not the norm. Both teams have their issues on this side of the ball.

Defense: Kent State – It is having trouble against the run, it is still ranked second in the MAC in average yards allowed per play.

Special Teams: Even – These teams have combined to miss 12 field goals this year.

Coaching: Even – Paul Haynes and Rod Carey both have a lot of work to do to get these teams back to meeting expectations.

Intangibles: Northern Illinois – The Huskies have won the last eight meetings.

Matchup To Watch

QBs vs. QBs

No one really know who is going to be under center at any point for either team. Essentially, this is going to come down to which squad gets consistency from this position, whether it be through the air or on the ground.

Betting Odds

Spread: Northern Illinois -5
Over/Under: 46

Northern Illinois vs. Kent State Prediction

This is going to be a sloppy game that features seven turnovers and lots of missed opportunities. In the end, NIU gets the one big play it needs to separate itself.

Northern Illinois vs. Kent State final score prediction: Northern Illinois 21, Kent State 14

MORE: 1-128 College Football Rankings – Week 13