WVU - Kent State Preview

Will the Golden Flashes have anything to show?

Series:WVU leads series 3-0-0

All three meetings between the Mountaineers and Golden Flashes were played in Morgantown. In 1990 WVU upended Kent 35-25, 45-6 in 1994 and 38-13 in 1975. The average score has been 39-14. The Golden Flashes has never beaten a Big East team (0-10) with their last meeting resulting in a 30-7 loss to Pitt. The last time Kent ended the season with a winning record was 1987 (7-4-0). WVU is 31-4-1 versus Mid-American teams.

Players to watch:
Kent - QB Joshua Cribbs, RB David Alston, WR Matt Curry, WR Joshua Bostick, OL Brian Hallett, LB Rashan Hall, LB James Harrison, DB Jacon Avery, DB Nashville Dyer.

WVU - Rasheed Marshall (Wrist) Out, Grant Wiley (Hamstring) Questionable, Shawn Hackett (Hamstring) Probable, Adam Lehnortt (Thumb) Probable, Jason Davis (Ankle sprain) Probable, Antonio Brown (Ankle) Probable, A.J. Nastasi (Ribs) Probably.

Kent - No injuries reported

Game outlook:

Game Info
WVU 1-1, 0-1
Kent 1-1, 0-0
Sat. 9/22 1:07 p.m.
Mountaineer Field
Morgantown , WV
Series: WVU 3-0-0
TV: MSN Tape Delay
BCS: WVU-60 Kent-109
Line: WVU +26.5
WVU offense vs. Kent defense
Rich Rodriguez wants to simplify the playbook this week and let the players relax and make some plays. The Mountaineer offense, while ranking only 69th in the nation in total offense (333 yds/game), should have no problem moving the ball on the flexible Kent State defense. Under fourth year defensive coordinator Greg Colby the Golden Flash defense ranks 111th out of 117 Division 1A schools in total yards allowed (491 yds/game) and 112th in rushing yards allowed (283.5 yds/game). Look for Avon Cobourne (ranks 17th in rushing at 117 yds/game) to approach 100 yards in the first half giving way to Cooper Rego and Quincy Wilson in the 2nd half.
Advantage: West Virginia

WVU defense vs. Kent offense
The game against the Ohio Bobcats will help WVU prepare for the Golden Flashes. Although not as proficient as the Bobcats with the running attack, the Flashes run a multiple offense that will rely of the run. Kent State will try and run the ball about 45 times and pass about 25 times on Saturday. First year offensive coordinator, Mike Drake, will watch the Mountaineer defense, hold the Flashes to under 150 yards rushing and force them to throw the ball late in the game. Shawn Hackett rejoins the Mountaineer defense just in time. Hackett should be able to pin his ears back and take some chances against a questionable Kent State offense. Joshua Cribbs, Kent State's leading rusher, also happens to be the leading passer. He has gained 118 yards rushing (4.9 yds/att) and is 15-31 with 173 yards and 2 TD's passing in 2 games.
Advantage: West Virginia

Click for Morgantown, West Virginia Forecast

WVU special teams vs. Kent special teams
Look for a "special" play this week against Kent State. WVU tried a fake field goal against Ohio to no avail but this week will be different. Shawn Terry ranks 54th in the nation in kick returns at 20 yards per attempt and will increase his ranking this week. The Golden Flashes' top performer on special teams is Jurron Kelly. Jurron ranks 32nd nationally in punt returns with an 11 yard average.

WVU will be looking to get a few troublesome spots ironed out on the special teams, including punt coverage, but still look to have an edge overall.
Advantage: West Virginia

Picks to Click:

On Offense: Avon Cobourne
On Defense: Kyle Kayden

Stat of the week:
Since 1988 the Mountaineers are 18-0 in games when they are favored by 20 or more points. WVU covered the spread in only 7 of those games.

The Mountaineers have had time to heal, which is bad news for Kent. Coach Rodriguez wants to simplify the offense for this game and let the players make plays. The Golden Flashes will run its losing streak against the Big East to 11 games.
WVU 35 - Kent 6

Stat Books: WVU Kent State

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