Utah State vs. Kent State: Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl fearless prediction and game preview.
Utah State vs. Kent State: Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl Broadcast
Utah State (7-5) vs. Kent State (6-6) Game Preview
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Three Reasons Why You Should Watch The Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl Bowl
– It’s not just every day that Kent State gets to play in a bowl game. The program has only played in three of these things – and never won one – with the last trip in the 2012 GoDaddy.com losing to Arkansas State. The 1972 Tangerine Bowl loss to Tampa, and the 1954 Refrigerator Bowl loss to Delaware – that’s it. For second-year head coach Sean Lewis and a team that rallied late this year to get bowl eligible, this is historic game.
– Utah State has been a regular on the bowl circuit over the last several years, and it all started with Gary Andersen turning the program around. He took Utah State bowling in 2011 for the first time since 1997, and after leaving for a few other jobs, he’s back and trying to cap off a disappointing year with something positive. It might not have been the season the Aggies wanted, but win, and it’s an eight-victory season. That’s not bad.
– Both teams are going to be fired up to be here, both teams will bring the energy and quick-paced offenses, and both teams have good parts that could make this a bit of a fight. America is owed a good Frisco Bowl – this can’t be worse than the first two.
The DXL Frisco Bowl was awful – Louisiana Tech 51-10 over SMU and Ohio 27-0 over San Diego State. No pressure, Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl, but you’re the second game of the bowl season on a Friday night with everyone watching. Let’s go.
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Why Utah State Will Win
– It’s the chance for Jordan Love to close out strong. The 6-4, 225-pound junior followed up an amazing sophomore season with a disappointing junior campaign, throwing 16 interceptions along with his 17 touchdown passes. Even so, he’s a solid pro prospect who’s leaving early for the NFL after this game. The whole NFL scouting world will be locked in and focused on him, and it’s a chance to up his profile with a brilliant performance.
– For all of the things the quick-paced offense has done wrong this year, it’s been great on third downs. Both teams run similar styles in terms of tempo, and both can move the chains. Kent State’s D allows offenses to hit 45% of their third down tries – Love should take target practice.
– The pass protection has been a bit spotty, but the offensive line has been terrific at keeping defenses out of the backfield on running plays. Love should be able to get the ball out of his hands in a hurry against a generally weak Golden Flash pass rush – this D doesn’t get in the backfield. Utah State only allows 4.8 tackles for loss per game.
Why Kent State Will Win
– Kent State is playing one of the only teams that cares less about time of possession. The whole idea behind the FlashFast offense is to go … fast. However, that’s not always a plus. The Golden Flashes might up the tempo to keep defenses on their heels, but they also occasionally get off the field in a hurry. No concerns here – Utah State is dead last in the nation in time off possession.
– All of a sudden, the Kent State rushing attack has started to work. Non-existent at times throughout the season, the Golden Flashes started to find gaping holes to work through late in the year, tearing off 266 yards and two scores against Ball State, and 253 yards and three touchdowns against Eastern Michigan.
The Utah State defensive front is a far cry from the killer of a few years ago, getting rocked for 200 rushing yards or more in four of the last six games. Kent State is 4-1 when hitting the 200-yard mark. However …
– The passing game works. QB Dustin Crum might not have always been amazing at pushing the ball down the field, but he doesn’t screw up, and he led the MAC’s most efficient passing game throwing 18 touchdown passes and just two picks. He averages 8.2 yards per pass, and now he’s going against a secondary that’s fine, but got lit up from time to time.
Utah State is 0-4 when giving up multiple touchdown passes to quarterbacks who hit 55% of their passes. Crum connects on 68% of his throws with five multiple touchdown passes games in the last nine outings.