This game is one that is filled with a lot of excitement and optimism for myself and others. The Buffalo Bulls who sit at 1-3 take on the Kent State Golden Flashes who sit at a similar 1-4. At a quick glance this game may seem like a battle of mediocrity, but ultimately could be a huge game in the season as Buffalo looks to open MAC play with a win and Kent State looks to get back to .500. Both schools have had equally tough FCS losses however Kent State also has a win in that category. So what should we expect from a game like this? Keep reading and you'll find out!
Players to Watch
Nick Holley - This running back is probably the opposite of a one dimensional player. A former high school quarter back, Holley is now starting under center for the Golden Flashes as their other two starters have gone down with injury. Holley is able to do it all and the Bulls cannot take him lightly. When playing Army, the Bulls essentially faced a running back at quarter back but Holley actually has a decent arm. Stopping him is key to stopping the flashes.
Justin Rankin - Rankin has been a strong player in the Kent receiving core. Even with a running back throwing the ball, Rankin continues to be a factor. Coming in to the game with 17 catches and 231 yards means that stopping him on short to intermediate routes is vital. Maybe Boise Ross can lock him down and finally show us what we've been waiting for.
Terence Waugh - At just 6'1, 236 lbs you wouldn't think this defensive lineman is the scariest of players. Well think again. Waugh has already registered 9 TFL and 6 sacks in just 5 games. The Buffalo offensive line has struggled this season. If Waugh is able to push around the OL expect a long day for Tyree Jackson
This game feels like a must win. Forget non-conference play. This is a new season for the Bulls and I'm happy we get to open up with an opponent like Kent State. While we've learned no game should be taken lightly, I still feel as if this is a very winnable game. KSU has also lost to an FCS team and has not showed too much this season as well. This game has the feeling that the winner can go on a little run and the loser will be staying in the bottom of the league. Kent is coming off a tough loss to in-state rival Akron. Expect them to come out fired up from that defeat. Hopefully the blowout and disastrous offensive performance from the offensive last Saturday didn't kill the Bulls confidence. In order to win, there needs to be a fire. Give me the 4th quarter against Army Buffalo team and you'll see a win today.
It's a 50-50 game. The spread has been virtually a tie all week and that feels pretty accurate. Like I said, it's all going to come down to who is more desperate. If the Bulls play with energy, limit the turnovers, and move the chains to get the defense some time to breath, expect the new season to start undefeated. There is nothing saying this team can't catch fire and steal a MAC East title this year with the state of that conference. Every game we've felt the team has not played up to potential, and maybe today we finally see that potential in full force.