Kent State (8-1) at Miami-Ohio (4-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, Nov. 10, 1 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Yager Stadium (24,286) -- Oxford, Ohio. Television:
SportsTime Ohio. Home Record: KSU 4-0, Miami 3-0. Away Record: KSU 4-1, Miami
1-5. Neutral Record: KSU 0-0, Miami 0-0. Conference Record: KSU 5-0, Miami
3-2. Series Record: Miami-Ohio leads, 46-13.
GAME NOTES: The Miami-Ohio RedHawks try to knock off another team unbeaten in
Mid-American Conference play when they host the first-place Kent State Golden
Flashes at Yager Stadium this weekend.
Coach Darrell Hazell has given the fans in Kent something to be happy about
for the first time in decades. Kent State is leading the East Division with a
perfect 5-0 league record after winning its last seven games. The Golden
Flashes are bowl eligible for the first time since 1972 and upset Rutgers on
the road for their inaugural win over a ranked opponent in school history. KSU
is leading both Ohio University and Bowling Green by a single game in the East
On Oct. 27, Miami ended Ohio University's hopes of a perfect season by
upsetting the then ranked Bobcats, 23-20, in Oxford. The RedHawks followed
their program lifting win with a 27-24 loss to Buffalo at UB Stadium, but they
now return to Yager Stadium where they are 3-0 on the season. Miami has to win
two of its final three games to become bowl eligible. Coach Don Treadwell's
team needs to snap out of its current slump for that to be possible, as it has
lost three of its last four games.
Miami holds a sizeable 46-13 edge in the all-time series with Kent State. The
RedHawks earned a 9-3 win in last season's matchup in Kent.
Hazell's squad is an offensive juggernaut. KSU has been held under 30 points
on just two occasions this season and has averaged 38 points over the span of
its last six games. The Golden Flashes have the ability to torch teams through
the air with Spencer Keith and pound away on the ground with Trayion Durham
and Dri Archer.
Durham (887) and Archer (892) have used their contrasting running styles to
shred opposing defenses. Durham is an every down back that showed his
toughness by compiling 131 yards on 22 carries against Rutgers' sixth ranked
rush defense. Archer's electrifying speed is evident when he returns kicks (13
returns, 547 yards, three TDs, No. 1 ranking in FBS), but has translated well
into the backfield also, as he gains a MAC-best 9.2 yards per carry. Archer is
also a weapon in the passing game with 25 receptions which he has turned into
a team-high 333 yards and three scores.
Keith has not been a prolific passer this season but has been serviceable,
completing 58.3 percent of his pass attempts for 1,266 yards with only three
interceptions to eight touchdown passes. The senior quarterback had his streak
of five games with at least one TD pass come to an end last week against
KSU is not great at stopping opponents from racking up yards, but it manages
to come up with turnovers at opportune times. After forcing six total
turnovers against Western Michigan to help the team overcome a 24-17 deficit,
the Golden Flashes recorded seven takeaways in their upset at Rutgers. Six of
the Scarlet Knights' turnovers were Gary Nova interceptions. Nova entered the
game with only three INTs in RU's first eight contests.
KSU did not force any turnovers in last week's 35-24 win over Akron, but it
did manage to limit the Zips to just two red zone trips on the way to double-
Luke Batton is the anchor of the defense with a team-best 93 total stops. Luke
Wollet is second on the squad with 70 tackles and also has made a team-leading
three interceptions. Roosevelt Nix leads all active FBS defenders in career
tackles for loss with 49.5, ranks third in forced fumbles (10), and 10th in
Wollet will be tested as Miami's offense relies on its aerial attack, which is
the third best in the MAC with 283.4 ypg. Zac Dysert has delivered some
inspiring performances this season, the most notable of which was his 500-yard
passing and 100-yard rushing game versus Akron. The senior quarterback passed
Ben Roethlisberger in the school's record books to become Miami's all-time
leading passer his last time out. He has tallied 10,997 yards, 66 TDs, and 48
INTs during the course of his career.
Dawan Scott has emerged as one of the elite receivers in the MAC this season.
Despite missing the team's game at Bowling Green, he has tallied a team-high
630 yards and five touchdowns on 36 receptions. Andy Cruse is the top
possession wideout on the team with 60 catches. Nick Harwell was the go-to-guy
in the upset of Ohio as he made eight grabs for 138 yards and a score in the
contest. Harwell was one of the elite wideouts in the MAC last season with
1,425 yards, 97 receptions, and nine TDs.
While the RedHawks are blessed with dependable pass-catchers, the running game
has been less stellar with Jamire Westbrook (272 yards) leading the way and
Spencer Treadwell (195 yards) right behind him in the least productive rushing
offense in the MAC.
Miami's defense has yet to slow down an FBS opponent. The defense has allowed
its seven FBS opponents to gain an average of 516.6 yards of total offense per
game. The RedHawks went into its bout with Ohio allowing 285.3 rushing yards
per game, but they limited the Bobcats to 162 rushing yards and their star
tailback Beau Blankenship to just 74 yards. However, Miami was not able to
repeat that success against Branden Oliver and the Bulls as Buffalo rushed for
215 yards against it last week.
Chris Wade is the team's leader and MAC's second most frequent tackler with 99
stops on the season including 5.5 for loss. Mike Johns (6.0 TFL) and Mwanza
Wamulumba (5.0 TFL) supply pressure from the line. Senior LB Pat Hinkel's
great defensive awareness and anticipation has yielded 55 stops, three
interceptions, and a defensive score.
Miami's weakness against the run is a huge red flag heading into this one.
Kent State is not great against the pass, but its unstoppable rushing tandem
should deliver enough for the Golden Flashes to coast to a win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kent State 34, Miami-Ohio 24
11/07 10:41:17 ET
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