Tuesday Night MACtion
As reliable as the leaves changing, the McRib coming back, or the arrival of Great Lakes Christmas Ale on the shelves, we are being forced to gamble on MACtion on a Tuesday in late October. Baseball is over, NBA is still warming up (Packages Now Available), and college basketball is still a week away, but we have some good, old fashioned, gritty Midwestern football tonight. Since we know you are going to take a side on these games anyway, we got you covered.
Kent State (+1.5) @ Bowling Green
Make no mistake about it, neither of these teams are very good. Both squads come into the game at 1-7, with both wins coming against FCS teams. This one comes down to who is the least bad and which team has the individuals to make a difference. Well, BGSU is giving up nearly 48 points per game, which places them as the 2nd worst defense in FBS. Kent St’s 108 ranked scoring defense is only yielding 35 a game. On the offensive side of the ball, the teams are much more even, both scoring about 24 points per game. While BG gets some edge due to hosting the game on a Tuesday, both teams played 10 days ago and will have plenty of rest. We see the X-Factor in this one as being Kent St’s QB, Woody Barrett. Barrett is a former 4-star recruit, who transferred to Kent from Auburn via Copiah-Lincoln Community College this season. We 1st noticed Barrett when he took on Penn State early in the season and made a mental note to remember this guy. While they only have 1 win against a FCS opponent, Kent has been close. They have two losses by 1-point in conference, including a loss in OT last week. Bowling Green ranks dead last in rushing defense, giving up 333 yards per game on the ground. Look for Kent to run plenty, including a lot with Barrett. Two 1-7 teams playing on a Tuesday isn’t the game we want, but the game we need. Take the Golden Flashes and enjoy the glory of MACtion.
Miami (OH) @ Buffalo (-7)
While the Kent/BG game pits two of the worst teams in the country, this battle in Buffalo could go a long way to determining the winner of the MAC East. These teams may seem pretty even on the surface, especially if you consider Miami took Army into OT 10 days ago, and Buffalo was blown out by the Black Knights. However, Miami is scoring almost 7 points less a game, while yielding about 3 more points. The Bulls are a legitimate, well-balanced team on both sides of the ball. While there will be much talk of Redhawks QB, Gus Ragland, we like the massive (6’7”, 250) Bulls QB, Tyree Jackson with a slight edge in this battle. However, the real difference maker will be the sheer balance on both sides of the ball. The Bulls boast 2 – 500 yard rushers in Kevin Marks and Jaret Patterson and a combined 1,100 yards receiving from KJ Osborn and Anthony Johnson. On defense, UB has forced 11 INTs to Miami’s 5. Add in Buffalo senior defensive end Chuck Harris, who is tied for second in the conference with seven sacks, and Ragland and Co. will struggle to move the ball and most likely give it up a couple times, providing Jackson and that offense with short fields. Give the points, take the Bulls.