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Kent State Golden Flashes vs. Bowling Green Falcons Preview and Prediction

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Neither team has bowl hopes within reach this season but Kent State and Bowling Green will have some state pride and bragging rights on the line for the 84th time. Bowling Green has won three straight meetings in this Buckeye State series, but the Falcons are as vulnerable as they have been in years and Kent State may have just enough to take advantage of a down year for its MAC East rival.

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Kent State at Bowling Green

Kickoff: Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPNU

Spread: Kent State -2.5

Three Things to Watch

1. Kent State gaining edge in turnover margin
Kent State will come into Tuesday night’s game with one of the better turnover margins in the MAC. Western Michigan has pulled away from the field with an impressive plus-15 this season but Kent State is third in the MAC (+7) with 19 takeaways. That includes a MAC-leading 10 fumble recoveries. This trend should continue to go in Kent State’s favor this week, because Bowling Green has the MAC’s worst turnover margin, and one of the worst in the FBS, at minus-13. It’s largely fueled by 23 interceptions, three more than any other team in the country.

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2. Bowling Green won a game!
It’s true! Bowling Green is coming off a win just for the second time all season long after taking down Akron last week, 38-28. Donovan Wilson and Fred Coppet each rushed for more than 100 yards and combined for three touchdowns in the victory. The Falcons had run for a total of 147 yards in the previous two games combined, so it was refreshing to see them piled up 218 on the ground last week. Can that continue against Kent State?

3. Nick Holley brings running threat to Kent State offense
Kent State quarterback Nick Holley has proven to be a dual threat for the Golden Flashes, and the offense should continue to flow through him against Bowling Green. Holley has rushed for more than 140 yards in three straight games and has reached the century mark in five of the last six. He also has scored 10 rushing touchdowns during this stretch. Holley isn’t going to beat Bowling Green with his arm (50.4 completion rate, 74.1 ypg, 3 TDs, 3 INTs), but he will do damage with his feet.

Final Analysis

We may not have a pretty matchup for this Tuesday night MAC contest, but it’s football darn it and we’re going to watch anyway! Nick Holley should be the star of the game for Kent State. Running the ball will be the focus for both teams this week, and passing will not be recommended considering Kent State has the MAC’s least productive passing offense (125.2 ypg, 8 TDs, 7 INTs) and Bowling Green has already thrown 23 interceptions. Run the ball!

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Prediction: Kent State 23, Bowling Green 21

— Written by Kevin McGuire, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. McGuire also contributes to College Football Talk and The Comeback as well as hosts the No 2-Minute Warning Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @KevinOnCFB and Like him on Facebook

(Nick Holley photo courtesy of kentstatesports.com)