As fans of both schools look forward to basketball season, perhaps the most valuable prize of winning the Wagon Wheel matchup is the right to chant "JUST LIKE FOOT-BALL" at Rhodes Arena or the M.A.C. Center as time winds down in the second half.
Kent State is coming off back-to-back wins. It's an envious position. The Zips have won two games out of the last 21.
Still, with an average of 222.8 yards per game, Kent State is the worst offense among the 120 schools in Division I-A -- averaging a full six yards per game behind No. 119 Florida Atlantic. The closest MAC school to KSU's futile average is Akron, and the Zips are 73.1 yards per game better.
At this stage in rebuilding, Kent is relying on its defense, which is second-best in the conference. The Flashes also have forced the most turnovers in the MAC.
I can promise you one thing on Saturday, this is going to be a low-scoring field-position game. The over-under is 39.5, which is the lowest combined-score prediction of any game this week. I still think it's too high. A better bet would be that the defenses outscore the offenses. Any takers?
The Zips take on Hiram at 7 p.m. on Saturday for their home opener.