Despite the proximity, Kent State is a small mystery to me.
Deep down, I know the Flashes aren't good, but their record makes me wonder whether they can make Saturday's game against Akron close.
KSU opened the season at home against Minnesota and lost 44-0. Then came an overtime loss to Army in which they scored their first touchdown on a fake field goal.
Quarterback Julian Edelman's efficiency allowed KSU to win at Miami two weeks ago, 16-14. Six Bowling Green turnovers on Saturday gave the Flashes a surprising 38-3 victory.
It's hard to say whether KSU is any good. I mean, Bowling Green has only snuck by Florida International and Buffalo. Miami has yet to win a game.
When the Flashes faced an opponent with some certainty of talent, the Gophers blew them out.
Here's what I do know about Kent State...
- They have three pretty good offensive playmakers in Edelman, running back Eugene Jarvis and receiver Najah Pruden.
- Edelman is a running threat as well as passing. He has run for 198 yards in four games.
- Jarvis, a 5-foot-5 freshman, relies on speed. He has averaged 4.9 yards per carry this season.
- Pruden has emerged as Edelman's No. 1 target. Problem is, where are the Nos. 2, 3 and 4? No other receiver is close to Pruden's 386 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Pruden is a 6-3 speedster and certainly will be one of the defense's focuses.
- The Flashes have effectively stopped the pass this season. They are 12th in the nation in pass defense.
- The two biggest names on defense are tackle Danny Muir and safety Andrew Kirkland.
- Kirkland had a huge game against Bowling Green, tallying two interceptions, two sacks, 12 tackles and a forced fumble. CFN says the Flashes' secondary is easily the team's strength.
- Muir is a 285-pound run stuffer with the potential to get into the backfield. Still, Muir's line has allowed five running backs to rush for more than 90 yards in four games (Minnesota had two).
- The early betting line has Akron a favorite of between 3 and 3.5 points. I think that is too conservative. I won't make my prediction yet, but from what I know about Kent State, I see a two touchdown Zips win.