College Football Week 4 Blowout Special: Kent State Golden Flashes at Penn State Nittany Lions

zach zwinak-penn-state-2013Kent State-Penn St
Time: 3:30 PM EST, Sept 21
Spread: PEN -22
M/L: PEN -1700, KEN +1100
O/U: 54

Odds courtesy of 5dimes

Kent State has had a rough going this season since opening week 1 with a win over lowly Liberty (and barely, 17-10). The Golden Flashes then got destroyed by another small school in week 2, losing 41-22 to Bowling Green. Last week was no different, though the team can be excused as the squad was not expected to give then-No. 8 LSU much trouble (and they didn’t, losing 45-13). Things don’t figure to get much better this week, as Penn State hopes to avenge their loss to UCF in what college football oddsmakers are projecting to be a handy blowout.

It’s disconcerting for a team coming off its best season in school history, but for reasons one need look no further than the injury to senior running back Dri Archer, who was expected to be the lead ball carrier.

In the wake of Archer’s injury, the team has relied on mediocre backs like Trayion Durham (50 carries; 3.0 yards per) and QB Colin Reardon (30 carries; 3.5 yards per). Reardon has done an admirable job throwing the ball and progressing the Kent State offense, all things considered, but the team is crippled early this season by Archer’s injury. He ran for 1,429 yards last season with an average carry of 9.0 yards.

Penn State is doing its best to remain a top tier program in the wake of oncoming sanctions. With scholarships being reduced on a year-by-year basis, the team is doing its best with a lack of depth and just looking to move forward. Last week, it struggled against an underrated UCF squad, which exposed a weak PSU secondary, as Blake Bortles of UCF threw for 288 yards and three TDs.

The Nittany Lions didn’t do much better protecting against the rush. This week could serve as a confidence booster before resuming play against tough opponents in October (No. 15 Michigan and No. 4 Ohio State in back-to-back weeks).

The PSU offense has been proficient, as Zach Zwinak has been his usual workhorse self (232 yards on 52 carries); Bill Belton has broke through for some nice runs (20 carries, 163 yards) and Christian Hackenburg has aired it out with proficiency (851 yards, 71.7 percent). That trio, along with Hackenburg’s primary receiving targets Allen Robinson and Brandon Felder, should have their way with Kent State, as college football oddsmakers predict.


0-5 ATS in last 5 vs Big 10; OVER 4-0 in last 4 on grass; 7-1 ATS in last 8 road.


3-0-1 ATS in last 4 after allowing 280-plus passing yds previous week; 4-0 ATS in last 4 following SU win; OVER 4-0 in last 4 on grass.

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