Bowl Betting Preview: Arkansas State Red Wolves vs #25 Kent State Golden Flashes

2013 Bowl
Sunday, January 6, 2013, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Arkansas State Red Wolves vs #25 Kent State Golden Flashes

Ladd-Peebles Stadium – Mobile, Alabama
Opening Line: Arkansas St -3
Current Line: Arkansas St -3 1/2
Opening Total: 61
Current Total: 61
Opening Money Line: ASU -190 / Kent St+160
Current Money Line: ASU -175 / Kent St +155

Arkansas St is a 3.5 point favorite against Kent St in the Bowl in mobile, Alabama Sunday night.

The 9-3 Arkansas St Red Wolves and 11-2 Kent St Golden Flashes meet for the first time ever in Sunday’s Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Arkansas St is 3-5-1 all time in bowls, including a 38-20 loss to Northern Illinois in this bowl last year. Kent St is 0-2 in bowls, and hasn’t played in a bowl since the 1972 Tangerine Bowl.

Both teams have to replace their coaches. Arkansas St coach Gus Malzahn went back to Auburn to become the head coach where he was the offensive coordinator on the team’s 2010 BCS Championship team. Arkansas St hired Texas offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin as the coach for next season. John Thompson will be the interim coach for the bowl. Kent St coach Darrell Hazell will become the head coach at Purdue next season but will coach the bowl game. The Golden Flashes hired Arkansas defensive coordinator Paul Haynes as the coach for next season. He is a Kent St alum and former assistant coach.

Arkansas St won the Sun Belt Conference with a 7-1 record. The Red Wolves have losses at Oregon 57-34 and Nebraska 42-13, along with a home loss to Western Kentucky 26-13. ASU has home wins over Memphis 33-28, Alcorn St 56-0, South Alabama 36-29, UL-Monroe 45-23 and Middle Tennessee 45-0 to close out the regular season along with road wins at  Florida International 34-20, ULL 50-27, North Texas 37-19 and Troy 41-34. ASU has won 7 straight games. The Red Wolves are 8-4 ATS this season and the total is 6-5.

Arkansas St is averaging 481.8 yards per game on offense, including 262.8 passing and 219 rushing yards. The Red Wolves are outscoring teams 36-25 this season. Arkansas St is in the top 25 in total offense, rushing and scoring.  ASU is +8 in turnovers and they have 14 turnovers. The Red Wolves have allowed 13 sacks and average 47 penalty yards. ASU is 83/173 on third and fourth down conversions, and 52/60 scoring in the red zone with 40 touchdowns. On defense, Arkansas St is allowing 386.5 yards per game, including 233.2 passing yards and 153.3 rushing yards. ASU has forced 22 turnovers and 18 sacks. ASU opponents are 72/149 on third and fourth down conversions and 36/46 scoring in the red zone with 25 touchdowns.

Arkansas St quarterback Ryan Aplin has completed 255 of 376 passes (67.8%) with 3,129 yards for 23 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, along with 96 carries, 443 yards and 6 touchdowns. Running back David Oku has 225 carries, 1,024 yards and 15 touchdowns, along with 20 catches for 159 yards and a touchdown. Rocky Hayes, Frankie Jackson, Rod Smith and Sirgregory Thornton will also get some carries.Jackson has 4 rushing touchdowns.

Receiver J.D. McKissic has 92 catches, 909 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Josh Jarboe has 47 catches, 546 yards, and 4 touchdowns.Taylor Stockemer has 29 catches, 467 yards and 3 touchdowns. No other receiver has more than 18 catches. Julian Jones has only 13 catches, but 7 of them went for touchdowns.

Kent State won the MAC East title with 8-0 record  The only losses for the Golden Flashes came at Kentucky 47-14 and against Northern Illinois 44-37 in double overtime in the MAC Championship game  . Kent St had won 10 games in a row before that game. NIU ended up going to the Orange Bowl and Kent St would have done the same with a win. The Golden Flashes have home wins over Towson 41-21, Ball St 45-43, Western Michigan 41-24, Akron 35-24, and at Ohio 28-6. Kent has road wins at Buffalo 23-7, Eastern Michigan 41-14, Army 31-17, Rutgers 35-23, Miami-(OH) 48-32, and Bowling Green 31-24. Kent St is 10-2-1 ATS and the total is 8-4 this season.

Kent State is averaging 391.2 yards per game on offense, including 162.9 passing yards and 228.3 rushing yards. The Golden Flashes are #114 nationally in passing and #15 in rushing. Kent St is outscoring teams 35-24 this season. Kent St is +21 in turnovers with 17 giveaways. The Flashes have allowed 20 sacks this season, and average 43.1 penalty yards per game. Kent is 79/201 on third and fourth down conversions and 42/51 scoring in the red zone with 29 touchdowns. On defense, the Golden Flashes are allowing 418.7 yards per game, including 276.5 passing and 142.2 rushing yards. Kent is #110 in pass defense and #38 in rush defense. The Flashes have forced 38 turnovers and 33 sacks this season. Kent St opponents are 86/215 on third and fourth down conversions and 37/47 scoring in the red zone with 25 touchdowns. The Golden Flashes have 8 defensive/special teams touchdowns.

Kent St quarterback Spencer Keith has completed 166 of 300 passes (55.3%) for 1,864 yards with 12 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, along with 66 carries, 180 yards and 5 touchdowns. Keith also has a touchdown catch. Do-everything running back Dri Archer leads the Golden Flashes in rushing and receiving. He has 2,460 all purpose yards. Archer has 150 carries, 1,352 yards, and 15 touchdowns, along with 35 catches, 539 yards, and 4 touchdowns. He averages 38.2 yards per kick return with 3 touchdowns. He even has a touchdown pass to Keith. Trayion Durham has 256 catches, 1,248 yards, and 14 touchdowns, along with 15 catches for 62 yards.Other than Keith no other Kent St player has more than 26 carries.

Including the running backs, 7 Kent receivers have at least 15 catches. Josh Boyle has 28 catches, 338 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Matthew Hurdle has 29 catches, 261 yards and a touchdown. Eric Adeyemi has 17 catches, 238 yards and 3 touchdowns. Chris Humphrey and Tim Erjavec will also get a lot of targets.

Kent St is 4-0-1 ATS against teams with winning records, 4-1-1 after allowing 450 yards or more, 15-5-1 overall, and on fieldturf, 5-2-1 after scoring 40 points or more, 7-3-1 after rushing for more than 200 yards, 17-39-1 after rushing for less than 100 yards, 5-13 in non-conference games, 4-11-1 after a straight up loss, and 13-38-1 after gaining less than 275 yards.

Arkansas St is 5-0 ATS after a straight up win, and overall, 4-0 after and allowing less than 100 rushing yards, 4-1 on fieldturf, 8-2 after allowing less than 20 points, 16-5 after gaining more than 450 yards, and 1-4 after allowing less than 170 passing yards.

Arkansas St has been red hot recently on a seven game winning streak. The offense is one of the best in the country. Kent St has one of the worst pass defenses in the country. Still, I think this will be a close game in a shootout. I think the Golden Flashes outscore the Red Wolves.

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