Kent State vs. Ohio 2013 Preview: Ohio Fights For Its Bowl Dreams

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio is faltering down the stretch, just like a year ago. Kent State has struggled for the better part of the 2013 season. The Golden Flashes took down the Bobcats last year and hope that Dri Archer's recent play continues in some Tuesday night #MACtion

After losing their last two games by an aggregate score of 79-3, the Ohio Bobcats are lost and searching for answers. Ohio is set to play host to Kent State in a matchup that is scheduled to air on ESPN2 Tuesday night at 8 p.m. This game at a glance does not seem worthy.

The Bobcats have been listless in each of their last two games. It brings to mind the 1-4 stretch that Ohio suffered through at the end of the 2012 season before their Independence Bowl victory. After back-to-back dreadful losses, Ohio seems to be at a loss of ideas. In the Bobcats three biggest games of the year against Louisville, Buffalo, and Bowling Green, they have been outscored by a combined score of 128-10.

No one can lay the blame on injuries anymore. A 30-3 loss and a 49-0 loss cannot be attributed to injuries on the O-Line. It goes deeper than that.

Frank Solich thinks a lack of leadership is the culprit.

"Leadership comes into play. When you have a team that's sliding...someone needs to respond. We didn't."

Tyler Tettleton seems to have thrown in the towel. Or maybe he is just content trying to have fun: "Me personally...I'm just trying to...enjoy these last couple of games as a senior. I think that's how it should be."

The fans doubt Ohio, and one could argue they should. On the bright side of things for the Bobcats, the week of practice after the BGSU loss seems to have been a good one.

For Kent State, 2013 has been the season from hell. A year after taking MAC power NIU to two overtimes in the MAC Championship game, the Golden Flashes have put up a miserable season. A not so memorable performance in Week 1 vs. Liberty and a loss against South Alabama are not what  first-year coach Paul Haynes's team aspired to this season. Dri Archer, who had Heisman aspirations and had everyone in Kent excited before the season, went down Week 1 with an injury. He has played well as of late but only has seven touchdowns in his time back (expectations were crazy high just three months ago). Fellow Kent State running back Trayion Durham has not had nearly the year he had in 2012.  It is all a fight for pride's sake at this point.

Kent State is averaging a measly 18.1 points per game and is yielding 30.4. If there is any team Ohio needs to play to get back on track, it just might be the struggling Golden Flashes. And if Ohio is going to make it to one of the many glamorous bowl games that the MAC offers the opportunity to play in, they need to win this week and next against UMass, and even then it likely will remain up in the air.

Solich and crew certainly will not be taking this week for granted. In his weekly press conference, he talked about expectations for the game.

"They have playmakers across the board and are a very good athletic football team. They have been very strong defensively for a number of years" Solich said. "We understand the quality of team that we're facing, and it will take a great effort and the top of our game to get it done. The games between Kent State have been physical, hard-fought football games."

A win would greatly boost the morale of both schools, and it figures to be a hard-fought contest on Tuesday evening.

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