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2016 Week 1 Preview: Kent State at Penn State

Kent State opens the season on the road looking for their first win against Penn State in their history.

April Goss Shoulder Carry (David Dermer, Kent St. Athletics)

Kent State opens their 2016 football season at Penn State for their 94th season opener. The team returns most of their starters and the three names to watch on defense are Nate Holley, Demetrius Monday and Terrence Waugh. These remembers of the Golden Flashes defense we’re first team All-MAC and look to have similar seasons in 2016.

The offense is a bit uncertain as reports are saying that the Golden Flashes will be playing three quarter backs on Saturday afternoon at Beaver Stadium. Holley has been a mainstay with the Golden Flashes ranking in the top five for total tackles the past two seasons. Ben Needham their new defensive coordinator and the youngest in FBS at 31 years old will look to use these three key members to lead a strong defense in 2016.

Penn State named Trace McSorely their starting quarterback and he’ll look to Chris Godwin, DaeSean Hamilton as his big play threats in the passing game. In addition to Hamilton and Godwin sophomore running back Saquon Barkley will look to continue his success he had as a freshman. He’ll try to achieve a second consecutive 1,000 yard season on the ground.

Kent State according to a Phil Simms metric is the most experienced team in the FBS while Penn State is 81st. This would be a historic win for Kent State as they have never beaten a team that is from the Big 10 conference. They are 1-15 against teams currently in the Big 10 but those teams had joined recently with the conference realignment.

The game will be on the Big Ten Network at 3:30 pm EST and should be an interesting battle of youth and experience. It will be a big test for the Golden Flashes traveling to Penn State but their experience should help them as they face a Big 10 opponent to open the season.