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2017 Week 13 MAC Football Preview : Kent State Golden Flashes at Akron Zips

It’s rivalry time!

Wagon Wheel at MAC Media Day
The Most Notable James W Snyder

The Akron Zips have a chance to play in the MAC championship game for the first time since 2005 when they knocked off Northern Illinois for all the marbles. Standing in their way is their arch rival, the Kent State Golden Flashes. One of the highlights of the MAC media day this season was seeing that the Zips brought the Wagon Wheel with them and had it sitting at their table.

Game Details

  • When: Tuesday, November 21, 7 P.M.
  • Where: InfoCision Stadium, Akron, Ohio
  • Watch: ESPNU
  • Stream: WatchESPN depending on subcription
  • Listen: 1350 AM WARF in Akron/ 640 AM WHLO In Kent
  • Line: Akron -15

When the Zips Have the Ball

The Zips have been without the services of senior quarterback Thomas Woodson for a few games since a suspension for a violation of team rules. The athletic freshman Kato Nelson has stepped up admirably. In the huge game against Ohio, he threw for 322 yards and 4 touchdowns with zero picks. After the Warren Ball injury, Akron has relied heavily on their QB play.

On the other side of the ball, the Kent State defense has been terrible the last 4 games, giving up 42 points or more in each. However, they were the strength of the team early in the season, including their last win against Miami when they only gave up 14.

When the Golden Flashes Have the Ball

Pain, horrible pain. The Golden Flashes have been downright awful to watch on offense this season. However they have been improving. George Bollas is now at the helm because of injury, and has shown some flashes of promise.

The Zips have been fairly solid on defense this year. Their stats are a bit skewed because of the schedule they have played. While I am not proclaiming them the best in the MAC, they probably have enough to stop Kent State. Ulysees Gilbert III has been a monster all year. On the season, he has 103 tackles, 3 sacks and a couple of picks.


Rivalry games have a habit of bringing out the best in teams. I think the Kent State defense will be closer to the solid unit we saw early, before the frustrations of the season set in. Akron might even have a bit of a let down early, after the huge win last season. However, I think the Zips have too much of an advantage and have enough on the line. They will pull away in the second half, 38-14.