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Week 11 Preview: Kent State Golden Flashes at Western Michigan Broncos

Bowl eligibility on the line for the Broncos

NCAA Football: Western Michigan at Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The likelihood of winning the MAC West Division for the second consecutive year is looking bleak for the Western Michigan Broncos, fresh off their 35-28 defeat at home to in-state rival Central Michigan.

WMU (5-4, 3-2 MAC) needs to win the final three games of the season, while having both Toledo and Northern Illinois lose more than once. The Broncos sit third in the division standings.

For the Kent State Golden Flashes (2-7, 1-4), pride and developing important players for the future is at stake, having already been out of bowl contention for the fifth straight year.

When these two teams played last season, Western Michigan left Dix Stadium with a 37-21 win.


When Kent State Has The Ball

It’s a shame that the Golden Flashes had to lose quarterback Nick Holley, who went down three games into the season with an injury. Since then, backups George Bollas and Dustin Crum have not gotten the job done.

Besides a comeback win over Miami (OH), the pair haven’t achieved anything significant. They’ve combined for three touchdowns and a mounting nine interceptions.

KSU, among all FBS teams, is ranked last in the nation in scoring (10.7 ppg), second to last in total offense (253.4 ypg).


When Western Michigan Has The Ball

Blame the weather and wet conditions for freshman quarterback Reece Goddard’s underwhelming outing, completing six passes for 42 yards and an interception.

It wasn’t necessary Goddard’s fault for Western Michigan’s poor execution down the stretch against Central Michigan, as turnovers and dropped catches were more indicative of the outcome, but Goddard has to take that next step.

But good news, KSU’s defense is allowing nearly 35 points a game to opponent, as well as 208 passing yards and 192 total first downs.

Senior running back Jarvion Franklin is currently the program’s all-time leading rusher (4,509) and career touchdown leader (54).


Prediction

Second half collapses need to be avoid by Western Michigan.

Leading by 14 entering halftime, allowing as many points as the Broncos did from Central Michigan is unacceptable. Granted, Kent State isn’t on the same elevation as the Chippewas talent wise, but strangers things have happened.

If the ball is fed consistently to Franklin and its corp of running backs, while leaving Goddard at a severely limited role, then WMU shouldn’t have problems grabbing a win on senior night.


Game Information

Where: Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan

When: 7 p.m. on Wed., Nov. 7

TV/Streaming: CBS Sports Network

Spread: Western Michigan (-21.5)