Tuesday November 16 -- 8 p.m. ET
Dix Stadium – Kent, Ohio
Sheer proximity has stoked the Kent State-Akron football series, but there are other incentives as well. This year, KSU enters as a thus far undefeated squad with designs on shooting for the stars. Its next hurdle is Akron, which would like nothing better this week than . . .
THE SERIES: Saturday’s game is the 73rd lifetime meeting between the two schools, with the Zips holding a 35-25-2 edge. Last season the Flashes ended a four-game losing streak to UA with a 26-3 victory at Infocision Stadium
Tuesday's prime time contest is also the 50th game for the battle of the Wagon Wheel Trophy, which began in 1946. The Trophy series is dead even at 24-24-1.
Here is more on the two teams. . .
KENT STATE GOLDEN FLASHES (2-0)
The Golden Flashes traveled to Bowling Green last Tuesday night and improved their record to 2-0 a they routed the Falcons for the second consecutive season. 62-24 as the Blue and Gold
Kent State broke open a 10-10 tie with 28 unanswered points and went on to a decisive 62-24 victory.
>> KSU’s 2-0 start Is their best since 1988 when they opened the season with wins over Youngstown State and Akron
>> The win was the Flashes fifth straight overall dating back to last season and is their longest winning streak since 2012, when they won the MAC Eastern Division title
>> KSU registered 667 yards of total offense.
>> Senior QB Dustin Crum completed 18-of-27 passes for 272 yards and a career-best four touchdown passes. A pair of those scores went to junior Isiah McKoy (six catches for 74 yards) and Ja’Shaun Poke (five receptions, 80 yards).
>> Sophomore RB Bryan Bradford had a career high 113 yards on 13 carries on a night KSU rushed for 295 yards. Bradford has been the Flashes leading ground gainer in their two 2020 victories (which included a thrilling 27-23 win over Eastern Michigan). His 188 yards rushing yards is fifth in the MAC
>> As a unit, the defense had two sacks, seven tackles for losses, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and four pass breakups. Sophomore S Dean Clark had seven total tackles (four solo) on the evening.
>> Over the first two games, KSU’s offense averaged 44.5 points (third in the MAC). Kent State leads the conference in total offense at 549 yards, rushing (253.5) and passing (25.5). The Flashes are second in third down efficiency
>> Dustin Crum in seventh in MAC passing (39-of-56) for 490 yard with six touchdowns (tied for first with Buffalo’s Kyle Van Trease. Crum has tossed just one INT and is fifth in total offense, averaging 275 yards in the first two games
>> Isiah McKoy is second in receptions with 14 for 178 yards and his three touchdown catches are the most of any receiver in the conference
>> The defense has allowed 23.5 points and 333 yards in the games against the Eagles and Falcons. KSU also notched three sacks per game
>> Dean Clark leads with 14 total tackles (10 solo) while senior LB Kaesean Gamble and sophomore LBV Brandon Coleman are tied for econd in the MAC with three sacks
>> Junior PK Matthew Trickett is picking up where he left off a season ago as he leads the MAC with15 total points
>> The win over the Falcons was the Flashes third straight in the series over BGSU and their second straight in Northwest Ohio
Kent State's 62 points scored was the most by a Flashes team on a road MAC game since it defeated Western Reserve 65-0.
NEXT WEEK: The Flashes play the first of two road games. Traveling to Buffalo to face the Bulls -- one of the preseason favorites for the East title
AKRON ZIPS (0-2)
The Zips were in also in action last Tuesday night as they traveled to Athens, where UA fell to the Ohio University Bobcats, 24-10. The home team built a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter and held off a spirited UA effort.
>> One bright spot in the contest for UA was the running of junior RB Teon Dollard. He rushed for a career best 168 yards, the most by a UA running back since Jawon Chisholm rushed for 148 yards at Kent State
>> Dollard is second in MAC rushing, with an average of 116 yards per game.
>> Freshman QB Zach Gibson completed 18-of-30 passes for 218 yards and a 14-yard touchdown to senior WR Nate Stewart. He had five catches for 59 yards. Gibson is also ninth in the conference in total offense
>> Freshman WR Tony Grimes also had five catches for 60 yards.
>> Sophomore PK Cory Smigel added a 30-yard field goal in the third quarter to complete the Zips scoring
>> The defense was led by junior LB Bubba Arslanian, who had eight total tackles (three solo) and a pair of sacks.
>> In its two games (against the Bobcats and Western Michigan), UA averaged 11.5 points and 345 total yards. Last Tuesday, the offense gained 435 total yards (217 on the ground).
>> Senior WR Michael Mathison leads the receivers with six catches for 44 yards -- all coming against the Broncos.
>> Arslanian is 10th in the MAC with 18 total tackles (11 solo) and is tied for third in sacks with two
>> Freshman P Kyle Romanick is seventh in punting with an average of 34.9 yards per kick
>> The loss Tuesday night was UA’s 19th straight, dating back to October 27, 2018 when Akron defeated Central Michigan at home, 17-10.
NEXT WEEK: UA returns home for the first of two home games as the Miami Redhawks come to Infocision Stadium.