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Kent St. Golden Flashes vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Game Preview

Kent State Golden Flashes vs Alabama Crimson Tide Handicapping Preview

It is true that Auburn is recovering from the incident of its poisoned sentimental trees, but those in the Tuscaloosa region are trying to bounce back from a much more real catastrophe.

Kent St. Golden Flashes at Alabama Crimson Tide
Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa AL
Saturday, Sept. 3, 12:20 EST
NCAA Odds from Bookmaker Sportsbook:
MoneyLine: OFF
Spread: Kent St. +38.5/Alabama -38.5
Over/Under: 47

Grab The In Depth ATS Matchup Report – Click Here!

Indeed, after the devastating and lethal tornadoes that touched down in that part of the state during the spring, all of Dixieland is eager for its beloved sport to resume; it will only help speed the healing from a tough and tragic offseason.

The good news for the frenzied Tide supporters is that this weekend’s game should be a cakewalk. Especially after the status of some key LSU Tigers players has been jeopardized, ’Bama is clearly one of the nation’s best football programs.

Its Week One opponent, the Kent State Golden Flashes, most decidedly is not.

However, Kent State did rank tenth nationally in total defense a season ago, which might give the Flashes some glimmer of hope that they could create pressure in the backfield – particularly with the services of Roosevelt Nix, a stud sophomore who had 10 sacks and 20 TFLs in 2010. Nix has battled some injuries in August, but he should be ready to go for game time.

Kent State’s front seven is in good shape, but the secondary has some concerns with inexperience, especially at the safety positions. The Flashes have a new head coach in Darrell Hazell who is used to coaching the passing game (former WR coach at Ohio State) so expect production out of QB Spencer Keith and wideouts Tyshon Goode, Sam Kirkland and Kentucky transfer Eric Adeyemi.

For the Tide, it is going to be business as usual. Alabama has the best defense in the country, with surefire NFL studs like S Mark Barron, LB Dont’a Hightower and CB Dre Kirkpatrick. They have an elite running back in junior Trent Richardson, who should get plenty of carries and smash through Kent’s MAC defense. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Alabama has a strong offensive line and a couple reliable targets in their own right in seniors Marquis Maze and Darius Hanks (though Hanks will miss the opening two games of the regular season due to eligibility issues). This opening game should be a nice tune-up for new starting pivot A.J. McCarron.

There’s no doubt the Flashes have a strong defense – for the MAC conference. Playing the likes of Bowling Green and Central Michigan is a far cry from the best SEC outfits – and by extension one the best teams in general.

Nix is dynamic, but the beefy Tide O-line will double-team him and the ’Bama offense should beat Kent State with either Richardson or its wide receivers. Coach Hazell will develop a strong passing game for the Flashes, but QB Keith must be quaking in his boots at the prospect of throwing into the soup of Kirkpatrick, Barron and CB Dee Milliner.

Ultimately, this is a preparatory game for Alabama and a fairly easy way to start the season 1-0.

For Kent State, the optimist must see that it’s a good test against one of America’s best and an opportunity to see how Hazell’s men respond – both to his new styles of motivating and to the challenge of playing in one of college football’s cherished locations against one of its best squads.

Moral of the story? Don’t look for a nail-biter in this one.


Over is 10-3 in KENST last 13 games in September.
KENST are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
KENST are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games on grass.
Over is 7-1-1 in ALAB last 9 non-conference games.
ALAB are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home games.
Under is 5-2-1 in ALAB last 8 home games.

Score Prediction: Alabama 52, Kent St. 10
Over/Under Prediction: 61.5

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