Kent State Golden Flashes head coach Paul Haynes knew that without star running back Dri Archer, the team would have to solve offensive struggles that have plagued them since the first game of the season. Archer was injured in week one, and since that time the Golden Flashes have failed to find play makers that can take the burden off their inexperienced freshman quarterback Colin Reardon. The situation will not get any easier this week as the Golden Flashes must travel to Happy Valley to face a Penn State Nittany Lion team that is fresh coming off a home loss to the Central Florida Knights.
The Golden Flashes were only able to muster 248 total yards in last week’s loss at the hands of the No.8 ranked LSU Tigers. Overall, the Golden Flashes are 96th in the nation in passing (182.7 passing yards per game) and 95th in the nation in rushing (121 rushing yards per game). The Golden Flashes have struggled on the offensive line and are averaging 17.3 points per game (110th in the nation). While Colin Reardon has played well , completing 65.9 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and no interceptions, the team has had a very conservative offensive game plan due to the loss of their star, Dri Archer. Without Archer, the running game has failed to get on track and has made the Golden Flashes one dimensional. If the Kent State is to get the victory this weekend against Penn State, the offense must take some chances and give Reardon more responsibility. The Nittany Lions are yielding 19.3 points per game on defense.
Defensively, the Golden Flashes must contain Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg. Hackenberg is leading an offense that is averaging 33 points per game and has a big play wide receiver in Allen Robinson. The Nittany Lions are 27th in the nation in passing (293.7 yards per game) and 70th in the nation in rushing (167 rushing yards per game). Turnovers could be key to the victory should the Golden Flashes pull off the upset. Kent State is -1 in turnover margin and Penn State is a -3 in turnover margin.
Game time is set for 3:30 pm at Penn State.