No. 25 Kent State vs. Arkansas State
Sun., Jan. 6, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
Mobile, Ala. – Ladd-Peebles Stadium
Kent State’s Golden Flashes are making their first bowl-game appearance in 40 years. In a 21-18 loss against the University of Tampa at the 1972 Tangerine Bowl, Kent State featured a LB named Jack Lambert and a DB named Nick Saban.
The Tangerine Bowl is now the Florida Citrus Bowl. And the University of Tampa’s football program was disbanded after the 1974 season.
OK, enough history.
These teams feature two up-and-coming (or is it outgoing?) coaches in Kent State’s Darrell Hazell (who is expected to work the game despite being hired at Purdue) and Arkansas State’s Guz Malzahn (who will concentrate on getting Auburn back on its feet and is being replaced by interim coach/defensive coordinator John Thompson).
Kent State (11-2) has a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in Dri Archer (1,352 yards, 15 touchdowns) and Trayion Durham (1,248 yards, 14 touchdowns).
Arkansas State (9-3) has an outstanding QB in Ryan Aplin (3,123 yards, 23 touchdowns).
Opening point spread: Arkansas State by 4
The pick: Kent State 33, Arkansas State 30
Click HERE to get predictions for the remaining bowl games.