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O'Shaan Allison gains yards at Peden Stadium (FILE)

Football: Ohio vs. Kent State gameday guide

Ohio returns to Peden Stadium for its final weekend game of the regular season. It will host Mid-American Conference opponent Kent State.

The Bobcats (1-6, 1-2 MAC) are coming off a brutal 27-26 loss to Buffalo in which they blew a three-touchdown lead and lost on a last second field goal. The Golden Flashes (3-4, 2-1 MAC) suffered their first conference loss last week in a 33-point blowout to Western Michigan. Ohio’s last two losses have each been decided by three points or less. Against a flimsy Kent State defense, it might finally follow through for four quarters. 

The game will be broadcast on ESPN+. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.

Below is a guide to game day with how to follow along, depth charts, what to watch for, who has the edge, a reading guide and our predictions:

Following along

How to watch: Saturday’s game will be broadcast on ESPN+. Michael Reghi and Je’Rod Cherry will have the call.

How to listen: Per usual, Ohio’s game can be heard on the Ohio Sports Network from Learfield. Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius will be behind the mic once again. 

How to find stats: Stats are provided here.

Depth charts

Provided from each team’s game notes:

Ohio Offense

ohioweek8offense.png
Provided via Ohio Athletics.


Ohio Defense

ohioweek8defense.png
Provided via Ohio Athletics.


Ohio Special Teams

ohioweek8specialists.png
Provided via Ohio Athletics.


Kent State Offense

kentweek8offense.png
Provided via Kent State Athletics.


Kent State Defense

kentweek8defense.png
Provided via Kent State Athletics.


Kent State Special Teams

kentweek8specialists.png
Provided via Kent State Athletics.


Three things to watch for

Dustin Crum

Crum is one of the most dangerous signal callers in the MAC and is third in the conference for passing yards. His 1,513 passing yards and 275 rushing yards make him yet another dual-threat quarterback Ohio has to deal with this season, alongside names like Louisiana’s Levi Lewis and Akron’s D.J. Irons.

When the Bobcats last faced Crum at Peden Stadium in 2019 , the now-graduate threw for 262 yards and four touchdowns on 35 attempts. He also led the Golden Flashes on the ground with 96 rushing yards. If Crum plays up to his own standard Saturday, Ohio’s offense must be ready to match him. 

Following through for four quarters

Ohio had an explosive second half in its win over Akron when it scored 24 unanswered points to win 34-17. Against Central Michigan and Buffalo however, the late game was its weakest point. 

They were only outscored 10-8 in the fourth quarter against Chippewas, but a late touchdown pass to Kalil Pimpleton and failure to respond resulted in the Bobcats’ downfall. The Bobcats also only scored three points on offense against the Bulls in the final three quarters before losing by a point.

Against Kent State’s top total offense in the MAC, Ohio can’t afford to slow down. 

Ohio’s linebackers

In the game against Buffalo, four of Ohio’s linebackers combined for 33 total tackles and starter Bryce Houston set a career-high with 15.

The unit has been one of the most productive on defense for the Bobcats this season. Houston and fellow starter Cannon Blauser lead the Bobcats in tackles, and Blauser is second in sacks. Although Ohio’s defense is bound to struggle against Kent State’s offense, the linebackers will be a solid backbone on Saturday.

The edge

When Ohio has the ball: Armani Rogers is projected to remain as the starting quarterback for the third consecutive week, and he may be Ohio’s best bet for staying competitive. Ohio’s offense scores easily with Rogers at the helm, and may find an easier time against the worst total defense in the MAC.

The edge: Ohio

When Kent State has the ball: The Golden Flashes have the top total offense in the MAC, and the Bobcats allow 422.7 yards per game this season. While both Ohio’s defense has shown flashes of success in MAC play, it hasn’t done enough to win consistently and has allowed at least 27 points in the last two losses. It may improve further Saturday, but Crum and the rest of Kent State’s weapons will be a headache for Ohio. 

The edge: Kent State

Reading Guide

Predictions

Sports Editor Jack Gleckler: Kent State is going to be a mixed bag against Ohio. The top-ranked total offense in the MAC paired with the worst total defense reeks of potential for a shootout. If Ohio can run up the score like it has since MAC play began, it might stand a chance. However, Crum is one of the top quarterbacks in the conference and will light up Ohio’s defense. Kent State wins 38-17.

Assistant Sports Editor Eli Feazell: If Ohio’s offense plays a full game like it did in the first quarter against Buffalo, it should hold its own against Kent State. If it slows down late however, Crum and the Golden Flashes might run up the score and never look back. Ohio’s offense can’t allow Kent State to lock it down in the second half, and the defense must stop Crum. Against the MAC’s top scoring offense, however, it might have a hard time playing catch-up. Kent State wins 37-30.

@thejackgleckler

@elifeaz

jg011517@ohio.edu

ef195418@ohio.edu

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