Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#171 Kent State vs.
#172 Buffalo
Saturday, November 26, 2022 at 1:00pm EST
Written by Mark Ruelle

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Kent State takes on Buffalo in Buffalo this Saturday in a makeup game after last weekend's game was canceled due to the blizzard that hit Buffalo. Kent State will be wrapping up their season on Saturday as they stand at 4-7 on the season and 3-4 in the MAC. Buffalo still has one more game to wrap up their season and comes in needing one more win to be bowl-eligible as they are 5-5 overall and 4-2 in the MAC. The opening kick is scheduled for 1:00pm EST.

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Season Extended

It will be interesting to see what kind of motivation the Kent State football team has this week. Already ineligible for a bowl game and sporting a sub .500 record, Kent State was ready to wrap up their season last week at Buffalo. Instead, a blizzard carrying six feet of snow into the Upper New York State area forced their players to have to gear up again for another game in a lost season. At 3-5, the Golden Flashes had an outside chance of earning a bowl bid before dropping two out of their last three games. They come into this matchup at just 1-5 on the road and taking a trip they may have a tough time to get motivated to play. Adding injury to insult, quarterback Collin Schlee left the last game with concussion-like symptoms after slamming his head to the turf. Hi team was up by 10, 17-7, when he left and lost 31-24 without their leader.

“It definitely impacted the game,” coach Sean Lewis said. “This game is about players and game-day in particular is about players and players making plays, and when you lose one of your best players that is hard to overcome.”

Kent State will wrap up its season with the 80th-ranked scoring offense in the country and the 104th-ranked scoring defense. Offensively, they have been more effective on the ground, ranking 43rd, than they are through the air, coming in at #71. Defensively, they have been awful against the pass, ranking 123rd in the country. The status of Schlee will be critical here but a silver lining is that the team has had an extra week to prepare in case he isn't able to go on Saturday.

One More to go Bowling

The Buffalo Bulls have dug themselves out of the blizzard and now must find a way to earn at least one more win to become bowl eligible this season. They are 5-5 overall and 4-2 in the MAC and may play a Kent State team without their starting quarterback and one that has to find their motivation to compete in this game. Three weeks ago, Buffalo looked like a lock for a bowl game but have since gone on a two-game losing streak and put their eligibility in jeopardy. Two losses at Ohio and at Central Michigan have left the Bulls scrambling for that all-elusive sixth win. The Bulls are healthy coming into this game and also sport a 2-1 record at home and wrap up the season with two final games in Buffalo. Junior quarterback Cole Snyder will be tasked with getting the Bulls offense back on track and earning that sixth win.

Buffalo comes into Senior Day with the 48th-ranked scoring offense in the country. They have the 63rd-best ground attack and the 65th-best passing attack. The Bulls do an excellent job protecting the football, ranking 20th in turnover differential this season. They are ranked 57th in scoring defense this year but have been susceptible to the run, ranking 94th in the country. The Bulls are disciplined as well, ranking 23rd in penalties per game this season.  Buffalo comes into this game without anyone on the injury report.

 

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Motivation is an enormous factor in sports and there isn't any getting around this, Buffalo needs this game while Kent State didn't expect to be playing this weekend. Kent State is also just 1-5 on the road this season and come in with uncertainty at the most important position, quarterback. Buffalo is back home after two straight road games and itching to earn that sixth win. They also should be able to exploit the poor secondary of Kent State and take this game through the air. Buffalo is also more disciplined and protective of the football. This will be a comfortable win for the Bulls.

Take Buffalo -4.5

Prediction: Buffalo -4.5

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Weather can never be discounted in Buffalo at this time of year. Coming off a major blizzard last weekend, things will be practically balmy in Buffalo on Saturday with early forecasts suggesting 45 degrees and sunny. Wind, however, is always a big factor as well and there is talk of 15 MPH winds at game time. Along with weather, Kent State may be without their starting quarterback, which will factor into their ability to put up points. Buffalo will score enough to win and cover but this game will not be a shootout.

Take the under, 51.5 points.

Prediction: Under 51.5
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Written By Mark Ruelle , "Mark Ruelle"

Mark has been a sports fanatic since childhood. He is also an avid follower of sports analytics and has used it in his own betting analysis for over two decades. Now we have Mark on our team here at Stat Salt. He holds degrees in marketing, broadcasting, and English and uses this vast array of assets to dissect and analyze game matchups. Mark will provide you with a wide variety of statistics to consider and a strong opinion in each matchup that he covers. Please follow him daily for an up-to-the-minute analysis of all the important games.