Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#147 Kent State vs.
#148 Iowa
Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 3:30pm EDT
Written by Nick Raffoul

The Kent State Golden Flashes will travel to Kinnick Stadium on Saturday afternoon for an early-season non-conference battle versus the No. 5-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes.

After a season-opening loss versus No.5-ranked Texas A&M, the Golden Flashes will get another shot at a top-five team this weekend. Kent State bounced back with a blowout win at home versus VMI last week but will need to clean things up to defeat an Iowa team that has opened the regular season with back-to-back Top-25 wins. The Hawkeyes opened the season with a convincing win at home against No.17-Indiana before earning an impressive road win at No. 9-ranked Iowa State last week.

Can the Hawkeyes stay hot with a win at home against an upset-minded Kent State team on Saturday afternoon?

Kent State throttled VMI 60-10 last week even up its record at 1-1 this season. Quarterback Dustin Crum completed 12 of 18 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns while running back Marquez Cooper added 119 rushing yards and a score in the win.

After a few stellar seasons at Kent State, Crum’s senior campaign is off to a slow start. Through two games, the 6-foot-3 signal-caller has completed just 55.8 percent of his passes for 269 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Crum has been one of the best passers in the MAC over the last two seasons, throwing for 3,803 yards with 32 touchdowns and only four interceptions during that span.

On defense, Kent State is giving up 25.5 points per game and 441.5 total yards per contest. The Golden Flashes will have to way to stop the run after getting gashed for an average of 222.5 yards per game on the ground through the first two weeks, which ranks 116th in the nation.

Hawkeyes score another defensive touchdown in win vs. Iowa State

Iowa improved to 2-0 with another victory over a nationally-ranked team last weekend. The Hawkeyes cruised to a commanding 27-17 win on the road against No. 9 Iowa State behind a strong defensive effort. Despite giving up 339 total yards, it was a bend-but-don’t-break performance for the Hawkeyes defense, which forced three interceptions, and returned a fumble for a touchdown in the win. Quarterback Spencer Petras completed 11 of 21 passes for 106 yards and a touchdown while Tyler Goodson rushed for 55 yards and a score for the Hawkeyes, who gutted out a hard-fought road win.

Petras hasn’t exactly gotten off to a hot start but he’s done enough to keep the chains moving for Iowa. Through two games, the 6-foot-5 junior has thrown for just 251 yards and one touchdown but he’s done a good job of protecting the football and has yet to turn the ball over. Meanwhile, Goodson leads the team in rushing with 154 yards and two touchdowns.

Defense has been Iowa’s calling card through the first two weeks of the regular season. The Hawkeyes have surrendered just 11.5 points per game (15th in the FBS) and 238 yards of total offense per contest. Iowa has also been stout against the run, giving up just 82 yards per game, good for 26th in the nation. The unit has also had a knack for generating points with an FBS-best three defensive touchdowns already this year.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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It’s hard to know what to expect from Kent State after its cupcake win against VMI last week. The Golden Flashes were unable to muster much of anything against Texas A&M, another top-ranked defense, but Crum seems due for a breakout performance following a quiet start. Iowa is a battled-tested squad but this could be a bad spot for the Hawkeyes, who have struggled to score points through the first two weeks. While Iowa is averaging 30.5 points per game, they’ve benefited from great field position and three defensive touchdowns. If the Hawkeyes struggle to move the ball on the ground in this game, Kent State could keep this one close. Take the Golden Flashes to cover the spread on the road in this battle on Saturday afternoon.

Prediction: Kent State Golden Flashes +23.0

Full-Game Total Pick

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Kent State was able to shore some things up on offense en route to dropping 60 points last week against VMI. While the Golden Flashes won’t approach that number against a top-ranked Iowa team, they should be able to do their part in this one. Meanwhile, Iowa will be looking the same this week after racking up an average of just 238 yards of total offense in two games. Kent State only scored 10 points against Texas A&M in the opener despite rushing for 226 yards and five yards per carry on the day. Look for better numbers out of Crum and the Golden Flashes offense here and take this game to go over the projected total in Iowa on Saturday afternoon. 

Prediction: Over 56.5
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Written By Nick Raffoul , "Nick Raffoul"

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. He has been a very successful sports bettor over the years and has now brought his talents to us here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.