The defending national champion and No. 1 ranked Georgia Bulldogs (3-0) will host the Kent State Golden Flashes (1-2). This is expected to be one of the most one-sided games on Saturday. Georgia opened up as a 42-point favorite, which went up to 45 early Wednesday, with the total set at 61.5.
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Kent State is not afraid to face the bestThe Golden State Flashes went 7-7 last season, ending the season with a 52-38 loss in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl to Wyoming. Kent State brought back four starters on offense and six on defense and was predicted to finish second in the MAC East Division in the media preseason poll.
The Golden Flashes haven't shied away from tough opposition. They lost 45-20 to Washington and 33-3 to Oklahoma in two road games to begin the season. Last week Kent State finally got a home game and routed FCS foe Long Island 63-10.
Although each of Kent's games has been significantly different, they are averaging 28.7 ppg, ranking 24th with 221.3 rushing yards, and 110th with 175.7 passing yards a game. Collin Schlee has led the Kent offense, completing 60% of his passes for 508 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He has also run for 177 yards on 24 attempts. Dante Cephas (82 catches, 1,240 yards, 9 TD in 2021) is a big play receiver for Kent. He has 14 catches for 230 yards which includes a 105-yard receiving game against Washington in the season opener.
On defense, the Golden Flashes allow 29.4 ppg,to rank 56th with 126 rushing yards, and 123rd with 294.7 passing yards allowed.
#1 until proven otherwiseThe Georiga Bulldogs went 14-1 last season and won the National Championship by averaging their only loss by beating Alabama 33-18 when it mattered most. The Bulldogs welcomed back seven offensive and three defensive starters, losing a lot of talent to the NFL, but the Bulldogs are not rebuilding; they just reloaded. According to BetMGM, Georgia is favored to win the National Championship again with +175 odds. Georgia has made easy work out of their first three opponents, outscoring Oregon, Samford, and South Carolina by a combined total of 130-10.
There haven't been many weaknesses shown yet. The Bulldogs are first holding teams to just 3.3 ppg, 16th at allowing 165.3 passing yards, and 22nd at limiting teams to 83.7 yards per game on the ground. The offense is sixth overall with 532.2 total yards per game, third with 376.7 passing, and 79th with 155.7 rushing.
Quarterback Stetson Bennett is back after leading Georgia to last year's national title. He has completed 73.9% of his passes for 952 yards, with five touchdowns and no interceptions. He is fifth in the nation with a 92.9 QBR.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Georgia opened up the season with a 49-3 win over then No. 11 ranked Oregon, sending a message early. In the next game Georgia "only" beat Samford by 33 as a 53-point favorite before beating South Carolina by 41 as a 25-point favorite.
Kent State is a better team than Samford. They scored 20 points against Washington this season and only trailed Oklahoma 7-3 at the half. Still, Georgia can beat Kent State by 45+ if they want to, but with the SEC schedule beginning next week, don't expect Georgia to show too much or risk any key injuries. Kent State doesn't have the talent to match up with Georgia, but the Golden Flashes should compete for 60 minutes in this game and have the talent to keep this game closer to 45 points.
Full-Game Total Pick
I don't love the total because a lot of the results will be based on how Georgia wants to play this one. Although the over may look like a good play at first glance, once the Bulldogs get up big, they may call the dogs off as they did against Samford. One thing Georgia has shown in the recent past however is that although they may call the dogs off offensively, they don't let up on defense or give up many points even when the backups come in. Kent State may have some talented offensive weapons, but not as talented as Oregon or South Carolina, two teams that the Georgia defense shut down completely. Expect a one-sided game with Georgia cruising and eating a lot of the clock late. This total is far from my favorite play on the board, but I will take the under with Georgia winning 49-10.
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