Football

Kent State in for difficult challenge against top-ranked Badgers

Despite their strong offensive start, the Badgers have had troubles against zone defenses this season. 

Despite their strong offensive start, the Badgers have had troubles against zone defenses this season. 

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

The Wisconsin Badgers host the Kent State Golden Flashes at Camp Randall on Saturday Oct. 5 at 11a.m. in a match that provides the Badgers their second brush with a MAC conference opponent after their game against Central Michigan.

The Badgers have had some very impressive showings of late, winning their first four games of 2019. 

They started the season strong with a resounding 49-0 victory over the South Florida Bulls and followed that up with a 61-0 thrashing of the Central Michigan Chippewas. 

These convincing results were followed by matches against stiffer opponents in the Michigan Wolverines and Northwestern Wildcats, but both games ended in victory — and bragging rights — for the Badgers as they sit on top of the Big Ten West with a ton of momentum going forward.

With form like this, it isn’t a surprise to see the Badgers being predicted to beat Kent State (ESPN’s online predictor predicts a whopping 97.6 percent win probability for the Badgers) but sport just wouldn’t be as thrilling if it were all decided on paper.

Underdogs have known this for years, and Kent State will try to capitalize on Saturday.

Kent State have had mixed fortunes, going 2-2 so far. They’ve had a perfect home record but haven’t won an away game this season. 

Considering Kent State’s next trip is away to Camp Randall, it doesn’t look like they can reverse their away fortunes. They do still sit on top of the MAC East, and stranger things have happened, but they’ll still come in as significant underdogs.

Statistically speaking, upon comparing the points per game and points allowed per game by the Badgers and Golden Flashes, we see that the Badgers have a clear advantage in both points scored and allowed (Badgers have a 42.3 PPG vs Kent State’s 27.8, and 7.3 points allowed per game as compared to Kent State’s 32.0). 

The Badgers have also covered more yards in total(441 yards to Kent State’s 402), trumping Kent State in both passing and rushing yards. 

In terms of yards allowed, the Badgers come out on top again, allowing far fewer yards in total (192.3 yards to Kent State’s 471.3 yards) and demonstrating a far superior defense than Kent State. 

Overall, the Badgers clearly have the edge over Kent State in this contest.

This is set to be the first ever football game between Kent State and The Wisconsin Badgers, thus making the game on Saturday one for the history books that no one will read. 

However, if Kent State were to pull off the incredible upset, they would instantly jump into history books that people actually will read.

It would be a game on-par with the famous Appalachian State over Michigan upset in the early 2000’s, and would certainly send the Badgers tumbling down the rankings.

Game day at Madison is always a great occasion that kicks the whole city into life, and with the home team being such strong favorites to win, it should only add to the atmosphere in the city. 

In any case, the game should be a fun spectacle for all involved on Saturday.

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