MAC Championship: Kent State vs Northern Illinois Prediction, Game Preview

MAC Championship: Kent State vs Northern Illinois prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, December 4

MAC Championship: Kent State vs Northern Illinois How To Watch

Date: Saturday, December 4
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
How To Watch: ESPN
Record: Kent State (7-5), Northern Illinois (8-4)
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MAC Championship: Kent State vs Northern Illinois Game Preview

Why Kent State Will Win

The Kent State offense is going to do the Kent State offense thing.

It’s the No. 1 offense in the MAC – averaging 490 yards per game – with one of its most impressive performances coming in the 52-47 win over Northern Illinois in early November.

The FlashFast style goes a million miles per hour – time of possession means nothing to this team – with a tremendous balance and always at peak efficiency.

In the first go-round against the Huskies, the Golden Flashes came up with 360 rushing yards, and 322 yards through the air, and it all worked.

Northern Illinois does a whole lot of things right, but it doesn’t come up with takeaways – it’s dead last in America with just one pick – and Kent State is among the best teams going in turnover margin. As frenetic as this attack is, it doesn’t screw up.

Kent State has turned it over just ten times this season. It’s 1-5 when giving the ball away – eight of the ten giveaways game in the five losses – and it didn’t turn the ball over in any of the wins until the key victory over Miami University in the regular season finale to get here.

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Why Northern Illinois Will Win

The Kent State defense is going to do the Kent State defense thing.

The Golden Flashes almost play defense like they want the other side to score just so the offense can get the ball back faster.

Kent State took Northern Illinois totally out of its game, and it still almost won.

In a perfect Huskie world it runs, runs some more, controls the game, and almost none of that happened in the first meeting with Rocky Lombardi throwing for 532 yards and three touchdowns. However, NIU was still able to control the clock – keeping it for over 35 minutes.

Kent State just doesn’t stop the run. It allowed over 300 yards three times and over 200 yards to other times – it’s 1-4 when giving up 200 yards or more. Northern Illinois ran for 131 yards the first time around, and it’s about to pound up in this.

However …

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What’s Going To Happen

It would be better for Northern Illinois to play outside in the elements.

Kent State has shown it can rock on offense no matter what, but inside at Ford Field it’s going to be just a half-click quicker.

It’s all about which defense can hold serve, and Northern Illinois just doesn’t generate enough of a pass rush and doesn’t take the ball away.

They won’t combine for 1,345 yards of total O and 99 points like they did the first time around, but they won’t be far off.

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MAC Championship: Kent State vs Northern Illinois Prediction, Lines

Kent State 41, Northern Illinois 37
Line: Kent State -3.5, o/u: 74
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2

Must See Rating: 4.5

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