GoDaddy.com Bowl Pick – January 6th
Someone is going to get their first ever bowl victory on the eve of the BCS National Championship Game, as the Kent State Golden Flashes go to war on the college football odds against the Arkansas State Red Wolves in the GoDaddy.com Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
It has to be frustrating to be a member of the Golden Flashes right now. A win in the MAC Championship Game would have sent the team to the BCS and the Orange Bowl to take on the Florida State Seminoles. Now, the squad has to play in a significantly lousier game with a significantly smaller payout at the end of the day. That being said, we do have to remember that this is just the second bowl game that the Flashes have ever been to, and the first in four decades, so the season cannot be looked upon as a failure by any stretch of the imagination. This is a team that is based off of what its running backs can do. There is no doubt that RB Dri Archer is the most important player on the team, as he leads the club in rushing with 1,352 yards and 15 TDs and receiving with 539 yards and four scores. But of course, Archer isn’t alone, as RB Trayion Durham has 1,248 yards and 14 scores to boot this year, which would be good enough to lead most teams in the nation.
Arkansas State has to figure out how to rework itself now that Head Coach Gus Malzahn is gone, but this shouldn’t be a problem for the Sun Belt champs. QB Ryan Aplin had his team here last year in the GoDaddy.com Bowl, but the Red Wolves were knocked off by the Northern Illinois Huskies, who went on to the BCS this year. Aplin had an amazing campaign, throwing for 3,110 yards and 23 TDs, but most importantly, he threw just four picks. RB David Oku was quietly one of the best rushers in the Sun Belt this year, picking up 1,043 yards and 15 TDs in spite of the fact that he really wasn’t supposed to be in the main plans this year. Aplin also had 443 yards and six TDs as well. Arkansas State clearly improved as the year went on, and the team picked up at least 34 points offensive in all seven Sun Belt games after the opening week loss to the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. The team went 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS in those games.
This is the year for the Red Wolves. The Kent State offense isn’t all that complex to try to figure out, and with the additional time to prepare for this bowl game, there is a good chance that this defense will get the job done. Go with Aplin and Arky State to come away with its first ever bowl win in the senior’s final game. Arkansas State 27 – Kent State 20