On Friday, we began our countdown of the best games on Penn State’s 2013 schedule, beginning with a rather, uh, dull match up with the MAC’s Easter Michigan Eagles. I promise things will get better. However, it may take some time, because up next is a Kent State program that appears prime for a rebuilding effort.
The Golden Flashes were 7 points, and 2 overtimes against Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship game from a MAC title, and possible (albeit long shot) BCS appearance. Instead the 2012 Flashes ended up in the GoDaddy.com Bowl against Arkansas State, a contest they dropped 17-13. Despite the back to back season ending losses, the 2012 season will go down as one of the most successful in Kent State history. But with success, comes consequences, especially at a “mid major” program like Kent State. Darrell Hazell parlayed his success in 2 seasons in charge of the KSU program into the Purdue gig, leaving the Golden Flashes in the hands of first year coach Paul Haynes.
I don’t intend to disparage Kent State. The program has shown real potential in the MAC, but I just can’t find anything about this game to get excited about. The Golden Flashes will bring some dynamic play makers, like WR/RB/special teams guru Dri Archer to Beaver Stadium in September, and they should rely primarily on the run again, after ranking 18th among FBS programs in 2012 in rushing yards per game.
I feel like this game should rank higher, but when I look at some of other matchups PSU will face throughout the season, I keep coming back to one thing: it’s Kent State. Archer will be one of the more exciting players the Lions will face this fall, but I can’t find much else. If you want something to look forward to, this could be a big spring board to a nice season for Penn State, as KSU wraps up the non conference schedule, and a 4-0 record would be a big boost headed into Big 10 play.
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