2013 GoDaddy.com Bowl Preview

January 6, 2013

Well, the gamble didn’t work.

By switching my Texas A&M pick to Oklahoma and my Ole Miss pick to Pittsburgh, I have fallen to 8th place in my Bowl Mania group. It appears to be another mediocre finish for K. Becks and Around The Corn Sports Blog.

Frankly, I’m just hoping that my roommate, who is in first place, doesn’t win because he’s the only one in the group who will remember (or even care) and I will not hear the end of that until next bowl season. It isn’t looking good, though.

Here is the preview for the game taking place on January 6th.

GoDaddy.com Bowl (Sunday, 9 PM ET)

Arkansas State vs. #25 Kent State

I used to title this post “The Little Big One” because the GoDaddy.com Bowl has been played the day before the national championship game the past few seasons, but that would suggest that this game is a big one worth watching. If you’re a diehard college football fan then it is, otherwise the NFL playoffs trump this game that should have been played in mid-December to remain relevant.

Arkansas State comes into this game hot, riding a seven game win streak that gave the Red Wolves the Sun Belt title. Led by senior quarterback Ryan Aplin, the Red Wolves have a very potent offensive attack that has scored a lot of points on just about every team it has played this season, including Oregon. Kent State may have a hard time containing Aplin, as the dual-threat quarterback is similar to Jordan Lynch from Northern Illinois, who torched the Golden Flashes for 372 total yards in the MAC Championship Game. Aplin may have trouble against Kent State’s defense, however, which is the main reason Darrell Hazell’s team is making its first bowl appearance since Nick Saban played there.

Kent State may be defensively sound, but it is no slouch on offense, either. Running back Dri Archer is a star, rushing for 1,352 yards and 15 touchdowns this season for the Golden Flashes. Although Archer was nagged by an ankle injury in the MAC title game, the time off should be enough to allow him to be 100 percent for this game. Archer could run wild against an Arkansas State defense that is just average against the run (153.3 YPG allowed).

Arkansas State is a solid football team, but lost its coach for the second time in as many years when Gus Malzahn decided to head back to Auburn to take the vacant head coaching job in December. Kent State, while losing coach Darrell Hazell after the bowl game, will have its head coach in its biggest game since 1972. The emotional factor should be enough to give the Golden Flashes the victory, but Kent State is good enough to win regardless. I have the Golden Flashes for 5 points in Bowl Mania.

My Pick: 37-28 Kent State

– K. Becks

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