FACTS & STATS: Site: Dix Stadium (25,319) — Kent, Ohio. Television: None.
Home Record: Army 2-1, Kent State 0-3. Away Record: Army 0-3, Kent State 0-3.
Neutral Record: Army 0-0, Kent State 0-0. Conference Record: Army 0-0, Kent
State 0-3. Series Record: Army leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: Coming off a one-sided loss to previously winless Massachusetts,
the Kent State Golden Flashes will try to end their own losing skid as they
host the Army Black Knights in a non-conference clash at Dix Stadium Saturday.
Army got back in the win column against Ball State following a three-game
losing streak, but fell last weekend once again to Conference USA opponent
Rice, 41-21. The Black Knights have two wins on the season, and both have come
against Mid-American Conference opponents.
Kent State, a MAC program, was dropped by winless UMass last weekend, 40-17,
at home. The Golden Flashes are now the only team in the conference to have no
wins to this point in the season, and this clash with Army represents the
final non-conference game for Kent State this year.
The teams have met three times on the field in their series history, with Army
holding a slim 2-1 all-time lead. The last time the Black Knights won against
Kent State was back in 2010, while the Golden Flashes won the most recent
meeting in 2012.
Army held a distinct advantage over Rice in last weekend’s contest on the
ground, with a 250-182 edge in rushing yards. But the Black Knights couldn’t
get much going through the air, and finished the contest with a mere 91
passing yards. Quarterback Angel Santiago completed 5-of-11 passing for 37
yards and a touchdown, while A.J. Schurr was 1-of-3 for 54 yards through the
Army is a run-first offense that averages 407.2 total offensive ypg. Of those
407-plus yards per outing, 323.5 ypg come via the rushing attack. Santiago is
a dual-threat quarterback more suited to run the ball, evidenced by his six
rushing scores and 466 yards on the ground this season. His touchdown pass
against Rice last weekend was his first this season. The senior has completed
23-of-34 pass attempts for 325 yards (67.6 completion percentage) without an
The only player in the Army rushing game with more yards this season is Larry
Dixon, who tops the team with 612 yards through six games played. Dixon
averages 102 rushing ypg, and has scored five touchdowns for a Black Knights
program that has found the end zone 19 times on the ground in six games.
While Army’s offense has been steady through six games (27.5 ppg), the team’s
defense has been anything but, allowing opponents to score an average of 35.3
ppg and gain 441.3 offensive ypg. Opponents have picked Army’s secondary apart
to the tune of 253.7 passing ypg and 16 touchdowns through the air in the
team’s six games played.
Jeremy Timpf leads the team in both tackles (52) and tackles for loss (7.5)
this season, though Stephen Ricciardi has an impressive seven tackles behind
the line of scrimmage, ranked right behind Timpf. Going against a Kent State
team that will turn the ball over (it’s a question of when, not if for the
Golden Flashes), Timpf and Josh Jenkins will both be busy. Timpf leads the
team with three interceptions, while Jenkins is close behind with two.
Kent State was helpless against UMass last weekend, as the Minutemen dominated
offensively and made sure the Golden Flashes stayed out of the end zone long
enough for Massachusetts to rake in the points. Kent State had just 341 total
yards of offense in the loss, which once again was highlighted by a lack of
any real presence in the run game. Quarterback Colin Reardon was the team’s
leading rusher yet again, going for 53 yards on three carries.
The team has really struggled to get anything going on the ground this season.
The Golden Flashes average 68.2 rushing ypg, and have scored only two
touchdowns on the ground through six games played. Nick Holley is the team’s
leader this season with 220 carries on 68 attempts, while Reardon and Anthony
Meray are the only two to have punched in rushing scores this season.
Reardon under center has been unspectacular. The sophomore has passed for
1,227 yards and six touchdowns through six games, and has thrown eight
interceptions in the same span. His 54.6 completion percentage isn’t awful,
but the team’s record and scoring numbers show otherwise. Tight end Casey
Pierce has caught 23 passes for 259 yards and a score, behind top receiver
Chris Humphrey (24 receptions, 270 yards).
Defense hasn’t always been the key concern for the Golden Flashes, who lost a
17-14 contest to conference rival Northern Illinois back on Oct. 4. In fact,
Kent State has lost two games this year by that three-point margin, and
dropped another by 10 points to South Alabama. The team is allowing opponents
to score 34.7 ppg, while the offense manages 11.8 ppg. Stopping the run hasn’t
been easy for the Golden Flashes, who surrender 212.7 rushing ypg to
Safety Nate Holley ranks third in the nation in tackles per game (13.3) this
season, which is a bright spot for Kent State. He leads the team with 81 total
stops, and has a team high-tying two forced fumbles in six games. Perhaps very
telling statistics, the Golden Flashes have recorded just three sacks and zero
fumble recoveries all season long, meaning pressure on an opposing offense is
Army may be winless on the road this season, but the team has every chance in
the world to nab its first away victory going against the floundering Golden
Flashes. Kent State struggles to stop the run, and has given up 11 rushing
touchdowns this season. Running the ball is the foundation of Army’s offense,
which means Kent State is in for a long day as it searches for that first
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Army 27, Kent State 17