Posted: 8:57 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, 2013
Yes, it's a Western Michigan football game, so naturally there will be some unfunny jokes and puns around the whole "Row the Boat" thing. Have no fear, my friends. I've come to restore a little bit of hilarity back into all of this by giving you all this really terrible movie pitch:
Starring: P.J. Fleck
Synopsis: Starting the year off on the wrong foot with an unimpressive 0-4 record, the boat filled with underprivileged student-athletes and led by coach P. J. Fleck (Gary Sinise) crashes and sinks in the middle of Lake Michigan. Fleck's best friend Wilson (himself) floats away, oarless, leaving the rest of the Western Michigan Broncos by themselves in a quest to take better care of Wilson in their quest for survival in the Mid-American Conference.
Okay, so it might not be a complete success at the box office, but there are two underachieving football teams meeting up at Waldo Stadium tomorrow evening.
After missing three games, Dri Archer is expected to come back and play for the Golden Flashes. Kent State (1-3, 0-1 MAC) has been really struggling ever since he suffered a sprained ankle in the season opener. In fairness, two of those losses did come against LSU and Penn State where they were outscored 79-13 in those two. However, Kent State is ranked 108th in the nation (10th in the MAC) in terms of rushing yards per game (104.8). The kid needs some draft stock, too.
By a show of hands: how many of us thought Tyler Van Tubbergen was a top-5 quarterback in the MAC before the season started? How many of us think differently after their loss to Iowa last week? For those of you who still have their hands up, Van Tubbergen is 13th in the MAC in total QBR (78.4), 12th in completion percentage (44.1%, 60-for-136), but he does rank #1 in interceptions thrown (7). It wouldn't be much of a shocker if Zach Terrell took more snaps under center tomorrow.
Believe it or not, neither team has the worst defense in the MAC. Western is 3rd in the conference allowing 415.2 yards per game while Kent State is 8th letting up 458.0 yards per game. Okay, so allowing 400+ yards isn't something that's really outstanding by any means, but let's give Western some credit and remind ourselves that it could be worse. But if we're going with the whole "the best defense is a good offense", then it might not be too much worse.
I'm predicting a win for the Golden Flashes. I'm talking 31-14 final score sort of win for Kent State. Yes, Kent State is second-to-last among FBS schools in points scored (13.0 avg points per game), but I just think they have too much talent, with or without Archer, to even consider Western winning this game.