By Rj Rico
January 05, 2013

No. 25 Kent State (11-2) vs. Arkansas State (9-3)Jan. 6, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)


? Reason to watch: Kent State dynamo Dri Archer should be reason enough, but given that Arkansas State also ranks 22nd nationally in scoring offense, a shootout could be in store. Both an elusive running back and receiver, Archer will look to add to the 2,460 all-purpose yards and 23 total touchdowns he accounted for this season. But the Golden Flashes are no one-man team; sophomore running back Trayion Durham also ran for 1,248 yards in 2012. Meanwhile, Arkansas State has a star of its own. Quarterback Ryan Aplin, who threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns in the season opener against Oregon, hasn't slowed down since. He completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 3,129 yards, threw just four interceptions and was sacked only 13 times. And if none of that makes you want to turn on your TV, think of it this way: The Bowl is the second-to-last college football game until August.

? Keep an eye on: The Red Wolves' 51st-ranked rushing defense. Despite the fact that it surrendered an average of 153.3 yards per game, it improved significantly down the stretch, allowing just 79.2 per game in its final five wins. And while Archer averages nine yards per carry, he's coming off one of his most ineffective rushing performances of the season: He carried just 12 times for 15 yards in the Golden Flashes' MAC title game loss to Northern Illinois.

? Did you know: The bowl is the only current bowl game to be sponsored by a website. Other previous sponsorships -- the Bowl, the Bowl, the, etc. -- no longer exist.

? Final analysis: With both teams averaging around 35 points per game -- and neither with a particularly stout defense -- expect plenty of touchdowns. The task of containing Archer and Durham will prove to be too much for the Red Wolves, while the Kent State defense -- which has 38 turnovers gained this year, tied for the most in the FBS -- will make a crucial play to secure the win.

? The pick: Kent State 45, Arkansas State 42

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