Northern Illinois (21) vs. Kent State (17)
The MAC is back in contention for a BCS bowl berth. If the 17th-ranked Golden Flashes overcome the Huskies they will likely finish inside the Top 16 in the BCS Standings. That will give Kent State an automatic BCS bowl bid and will send the school to its first ever BCS bowl appearance.
Even if the Huskies win, they may not get a big enough bump in the rankings to move inside the Top 16 from their No. 21 spot.
Who’s going to get it done at Ford Field?
The Huskies are veterans of this game, going to the MAC Championship Game for the third time in three seasons. Last season they rolled over the Golden Flashes in a 40-10 stomping in which they allowed just 64 yards of total offense.
This year’s Kent State team is much improved, though, and will challenge the Huskies like no one else this season with its potent rushing game. The Golden Flashes have two 1,000-yard rushers and will unleash both of them in this one.
Luckily for the Huskies, they also have some very good rushers of their own. They’re averaging 245 yards per game on the ground as a team. That’s four yards more than the 11th-ranked Golden Flashes.
Unlike Kent State, the Huskies have passing game that’s just as potent. That balance will pose a problem for their opponents.
It will definitely be a close, grinding game which comes down to the final moments. In the end, the well-rounded and seasoned Huskies will be too much for the Golden Flashes.
Prediction: Huskies 31, Golden Flashes 28