GoDaddy.com Bowl 2012: Arkansas State vs. Kent State Info, Predictions and More

Carl StineCorrespondent IDecember 2, 2012

GoDaddy.com Bowl 2012: Arkansas State vs. Kent State Info, Predictions and More

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    Kent State (11-2) finished the season with a thud, falling to Northern Illinois in the MAC title game.

    Their reward for finishing with only two losses, one to a team playing in the BCS, is the GoDaddy.com Bowl against Arkansas State (9-3).

    The Red Wolves finished Gus Malzahn's first season as the Sun Belt Conference champs, and have their work cut out for them in this one against an explosive Kent State offense that scores nearly 35 points per game.

    While not a premier matchup, or a big-time bowl game, this one will provide some entertainment in the form of ASU quarterback Ryan Aplin and Kent State stud running back, Dri Archer.

    This is going to be a solid contest between two evenly matched teams on the day before the national title.

Game-Day Info

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    Where: Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama

    When: January 6, 2013, 9 p.m., ET

    TV: ESPN

    Radio: ESPNRadio

    Live Streaming: ESPN3.com

    Betting Line: TBA

Key Storylines

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    Gus Malzahn had an excellent first season as head coach of the Red Wolves, guiding his team to a 6-1 record in the Sun Belt Conference, and leading Arkansas State to the conference title in his first season at the helm.

    Meanwhile, Kent State missed the BCS cut by virtue of an overtime loss to NIU in the MAC title game.

    Both teams have plenty of time to recover and nurse any wounds, as well as watch film of their opponents, as the GoDaddy.com Bowl is the final bowl game played before the BCS title game.

    Kent State running back Dri Archer leads the nation in yards per carry average wih 9.0, while Arkansas State quarterback Ryan Aplin has proven to be a solid passer, throwing 23 touchdowns and only four interceptions on the season.

Arkansas State Depth Chart and Injury Report

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    Offense:

    T - 67 Aaron Williams (6'5", 298 lbs, Jr.)

    72 Kevin Galdino (6'5", 263 lbs, Sr.)

     

    G - 60 Steven Haunga (6'1", 315 lbs, Jr.)

    58 Tyler Greve (6'3", 277 lbs, So.)

     

    C - 55 Eric Allen (6'1", 291 lbs, Sr.)

    68 Bryce Giddens (6-0, 285, Fr.)


    T - 63 Cliff Mitchell (6'5", 277 lbs, Jr.-R)

    69 Alan Wright (6'4", 295 lbs, So.-R)

     

    T - 74 Zack McKight (6'4", 300 lbs, Sr.)

    71 Steven Stevens (6'4", 268 lbs, Fr.-R)

     

    QB - Ryan Aplin (6'1", 199 lbs, Sr.)

    11 Phillip Butterfield (6'2", 211 lbs, Jr.)

    13 Fredi Knighten (5'10", 192 lbs, Fr.)

     

    RB - 25 David Oku (5'10", 199 lbs, Jr.)

    6 Frankie Jackson (5'9", 197 lbs, So.-R)

    21 Sirgregory Thornton (5'11", 201 lbs, Jr.)

     

    WR - 3 Josh Jarboe (6'3", 198 lbs, Sr.)

    84 Derek Keaton (5'11", 201 lbs, Jr.)

     

    WR - 2 Taylor Stockemer (6'4," 211 lbs, Sr.)

    23 J.D. McKissic (5'10", 184 lbs, Fr-R)


    WR - 1 Carlos McCants (5'11", 194 lbs, Jr.)

     

    TE/HB - 22 Anthony Kincy (6'0", 232 lbs, Sr.)

    18 Andre Smith (6'1", 215 lbs, Sr.)

    19 Darrion Griswold (6'5", 240 lbs, Fr.-R)

    87 Kenny Raines (6'4", 250 lbs, So.-R)

     

    Defense:

    DE - 91 Tim Starson (6'5", 255 lbs, Sr.)

    93 Darius Dunaway (6'5", 274 lbs, Jr.)

     

    DT - 97 Amos Draper (6'3", 270 lbs, Jr.)

    90 Ronnell Wright (6'3", 285 lbs, Sr.)

     

    DT - 65 Ryan Carrethers (6'2", 310 lbs, Jr.-R)

    77 Dexter Blackmon (6'4", 273 lbs, Jr.)

     

    DE - 54 Shervarius Jackson (6'2", 230 lbs, Sr.)

    42 Chris Stone (6'3", 251 lbs, Fr.-R)

     

     LB - 53 Nick Helms (5'11", 225 lbs, Sr.)

    37 Eddie Porter (6'3", 235 lbs, Jr.)

     

     LB - 40 Nathan Herrold (6'3", 235 lbs, Sr.)

    48 Qushaun Lee (5'11", 232 lbs, Jr.-R)

     

     LB - 5 Don Jones (6'1", 195 lbs, Sr.)

    12 Kyle Coleman (6'1", 210 lbs, So.)

     

    CB - 1 Chaz Scales (5'9", 167 lbs, Sr.)

    33 Jonathan Victorian (6'0", 185 lbs, Sr.)

    2 Terrious Triplett (6'1", 191 lbs, Fr.-R)

     

    FS - 11 Sterling Young (6'2", 182 lbs, So.-R)

    20 Cole Lorigan (5'11", 168 lbs, Sr.)

     

    SS - 29 Chris Humes (5'11", 190 lbs, Fr.)

    8 Tausean Holmes (5'10", 190 lbs, Sr.)

     

    CB 32 Andrew Tryon (5'10", 185 lbs, So.-R)

    10 Artez Brown (6' 0", 174 lbs, So.)

    38 Rocky Hayes (5'11", 177 lbs, Fr.)

     

    Special Teams:

    PK - 4 Brian Davis (5'11", 182 lbs, Jr.)

    KO - 99 Luke Ferguson (6'0", 193 lbs, Fr.)

    P - 15 Neely Sullivent (6'0", 195 lbs, Sr.)

    KR - 25 David Oku (5'10", 199 lbs, Jr.)

    38 Rocky Hayes (5'11", 177 lbs, Fr.)

    H - 15 Neely Sullivent (6'0", 195 lbs, Sr.)

    LS - Cade Oliver (6'3", 209 lbs, Jr.)

     

    Injury Report:

    Wide receiver Allen Muse was dismissed from the team in September. No other significant injuries to report.

     



     


Kent State Depth Chart and Injury Report

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    Offense:

     WR-Z 6 Chris Humphrey So. 6'0", 190 lbs

    4 Eric Adeyemi Sr. 6'0", 180 lbs

     

    SLOT 1 Dri Archer Jr. 5'8", 175 lbs

    19 Josh Boyle Fr. 5'9", 170 lbs

     

    LT 66 Brian Winters Sr. 6'5", 310 lbs

    67 Terrell Johnson So. 6'3", 290 lbs

    68 Jason Bitsko R-Fr. 6'3", 290 lbs

     

    LG 61 Josh Kline Sr. 6'3", 310 lbs

    77 Max Plunkett Jr. 6'7", 310 lbs

     

    C 75 Phil Huff Jr. 6'2", 290 lbs

    74 Tom Pizzurro So. 6'2", 290 lbs

     

    RG 50 Pat McShane Jr. 6'4", 301 lbs

    77 Max Plunkett Jr. 6'7", 310 lbs

     

    RT 65 Kent Cleveland Sr. 6'3" 305 lbs

    67 Terrell Johnson So. 6'3", 290 lbs

     

    QB 3 Spencer Keith Sr. 6'2", 215 lbs

    7 David Fisher Jr. 6'0", 220 lbs

    10 Colin Reardon Fr. 6'0", 190 lbs

     

    TB 34 Trayion Durham So. 6'0", 250 lbs

    1 Dri Archer Jr. 5'8", 175 lbs

    35 Julian Durden Fr. 5'7", 170 lbs

    21 Anthony Meray So. 5'7", 185 lbs

     

    TE 42 Tim Erjavec Jr. 6'1" 250 lbs

    88 Casey Pierce So. 6'3" 235 lbs 

    or 84 Kyle Payton So. 6'2" 245 lbs

     

    WR-X 8 Matt Hurdle Sr. 6'2", 195 lbs

    16 Sam Miller So. 6'0", 190 lbs

     

    Defense:

     

    LE 47 Mark Fackler Jr. 6'3, 255 lbs

    34 Richard Gray Jr. 6'2", 260 lbs

    52 Clay Miller R-Fr. 6'4", 245 lbs

     

    Nose 6 Dana Brown Sr. 6'0", 290 lbs

    50 Chris Fairchild Fr. 6'2", 310 lbs

     

    Tackle 5 Roosevelt Nix Jr. 5'11", 245 lbs

    95 Nate Terhune R-Fr. 6'3", 260 lbs

     

    Leo 51 Jake Dooley Sr. 6'2", 240 lbs

    41 Zack Hitchens Jr. 6'1", 240 lbs

    48 Nate Vance So. 6'1", 240 lbs

     

    Sam LB 31 DeVante’ Strickland So. 6'1", 220 lbs

    10 Andre Parker So. 6'1", 219 lbs

     

    Mike LB 30 Luke Batton Sr. 5'11", 230 lbs

    32 Matt Dellinger Fr. 6'0", 215 lbs

    58 Danny Gress Jr. 5'11", 235 lbs

     

    Will LB 43 C.J. Malauulu Sr. 6'0", 235 lbs

    46 Nick Conrad So. 5'11", 225 lbs

     

    CB 21 Sidney Saulter 5-Sr. 5'11", 180 lbs

    1 Darius Polk Jr. 5'11", 185 lbs

    18 Keenan Stalls Fr. 6'0", 175 lbs

     

    FS 3 Leon Green 5-Sr. 5'11", 200 lbs

    23 Jordan Italiano Fr. 5'10", 200 lbs

    7 Fabrice Pratt Jr. 6'1", 185 lbs

     

    SS 39 Luke Wollet Jr. 6'0", 195 lbs

    3 Leon Green 5-Sr. 5'11", 200 lbs 

     

    CB 11 Norman Wolfe Sr. 5'8", 165 lbs

    14 Dylan Farrington So. 6'0", 190 lbs

    20 Malcolm Pannell Jr. 5'10", 165 lbs

     

    Special Teams:

     

    PK 45 Freddy Cortez Sr. 6'1", 211 lbs

    14 Anthony Melchiori Fr. 5'11", 185 lbs

     

    P 14 Anthony Melchiori Fr. 5'11", 185 lbs

    5 Andrew Horning So. 6'0", 205 lbs

     

    98 Chad Bushley R-Fr. 6'0", 220 lbs

    35 Trip Ison 5-Sr. 6'0" 240 lbs

     

    Hold 6 Chris Humphrey So. 6-0 190

    92 Andrew Horning So. 6-0 205

     

    KR 1 Dri Archer Jr. 5'8", 175 lbs

    4 Eric Adeyemi Sr. 6'0", 180 lbs 

    19 Josh Boyle Fr. 5'9", 170 lbs

    1 Darius Polk Jr. 6'0", 185 lbs

     

    PR 4 Eric Adeyemi Sr. 6'0", 180 lbs

    39 Luke Wollet Jr. 6'0", 195 lbs

Arkansas State Player to Watch

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    Quarterback Ryan Aplin is the key to this team's success, and the most entertaining player on the field.

    He's a cerebral guy that does not make many mistakes, as evidenced by his four interceptions for the season on 255 attempts.

    He's mobile, and extends plays while evading the rush very well.

    When flushed, Aplin has the ability to make a play with his legs, and has found the end zone six times rushing the ball while averaging almost five yards per carry.

    He's no Denard Robinson, but Aplin can create and make a big play, and he will have to against Kent State for his team to have a shot at winning.

Kent State Player to Watch

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    Dri Archer is plenty fast, and it show when he sees daylight.

    He averages a whopping nine yards per carry, good enough for tops in the nation.

    He also averages over 15 yards per reception and has scored a total of 19 times this season.

    He's a threat to find the end zone every time the ball comes his way, and will have to step up and make some plays against Arkansas State for his team to come out with a victory.

    If the game goes by and you have not seen Archer's number called for a big play, it means Kent State is in serious trouble.

Key Matchups

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    Ryan Aplin vs. Kent State Front Seven

    Kent State was absolutely shredded by Jordan Lynch, a mobile quarterback, in the Mac title game. Enter Ryan Aplin. He is a little less mobile, but much more accurate than Lynch, having tossed 23 touchdowns to only four interceptions, and rushed for six more scores.

    Gus Malzahn vs. Darrell Hazell

    Obviously each will have an idea of how this game will go. Whoever makes the best adjustments based on how well his game plan performs will see his team win the game.

Arkansas State Will Win If...

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    The defense steps up.

    Kent State boasts a very explosive offense that can put points on the board very, very fast.

    The Red Wolves have struggled, at times this season, to create any sort of stop on defense against teams outside the conference, most notably Oregon and Nebraska.

    While Kent State is definitely not of the caliber of either of this two units, they are still a fairly formidable foe.

    They average over 34 points a game, and whether the Red Wolves' defense can limit that scoring, will determine the result of this game.

Kent State Will Win If...

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    They establish the running game early and often.

    The Golden Flashes average over five yards per carry.

    In their only loss since September 8 in the MAC title game, Kent State was only able to put up a total of 70 yards on the ground, and averaged fewer than two per attempt.

    Even against an Arkansas State team that looks to be a little out-manned, Dri Archer and Trayion Durham will need to have a solid game for Kent State to win.

Prediction

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    Kent State came within an overtime loss of crashing the BCS party, and now gets stuck in this lower level bowl game, so there might be some questions as to their level of motivation.

    That said, they match up very nicely with Sun Belt Conference champ, Arkansas State.

    The Red Wolves' rush defense is 54th in that nation, allowing over 150 yards per game against teams not featuring the level of talent they will see on the field in Dri Archer and Trayion Durham.

    Gus Malzahn's ability to take over as head coach and win a conference title in the same season notwithstanding, Arkansas State is going to have some trouble slowing this Kent State team.

    The Golden Flashes have played better competition, and fared better than the Red Wolves.

    That will likely not change at all in this game.

    Prediction: Kent State - 42 Arkansas State - 31