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Kentucky vs. Kent State simulation

(AP Photo)

You may remember the simulation of the Kentucky vs. Louisville game from last Sunday by the WhatIfSports.com prediction engine. While the 23-18 final score was far off, the end result was dead-on: a solid Kentucky offense and a weak defense in a Louisville victory. Looking at the predicted stats, outside of Kentucky’s running game, the simulation actually underestimated the Cats’ offense, with the unit gaining more first downs, converting third downs at a better rate, and passing for far more yards than expected. The defense was overrated however, as the Cardinals were predicted to score 23 points total — not substitute their starting quarterback after three quarters with an 18-point lead.

Every week WIS simulates thousands of college football games. This week they predict Kentucky to win 19-13 over Kent State, with a 65.8% probability. The box score represents the average outcomes of the simulations.

Kent State battled Towson last week in a game headlined by Andre Parker scooping up a muffed punt and running the wrong direction. Aside from its hilarity, it is a good representation of where the Kent State football program is at. The offense for the Golden Flashes put up 41 points on a Colonial Athletic Association team with only 267 total yards of offense; 166 passing and 101 rushing. The defense hauled in six turnovers from Towson and the ball rarely needed to move far for a score. However the averages from their starters don’t fare well. Quarterback Spencer Keith averaged just 4.3 yards per pass and one touchdown. Running back Trayion Durham averaged 2.7 yards on 20 carries and no touchdowns.

On the other side, Kent State’s defense plays right into the hand of where Kentucky excelled against Louisville: the passing game. Towson’s quarterback Grant Enders torched the Golden Flashes for 246 yards on 26-of-36 passing. The Tigers running game, however, was even more dismal than Kentucky’s on Sunday, gaining only 70 total yards.

So the projection of Kent State’s 126 rushing yards and Kentucky’s 124 rushing yards seems a bit off.

However, the passing game for Kentucky should have no problem working the Kent State secondary, which begs the question why the prediction of 190 yards in the air is so low. Clearly the hurry up no-huddle works for Max Smith and his receivers — surely that will open up some holes in a Kent State defense that was burned by Towson.

It is difficult to tell based on week one what kind of offensive attack Kent State will bring. With six turnovers and a short field on seemingly every possession, it’s hard to get a true sense for how well they can move the ball. Regardless, it is SEC versus MAC. There are no excuses.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

15 Comments for Kentucky vs. Kent State simulation



  1. schwing
    3:15 pm September 7, 2012 Permalink

    haha! is that betting line still 7?



  2. tom
    3:25 pm September 7, 2012 Permalink

    a 7 point favorite over a mid level team in the MAC. My, how far we have sunk.



  3. JayCee
    3:28 pm September 7, 2012 Permalink

    It has moved back to 6.5 from 7



  4. head scratcher
    3:29 pm September 7, 2012 Permalink

    This does not bode well for the University of Kentucky football team



  5. JayCee
    3:30 pm September 7, 2012 Permalink

    Stuart- they predict the passing numbers lower b/c they still expect UK to be able to establish the run against Kent ST. instead of having to pass so much.



  6. bigbluejon
    3:53 pm September 7, 2012 Permalink

    Simulations are dumb. Especially in football, where there is so much unpredictability.



  7. Jack Nicklaus-Stein
    4:04 pm September 7, 2012 Permalink

    My prediction….pain. As in, it will be painful to watch. Good grief…we are only 7 pt favorites to Kent Freakin State…at home. Forget it…I’m going through those glass doors, down the steps and working out.



  8. Desperate
    4:31 pm September 7, 2012 Permalink

    Joker is getting desperate. Fake punts in his own territory, onside kicks, and now going against what he has done for years, playing freshmen with a statement that says “heck, let them play”.

    All of these things are things the fans have been screaming for. The problem is, when you start listening to the fans, you become one.



  9. oh my
    4:32 pm September 7, 2012 Permalink

    Are we never going to see the end of that terrible UK logo? Not only does our team suck, we can’t even get them to use the right emblem on the box score.



  10. BBN
    4:34 pm September 7, 2012 Permalink

    Well… If we DO lose to Kent State – that just means Joker will be fired before the Western KY game. The Boosers (money) will finally demand that the Board of Directors do their jobs and clean up the mess Mitch has created. A “L” to Kent State may even mean the end for ole Mitch (as it should).



  11. Diorio's Pizza
    5:06 pm September 7, 2012 Permalink

    The KSR Klowns are like Cheerleaders on the Titanic!! All candy and nuts minus ANY reality.Must be a sad life to have to please BrainFart and Chocker in order to keep access to Cals Nuts!
    Enjoy the game on your lap top!!



  12. Pu
    5:10 pm September 7, 2012 Permalink

    12. Who is Chocker? If you’re gonna insult people, at least make sure it makes sense. Or are you trying to say our coach chocks? Oh, wait, you must lick the windows on the back of the short bus. Nevermind



  13. thenamerobdigity
    7:25 pm September 7, 2012 Permalink

    If each team has only 1 penalty, I will run from here (Tampa) to Lexington.



  14. carnifex
    11:36 pm September 7, 2012 Permalink

    And yet, there will be. Excuses that is. On both sides of the ball. UK should win this game handily. If they don’t, well, there will be no hope at all the rest of the season. If they do, it will be “See, Mushmouth just needed to work the kinks outta’ the team”. Totally ignoring the disaster that is the Mushmouth regime. If Mushmouth just totally screws the pooch and loses to Kent, we’ll hear the “He just needs more time to get his players in.” crap that we have heard about every coaching failure at UK since the Bear was here.

    Ps. We’re starting Sanders, what’s the over/under on how many balls he puts on the turf? 2…3?