The Kent State Golden Flashes — Penn State's final nonconference opponent — might run the fastest tempo of any opponent the Nittany Lions will face all year. They rank 37th in FBS in total offense with a 482-yard average and of the 36 teams ranked ahead of them, only eight have surpassed their two-game total of 165 plays. Woody Barrett, who began his college career at Auburn, is a dangerous dual-threat quarterback who averages 280.5 total offense yards. Kent State has rushed for 269 yards per game.
If there are two areas where the Golden Flashes don't exactly excel, it's taking care of the football and penalties. They have six turnovers in two games and only one team in FBS has more. They have been penalized 20 times for 188 yards, numbers that put them in the bottom 10 of the rankings, as compared to four penalties for 55 yards by Penn State. And the Lions appear to have the advantage in net punting, averaging almost 11 yards more in that department.
The Golden Flashes scared Illinois in their season opener after leading 17-3 at the half, and had a chance to tie the game late but threw an interception on fourth-and-goal from the 4. The quickness of their play-calling and the talent of Barrett may prove troublesome early for the Lions but the home team should settle down, and its offense should be able to put points on the board.
Call it Penn State, 52-17.