Last Love: Utah State playing Kent State in Frisco Bowl
Utah State (7-5, Mountain West) vs. Kent State (6-6, MAC), Friday at 7:30 p.m. EST (ESPN2).
Line: Utah State by 6 1/2.
Series record: Tied 1-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Utah State plays its eighth bowl game in nine seasons in what will be the final college game for quarterback Jordan Love. Kent State is the only team this season that got bowl eligible by winning its last three games. It is the first bowl game for the Golden Flashes since 2012. They could reach seven wins for only the second time since 1987, after going 2-10 last season in the debut of now 33-year-old coach Sean Lewis.
Dual-threat quarterback Dustin Crum and Kent State’s rushing offense against the Utah State defense. The Flashes have run for 519 yards and five touchdowns in their last two games. The Aggies have allowed 573 yards rushing and five touchdowns in their last two games, and are 1-4 when opponents have at least 200 yards rushing.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Utah State: Love announced last week he will skip his final season of eligibility for early entry in the NFL draft, but said he would play in the bowl game. He has thrown for 8,283 yards and 57 touchdowns in 37 games over three seasons. His 11 games with at least 300 yards passing are a school record.
Kent State: Junior linebackers Mandela Lawrence-Burke and Cepeda Phillips have combined for 179 tackles and six sacks. Lawrence-Burke has 94 tackles, and Phillips 85.
FACTS & FIGURES
This is only the second bowl game for Kent State since 1972, when Nick Saban was a defensive back and Jack Lambert a linebacker for a MAC champion team. ... Utah State is playing in the state of Texas for the first time since a 48-17 win at UTSA in 2012. That was the final season in the first stint as Aggies head coach for Gary Andersen, who returned when Matt Wells left at the end of last season for Texas Tech. ... The only previous meetings for the two teams was 1973 and 1974. The road team won both times. ... This is only the third Frisco Bowl, played in a pro soccer stadium that also hosts the FCS national championship game. The first two Frisco Bowl games were decided by 41 and 27 points.