2015 NCAA Football: Ranking Big Ten Week One Games

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12. KENT STATE @ ILLINOIS (Sept. 4, 8 p.m. CT) Big Ten Network

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Kent State Golden Flashes had a very bad year last season. They finished last in the MAC-East standings with a 1-6 conference record, 2-9 overall. The defense for the most part played well, bringing a bend-don’t-break mentality and mostly lived up to that. Depth being an issue, this defense should at the very least be good this season. The problem was on offense, as it ranked nearly last in all major statistical categories. It should improve this season, as towards the end of last year the Golden Flashes showed that it could get rolling even though the schedule did not reflect that.

Illinois won three of their first four games to start the 2014 season, and then the Big Ten season started. The Fighting Illini only won three games in the conference, but one was against a good Minnesota team and finished the regular season with two in a row. But an embarrassing showing in the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl against Louisiana Tech, leaving head coach Tim Beckman on a very hot seat to start this season.

A loss to open the season could be devastating for Beckman and Illinois, considering they have a tough road in the Big Ten. They play Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Minnesota this season.

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