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So let's do it for him. In order

By Allen MoffRecord-Courier staff writer Published: October 29, 1999 12:00 AM

So let's do it for him.

In order to prove to any and all doubters that the program is headed toward bigger and better things in the near future, the Golden Flashes must first avoid a major embarrassment by beating the hapless Bulls.

The worse, the better.

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"We expect to win every week, but this is one we need to win," said Pees. "We're back at home after a disappointing performance on the road, and we need to bounce back."

Defeating Buffalo (0-7, 0-6 Mid-American Conference) was considered a given nearly a month ago, after Kent (1-7, 1-4) handed well-respected Bowling Green a convincing 41-27 defeat. But since then the Flashes have struggled immensely, losing four games in a row by a combined score of 145-27.

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"I'm sure Buffalo feels they have a chance to win this ballgame," said Pees. "They're hungry for a win and they believe they can get it, especially after the way we performed last week (a 50-7 loss at Northern Illinois)."

Buffalo has been repeatedly bruised and battered in its first year at the NCAA Division I-A level since 1970. After playing Akron tough in their opener (a 17-10 loss), the Bulls have lost their last five MAC games by an average score of 46-13.

They will carry an 11-game losing streak into Saturday's game with the Flashes. Still, Pees is wary of the Bulls' potential.

"(Sophomore Derrick Gordon) is a decent tailback, and (senior Drew) Haddad is a tough wide receiver that makes plays," he said. "They've actually moved the ball fairly well, but they've had a tough time getting into the end zone.

"Defensively, they play hard. They run a 30 defense just like Navy and Ohio, and that's a concern because we didn't play well offensively against either one of those teams."

While the '99 season has been virtually one long downhill slide for the Bulls, it's been a roller coaster ride for the Flashes _ full of encouraging ups followed immediately by disheartening downs.

But most of the ups have occurred at home.

The Flashes defeated the Falcons and gave MAC powerhouse Miami all it wanted and then some at Dix Stadium two weeks ago.

"We've been two different teams at home and on the road," said Pees. "Other than the first quarter against Navy, I can't say I've been disappointed with our overall performance at home. But, with the way the personality of this team is, it's still not a given that we'll play well just because we're at home."

Pees has convinced his troops that a victory over the Bulls isn't a given, either.

"We're certainly not taking these guys lightly," he said. "Quite the opposite, in fact. We're taking this one very, very seriously."

Notes: The Flashes and Bulls haven't met since 1970, Buffalo's last

season as a Division I-A school before this year. Kent won that game 27-

21, but still trails in the series 4-3. ... Flashes senior Jason Gavadza

needs 49 yards receiving to become the school's all-time leader among

tight ends. He will pass current Toledo head coach Gary Pinkel (1,082),

who played for Kent's '72 MAC championship team. ... Haddad currently

leads the MAC in receptions (7 per game) and is fifth in receiving yards

per game (89.4). ... For the first time in two seasons against a

Division I-A opponent, Kent is favored over Buffalo. The line is 14

according to oddsmakers.

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