Records: Kent State (1-3, 0-1 MAC), Western Michigan (0-4, 0-0 MAC)
When/Where: Tonight, 7 p.m./Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo, Mich.
TV/Radio: ESPN3/WHLO 640 AM.
Head Coaches: Paul Haynes, Kent State (1-3, 1st year); P.J. Fleck, Western Michigan (0-4, 1st year).
Last Year's Records: Kent State (11-3); Western Michigan (4-8).
Series: Western Michigan leads 33-19-1. KSU won last year's matchup 41-24 on Homecoming Saturday in Kent, but hasn't earned a victory at Waldo Stadium since 1988.
Latest Line: Western Michigan by 2.
Scouting Western Michigan
The Broncos have struggled through a rough early season stretch of games that included visits to Big Ten powers Michigan State, Northwestern and Iowa. While those defeats (by a combined score of 123-33) are certainly excusable, Western Michigan suffered an embarrassing 27-23 loss to Nicholls State of the FCS in its only home game thus far. That same Nicholls State team (1-10 in 2012) was destroyed 66-3 by Oregon and 70-7 by Louisiana-Lafayette. ... Broncos senior quarterback Tyler Van Tubbergen (6-foot-3, 198 pounds) is off to a shaky start, completing 60-of-136 passes for 643 yards and two touchdowns compared to seven interceptions. WMU has run the ball fairly effectively behind 5-8, 194-pound senior running back Brian Fields (59 carries for 264 yards, 4.5 ypc, 3 TDs), but still is producing just 14 points and 310 yards of total offense per game, while committing 11 turnovers. ... The Broncos' defense has also struggled, allowing 37.5 points and 415 yards per contest. They have forced seven turnovers, including five fumbles. ... Western Michigan is led defensively by 6-0, 230-pound senior linebacker Kyle Lark (35 tackles, 3 TFLs) and junior strong safety Rontavious Atkins (6-0, 194), who has racked up 15 tackles, two tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles, despite missing games two and three of the season due to a thumb injury. ... Sophomore kicker Andrew Haldeman has made seven straight field goals over the past two seasons.
The Flashes have dropped three straight games by a combined score of 120-35, but those opponents (Bowling Green, LSU, Penn State) have a combined record of 10-2. They'll conclude a three-game road trip tonight against the winless Broncos. ... Kent State's offense, averaging just 13 points and 275 yards per game thus far, should get a kick-start with the return of senior speedster Dri Archer (ankle) and senior guard Pat McShane (knee) from injury. Sophomore running back Julian Durden is also back in the mix, giving the Flashes another desperately needed breakaway threat. ... Junior Trayion Durham leads KSU in rushing with 190 yards, averaging 3.1 yards per rush. ... Redshirt freshman Colin Reardon threw his first interception as a collegian last week at Penn State. He has completed 68-of-113 passes for 648 yards and four touchdowns. ... Junior wideout Chris Humphrey leads the receivers with 18 catches for 223 yards and two scores. ... The Flashes have turned the ball over just three times this year, but have forced only two turnovers. Junior cornerback Dylan Farrington notched the only turnover thus far in 2013 produced by the defense with an interception during the second half last Saturday, as KSU held Penn State to 2-of-15 passing in the final 30 minutes. ... Kent State senior defensive tackle Roosevelt Nix is second among active FBS players in career tackles for a loss (58), fifth in forced fumbles (10) and 14th in sacks (21.5). ... The Flashes' defense is allowing 32.5 points and 458 total yards per contest. ... KSU offensive coordinator Brian Rock (1992-2005) and cornerbacks coach Amp Campbell (2010-12) were once assistant coaches at WMU. ... The KSU and WMU coaching staffs will participate in Coach to Cure MD week by wearing a special arm patch during tonight's game to raise awareness of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
-- ALLEN MOFF