Dix Stadium, Kent State, OH
Saturday, Sept. 12, 6 p.m. ET
By Evan Meyer
When the Kent State Golden Flashes scheduled the 2015 football season opener at Illinois, nobody knew it would take another day to get the game in.
The Blue and Gold were supposed to play the Fighting Illini on Friday night. However, thunderstorms and lightning produced an extensive delay. After the team secured hotel rooms for the night, the game was postponed until Saturday.
Once the game got underway, it was all Illinois. The hosts scored two touchdowns in the first four minutes of the contest and never looked back as they routed the Flashes, 52-3.
KSU now looks to rebound for its home opener as it faces the Hornets of Delaware State from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC)
LAST TIME OUT:
The Golden Flashes opened the 2015 season last weekend losing to the Fighting Illini of Illinois, 52-3, at Champaign-Urbana. The home team scored two touchdowns within the first four minutes and never looked back. KSU’s only points in the game came on a 43-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter by redshirt freshman Shane Hynes. It was his first made FG as a collegian
Offensively, KSU managed just managed just 245 yards of total offense. Just 59 of those yards came on the ground, led by sophomore TB Miles Hibbler with 15 yards on eight carries. Junior Nick Holley, the Flashes top ground gainer a year ago, was held to just seven yards on eight carries. . . . . Junior QB Colin Reardon completed 15-of-34 passes for 156 yards and three interceptions. The 19 total receptions went to 10 different receivers, led by freshman P.K. Simmons with four for only 12 yards. . . . . The offensive line allowed just one sack on the afternoon.
Defensively, the Flashes allowed 342 yards, along with the 52 points. Senior LB Matt Dellinger had eight total tackles (four solo), senior DB Jordan Italiano added six stops (five solo). The defense got to Illinois QB Wes Hunt once (that by junior tackle Terrance Waugh) and recorded one interceptions (from sophomore CB Demetrius Monday).
On the special teams, redshirt freshman kicker Shane Hynes went 1-for-2 on field goals. His 43-yarder midway through the fourth quarter was the only points KSU could muster on the day. Senior Anthony Melchiori had eight punts in the afternoon for a 45.1 yard average. The returns were led by redshirt freshman Rackwon James who took seven kickoffs for 87 yards including a 43-yard return.
Twenty-three players saw their first ever action against Illinois. . . . . KSU has won the last 12 encounters against teams from the Football Championship Subdivision. Most recently, Kent State defeated Liberty at home in 2013, 17-10, in Paul Haynes’ first game as Flashes head coach. . . . Fifth year senior TE Kyle Payton saw his first action since 2012 injury, catching two passes for 12 yards. . . . Flashes are 40-28-1 in home openers winning 11 of their last 14
THE SERIES: This is the third lifetime meeting between the two schools with the Golden Flashes winning previous pair both played at Dix Stadium in 2007 (38-7) and 2008 (24-3)
DELAWARE STATE HORNETS (0-1):
LAST TIME OUT: The Hornets traveled to Lynchburg, Virginia last Saturday to open their 2015 season against FCS nationally ranked Liberty and fell to the Flames 32-14 in Kenny Carter’s first game as DSU head coach. Liberty opened a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. QB Esayah Obado completed 16-of-27 passes fpor 227 yards with two interceptions, and was sacked five times. He also rushed for a touchdown. WR Malik Golson led the recievers with seven catches for 74 yards, while RB James Jackson had just 37 rushing yards and a score. The defense allowed 417 yards to LU. They were led by LB Malik Harris who had 12 tackles (six solo)
The game against Liberty was Kenny Carter’s first as a head coach. . . . He came from Youngstown State after the Penguins lost in last season’s FCS playoffs. He was on the staffs of Urban Meyer at Florida and Charlie Strong at Louisville. He also worked at four other FBS schools (Penn State, Vanderbilt, Pittsburgh, and LSU). . . . DSU was picked 10th in the MEAC Pre-Season poll. . . . Malik Harris’ 12 tackles against Liberty tied for second among all MEAC defenders in week one. . . . In his collegiate debut, freshman Brycen Alleyne returned two kicks for 49 yards and had a nine yard reception against the Flames.