Making just his second start at quarterback for the Golden Flashes, Holley delivered a strong hint at what was to come when he raced 65 yards on the game's opening play. The long run set up the game's first points – a 31-yard field goal by Shane Hynes with 12:24 to play in the first quarter.
It didn't take long for Holley to break free again as he . . .
Holley added scoring runs of three yards with 29 seconds to play in the third quarter and two yards with 8:09 to play in the fourth as the Flashes claimed a wire-to-wire win that improved their record to 2-4 overall and 1-1 in Mid-American Conference play. Buffalo fell to 1-4 on the year and 0-1 in MAC play.
Will Mathews added 62 yards on five carries and Justin Rankin ran for 58 yards on 13 attempts. Holley also threw for 89 yards on 7-for-13 passing.
Kent State also scored on defense as James Alexander scooped up a fumble forced by Jon Cunningham and ran 15 yards for a touchdown with 3:35 to play in the second quarter that allowed Kent State to take a 20-3 lead into halftime.
Buffalo scored its lone touchdowns – a one-yard pass from Tyree Jackson to Johnathon Hawkins and a one-yard run by Jackson – in the fourth quarter.
When the Bulls (1-4, 0-1) offered a brief threat, trimming the lead to 27-13 with 11:36 to play on the Jackson-to-Hawkins touchdown, Kent State answered quickly courtesy of a 66-yard kickoff return by Raekwon James. That set the stage for Holley's third touchdown run.
Defensively, Nate Holley, who began the week as the national leader in solo tackles, led KSU's defense with 13 tackles, including 10 more solos to bring his season total to 57. Nick Cuthbert added 10 tackles, while Jon Cunningham recorded the Flashes' lone sack to go with his forced fumble.
Kent State is on the road again next Saturday, traveling to Oxford, Ohio for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff against Miami University. Buffalo remains on the home turf, which it will host Ball Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET).
(Courtesy of KSU Athletics)