From time to time, football has a way of reminding everybody that it's a sixty minute game -- sometimes more!
After three quarters of play Saturday at Dix Stadium, some might have considered the outcome virtually guaranteed. The hosting Kent State Golden Flashes had held Miami's RedHawks to 207 yards of offense and held a 20-0 lead. Given the rain and conditions, not to mention the MAC's top defense, the final 15 minutes might have been considered more of a formality.
As it turned out, however, the RedHawks had plenty of time to put the outcome in question.
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Fifth-year senior QB Drew Kummer, who played a key part in the comeback, moved the offense with a pair of completions, Two plays after Miami crossed midfield, disaster nearly struck the RedHawks. Kummer was flushed out of the pocket and hit after failing to step out of bounds. The contact caused a fumble, but MU recovered.
Two incompletions followed. Then, from the KSU 36 and just over a minute remaining, Kummer threw down the middle and was intercepted by freshman DB Juantez McRae. It was Kummer’s second pick of the period and fourth of the game. He was intercepted on MU’s first drive of the fourth quarter by Elcee Refuge. Demetrius Monday recorded the Flashes' two other picks.
“We have got to get a little more of an instinct to close it out a little bit earlier.” Flashes head coach Paul Haynes said.
“We like to keep people in the stands though...keep it interesting a little bit," he quipped before adding, "We talk about closing out games, and we did not close it out like we should have. But, they (Miami) did a good job and their guys did a good job of making plays. We have got to do a better job of closing it out.”
In the final 15 minutes of action, MU outgained the Flashes 209-67 on the arm of Kummer, who was 12-for-27 in the fourth quarter alone, leading MU two scoring drives.
The first was a 10-play 77 yarder midway through the period, capped by a one-yard run by Alonzo Smith. The second score came when he found Nate Becker onver the middle from two-yards out to close the deficit to six points. That capped a nine-play 65-yard match and likely put a little squirming in the home seats for those still in attendance.
The Miami defense also played a part as it held the KSU offense to a pair of three-and-outs, one first down, and just five total yards after the interception by Refuge.
The final stats showed MU outgained KSU 416-350. The ultimate stat, as usual, was the final 20-14 score. But there was one other number worth remembering: 60 -- as in the phrase, "It's a 60 minute game." Saturday was just another reminder.