In their last game on October 24th, the Kent State Golden Flashes ran up against the offensive juggernaut known as the Bowling Green Falcons. The result was a lopsided 48-0 BG win as Kent State took its worst beating since September, 2014 when KSU lost to eventual national champion Ohio State, 66-0, in Columbus.
After ten days off, the Blue and Gold return to action for the first of three straight night games, beginning with the Buffalo Bulls, who come to Dix Stadium riding a two-game winning streak.
Here's a look at the two teams:
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LAST TIME OUT: Kent State last played on October 24th and was shutout by MAC East Division leading Bowling Green 48-0. The Falcons scored on five of their first six offensive possessions and never looked back, building a 31-0 halftime lead. KSU managed just 166 yards of total offense. It's only chance to score came late in the second quarter when a 39-yard field goal attempt hit the right upright. Redshirt freshman QB George Bollas completed just 12-of-25 passes for 111 yards with two interceptions. P.J, Simmons led the ground game with 48 yards on five carries, while freshman Antwan Dixon had four receptions for 52 yards. Defensively, three players had ten or more tackles in the contest. Nate Holley led th group with 16 total (seven solo).
ON THE YEAR: The Golden Flashes opened the 2015 season with a loss to the Fighting Illini of Illinois, 52-3, at Champaign-Urbana…KSU then rebounded the following week in the home opener, dominating Delaware State, 45-13, before dropping a heartbreaker at Minnesota 10-7. A double overtime loss to Marshall at home, 36-29, ended the non-conference schedule at 1-3.
The Flashes opened MAC play with a 20-14 win at home over Miami…After a 38-7 loss at nationally ranked Toledo, KSU rebounded with a 15-10 victory at UMass before the shutout loss to BGSU…The game with the Bulls is the first the three consecutive night games for the Flashes (at Ohio, vs. Central Michigan the others) before ending the season November 27th at Akron in the battle for the Wagon Wheel Trophy
OFFENSE; KSU is averaging 15.6 points & 298.1 yards per game
RUSHING: Trayion Durham 93 carries-308 yards 2 touchdowns
PASSING: George Bollas 55-87-4 425 yards one touchdown
RECEIVING: RB Raekwon James 20-216
DEFENSE: The Flashes are allowing 27.6 points & 329.6 yards per game
TOTAL TACKLES: DB Nate Holley 47-36-83
TACKLES FOR LOSS: DL Terance Waugh 9-54 yards
SACKS: Waugh 11-58 yards
INTERCEPTIONS:DB Demetrius Monday 5-39 yards
PUNTING: Anthony Melchiori 67 – 41.4 avg. per kick
PLACE KICKING: Shane Hynes 6-8 FG / 9-9 PAT
KICK RETURNS: Raekwon James 19-20.7 yds per return
PUNT RETURNS: Ernest Calhoun 17-3.4 avg per return
NOTES: The Flashes are 1-0 in night games so far in 2015, defeating Delaware State 45-13 (The season opener at Illinois originally was at night but was postponed to Saturday due to thunderstorms)…DB Nate Holley had 16 tackles against BGSU and is now third in the MAC and 14th in the Football Bowl Subdivision with 83 total tackles…RB Trayion Durham is one of five players in KSU history to rush for over 3,000 yards (3,020 going into the game against UB)…CB Demetrius Monday has five interceptions -- good for fifth in the FBS -- while the defense owns 11 total interceptions, good for 18th…P Anthony Melchiori has had at least one punt of 54 or more yards in six of the eight games so far this season….KSU's defense is second in the MAC in tackles for losses (61 for 226 yds)and rushing defense (118 per game) which is also 22nd in the FBS…Najee Murray’s block of BGSU’s Tyler Tate’s field goal attempt at the end of the first half was KSU’s first since 2013
THE SERIES: The game is the 21st lifetime meeting between the two schools with the seried deadlocked at 10-10. The road team has won the last five…Their last meeting was at Dix Stadium n 2013, with the Bulls emerging victorious, 41-21. Branden Oliver rushed for 185 yards and scored four touchdowns. Khalil Mack was outstanding on defense with 10 tackles, a sack, and a 41-yard interception return…This is the 12th lifetime meeting at Kent with the Bulls holding a slim 6-5 edge.
The two teams were supposed to play last year, but a freakish lake effect snowstorm paralyzed Buffalo and the Niagara Frontier.
BUFFALO BULLS (4-4, 2-2 MAC EAST)
LAST TIME OUT: The Bulls last played on October 29, traveling to Oxford, where they defeated the Miami Redhawks, 29-24. It was UB’s second consecutive victory after three straight losses. RB Jordan Johnson rushed for 123 yards on 28 carries and two touchdowns. QB Joe Licata completed 22-of-29 passes for 289 yards and a pair of scores, both going to WR Ron Willoughby. The second came from nine yards out in the third quarter and proved to be the winning score. It was UB’s second road win of the season as the Bulls won at Florida Atlantic back in September 33-15.
SO FAR: This is the first season for head coach Lance Leopold at UB after tremendous success at Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater. The Buffalo season opened with a home victory over FCS opponent Albany. After a loss at Penn State, the Bulls rebounded with a win at Florida Atlantic before dropping three straight games to Nevada and Bowling Green at home and Central Michigan away. They righted their ship with a 41-17 win over Ohio before their win at Miami…The Bulls finish the season with home games against Northern Illinois and Massachusetts, while their final road game takes them to Akron
OFFENSE: UB is averaging 28.1 points & 382.5 yards per game
RUSHING: Jordan Johnson 123 carries-575 yards seven touchdowns
PASSING: Joe Licata 173-272-7 1876 yards 10 touchdowns
RECEIVING: Matt Weiser 39 receptions-405 yards one touchdown
DEFENSE: The Bulls are allowing 25 points & 404.6 yards per game
TACKLES: Nick Gilbo (45-28-73)
TFL: Gilbo 9-46 yards
SACKS: Okezie Alozie 4-26
INTERCEPTIONS: three with two
PUNTING: Tyler Grassman 41-42.0 yds avg per kick
PLACE KICKING: Adam Mitcheson 10-14 FG/ 23-26 PAT
KICK RETURNS: Devin Campbell (KR) 7-15.0/Collin Lisa (PR)7-3.9
NOTES: The Bulls come into the game against KSU with a 4-4 mark they go into the month of November at .500 or better for just the third time in their history (2008, 2013)…UB leads the FBS with six defensive touchdowns so far this season…RB Jordan Johnson has rushed for over 100 yards in his first two starts (147 vs Ohio and 123 vs Miami)…QB Joe Licata was named MAC East Offensive Player of the Week and P Tyler Grassman was named East Special Teams Player of the Week for their performances against the Redhawks…Head coach Lance Leopold is the first head coach at UB to win four games in his inaugural season since Jim Ward in 1992 (4-6) the last coach to win five games was Bob Deming in 1969 (6-3).