Last Tuesday night, the Kent State Golden Flashes battled both the weather and the Mid-American Conference Western Division leading Toledo Rockets.
The Flashes came back from a 23-0 deficit early in the third quarter to make the game respectable. In the end, the margin was too great to overcome, and the Rockets went home with a victory and still unblemished conference record. Kent State, meanwhile, remained winless in conference play with just three games remaining.
It does not get any easler for the Blue and Gold as they head west to Bowling Green to battle the East Division leading Falcons, winners in four of their last five games.
LAST TIME OUT:
November 4th losing to Toledo at home 30-20. On a rainy raw evening at Dix Stadium, the Flashes fell behind 23-0 early in the third quarter. However, they fought back with a 50-yard touchdown run by sophomore Nick Holley and a pair of touchdown passes from Nathan Strock -- a four-yarder to Ernest Calhoun and a three-yarder early in the fourth quarter to senior TE Casey Pierce.
In the end, UT proved too much. The Rockets left with the victory to remain the only unbeaten team in MAC play (5-0) while keeping KSU winless in conference play (0-5).
Strock, who came in to replace sophomore QB Colin Reardon, completed 9 of 18 passes for just 67 yards. However, he did jump start a lethargic Flashes offense. Defensively, LB Matt Dellinger had 13 total tackles (five solo)
ON THE YEAR:
KSU offensively is averaging 14.8 points and 303.6 yards per game…QB Colin Reardon is the leader of the offense and has completed 55.3 percent of his passes (176 of 318) for 1,884 yards with nine touchdowns and 111 interceptions…Sophomore RB Nick Holley leads the ground attack with 400 yards on 100 carries…Senior TE Casey Pierce leads the receiving corps with 42 catches for 433 yards and four touchdowns (KSU has five players with more than 20 and seven with more than 10 receptions so far this season…
The defense is led by sophomore DB Nate Holley with 110 total tackles (63 solo), which leads the MAC…DB Milton Pannell leads the team with two interceptions.
The special teams are led by Anthony Melchiori, who does both the punting and the place kicking. He is averaging 44.6 yards per punt and is 10 of 16 on field goals while going 11 of 12 on PATs.
Kent State is 1-8 overall and 0-4 on the road. It's last win away from home was the 2013 season finale at Ohio)…The Flashes went winless in their first six games this season for the first time since 1998 (0-3 on the road)… They opened the 2014 campaign at home, coming back from a 14-7 deficit to tie Ohio 14-14 with 3:34 remaining. Only to see the Bobcats hit a 44-yard field goal on the final play of the game and literally take the game until their win over on October 18th Army 39-17…After their meeting with the Falcons the Flashes head to Buffalo to battle the Bulls before ending the season with arch-rival Akron at home.
NOTES & QUOTES:
QB Colin Reardon moved into sixth place on the all-time career completions list with 362. He is now seventh on the career passing yards list with 3,841 and tied for seventh in career touchdown passes with 21..The offensive line has allowed Reardon to be sacked only once in the last five games.
Junior LB Matt Dellinger had a career high 13 total tackles against Toledo…Senior WR Chris Humphrey is in eighth place on the Flashes all-time career reception list with 111…The 171 yards rushing against UT was a season high.
DB Nate Holley ranks fourth in the Football Bowl Subdivision with 12.2 total tackles per game and is fourth in solo tackles averaging 7.0 per contest…Anthony Melchiori is 16th in the FBS with a 44.6 yard per punt average
The game is the 82nd meeting between the two schools, with BGSU holding a 56-19-6 mark. In their meeting last year at Dix Stadium. Bowling Green posted a 41-22 victory, breaking a three-game KSU winning streak.
It's the 40th lifetime meeting in Northwest Ohio, with the Falcons holding a 24-11-4 advantage. The Flashes have won the last two meetings, including a 2012 31-24 verdict that secured the MAC Eastern Division title
LAST TIME OUT:
November 4th defeating Akron on the road 27-10. The Falcons took a stranglehold on the Eastern Division as they broke open a close game in the third quarter with two touchdowns. Bowling Green took advantage of five turnovers (four interceptions and a fumble), converting them into 24 points and a victory.
The game was 6-3 at halftime on a rainy, windy night.
The Falcons first break came midway through the third quarter when junior NG Taylor Royster recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown.
The second break came after an interception on the next UA possession. Sophomore QB James Knapke connected with freshman WR Roger Lewis in the end zone from 10-yards out to make the score 20-3.
The Zips scored a touchdown early in the fourth to close the margin to 10. However on the next possession, junior RB Andre Givens ran 48 yards for a score to put the game away.
BGSU had 264 yards on the ground despite losing its leading rusher Travis Greene to a lower body injury on the Falcons first possession of the game. The Falcons were led by sophomore Fred Coppet, who had 113 yards on 18 carries, and Givens with 101 on 14 carries and a score.
Knapke completed 17-of-34 passes for 120 yards and the score to Lewis. Defensively, fifth-year senior SS Ryland Ward and CB Jude Adjeh-Barihmah each had 10 total tackles
ON THE YEAR:
In their nine games in 2014, the Falcons are averaging 32.9 points and 447.4 yards per game. The running game is led by Greene with 644 yards on 128 carries with eight touchdowns…Knapke is at the controls of the offense (coming in for the injuried Matt Johnson in the season opener at Western Kentucky). Knapke has completed 58.3 percent of his passes (196 of 336) for 2,128 yards with 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Lewis leads the receivers with 57 catches for 742 yards and four scores.
The defense is allowing 33.6 points and 526.9 yards per game…they are led by fifth year senior LB Gabe Martin with 77 total tackles (35 solo)…DE Bryan Thomas leads in tackles for losses with 10.5 and in sacks with 4.5 Redshirt freshman DB Nick Johnson leads with four interceptions (including two in the win over the Zips).
The special teams are led by junior PK Tyler Tate, who is 14 of 7 on field goals and 32 of 35 on PAT. Redshirt freshman P Joe Davidson is averaging 41.7 yards per kick.
Bowling Green is 6-3 (3-1 at Perry Stadium). It opened the season with a loss at Western Kentucky. In that game starting QB Matt Johnson was lost for the season.
It followed that setback with home wins over Virginia Military (FCS) and Indiana, scoring the winning touchdown with just nine seconds remaining. The game with the Hoosiers would be the first of several high scoring games for the Falcons.
Bowling Green fell to No. 19 Wisconsin (6-17) in game four, but then went on a three game win streak, with wins over UMass (47-42), Buffalo (36-35) and Ohio (31-13).
A hot Western Michigan team broke the Falcons streak with a 26-14 verdict. But BG rebounded last week with a 27-10 win.
After the tilt with the Flashes, the Falcons have two games remaining -- Ball State at home and a final road game at Toledo for possession of the I-75 trophy