The Kent State Golden Flashes opened the second half of the 2014 football season last Saturday with their first victory, pulling away from Army in the second half for a 39-17 ending a six-game losing streak.
This Saturday, the Blue and Gold cross the state to Oxford and Yager Stadium as they meet the Miami RedHawks in a battle between one-win teams. Miami is coming off a 51-41 loss to Northern Illinois in Dekalb.
LAST TIME OUT:
Kent State defeated Army 39-17…The Flashes set a season mark for points and total yards (467) in defeating the Black Knights.
Sophomore QB Colin Reardon had a career day with 360 yards passing, completing 27-of-40 with two touchdowns and one interception. In addition, he led KSU in rushing with 42 yards and a score. RB James Brooks led the recievers with seven catches for 108 yards. Defensively, walk-on DB Nick Cuthbert had 16 total tackles (12 solo) in garnering MAC East Defensive Player of the Week honors.
The game was close until late in the third quarter when PK Anthony Melchiori connected on a 27-yard field goal to give KSU a 23-17 lead. It salted the game away in the final period by scoring 16 unanswered points.
ON THE YEAR:
KSU offensively is averaging 15.7 points and 301.9 yards per game. QB Colin Reardon is the leader of the offense, and he has completed 56.6 percent of his passes (145 of 256) for 1,587 yards with nine touchdowns and nine interceptions…Sophomore RB Nick Holley leads the ground attack with 257 yards on 77 carries…Senior WR Chris Humphrey leads the receiving corps with 29 catches for 342 yards and two touchdowns (KSU has three 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 91 total tackles (55 solo) which leads the MAC. Defensive back Matt Sommers leads the team with two interceptions. The special teams are paced by Anthony Melchior, who does both the punting and the place kicking. He is averaging 45 yards per punt and is 9 of 14 on field goals while going 9 of 10 on PATs.
Kent State owns a 1-6 record. 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 for a 17-14 victory. That was the closest the Flashes have came to a win until their victory last week over Army.
After their meeting with Miami, the Flashes hit the road one final time when they travel to Buffalo. KSU then closes the campaign with home games against Toledo and arch-rival Akron
For the third consecutive week, KSU had season-best in both total yards (467) and season high mark in points (39)…The 360 yards passing were the most by a Flashes team since 2009. Colin Reardon moved into sixth place on KSU’s all-time completions list (331), seventh in passing yards (3544) and tied for seventh in TD passes (21)
Nate Holley is third in the Football Bowl Subdivision averaging 13 total tackles per game and 7.3 solo stops per game.
In his first start, DB Nick Cuthbert (a walk-on from Georgia Tech) had 16 total tackles (12 solo)
The game is the 62nd lifetime between the two schools. Miami holds a commanding edge. KSU has won the last two in the series, including the last played at Yager Stadium, 48-32. This is the 31st meeting in Oxford with MU holding a 23-7 edge.
MIAMI REDHAWKS (1-7, 1-3 MAC EAST)
LAST TIME OUT:
Miami fell to the Northern Illinois Huskies, 51-41. It was a game that produced 91 total points and 1,174 yards of total offense. After being being down 37-14 late in the first half, MU closed to within ten points on two occasions, but it could not catch the hosts.
Of NIU’s 658 total yards, 433 came on the ground, producing a pair of 100-yard rushers.
Fifth-year Miami senior QB Andrew Hendrix passed for 346 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Hendrix also led MU in rushing with 72 yards on 14 carries and was named MAC East Offensive Player of the Week.
Senior WR David Frazier led the receivers with seven catches for 87 yards. Safety Heath Harding was busy, registering 16 total tackles (15 solo).
ON THE YEAR:
In their eight games of 2014, Miami is averaging 25 points and 399.1 yards per game offensively. Hendrix is at the controls of the offense, completing 49.6 percent of his passes (165 of 332) for 2,477 yards with 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Spencer McInnis leads the ground game with 232 yards on 61 carries, but he is out this week. Converted wide receiver Dawan Scott, who has been limited by injury, is slated to take the start at running back. When relatively healthy, he adds another dimension to the struggling MU ground game. Scott broke loose for a 61-yard touchdown run against Akron before being sidelined by an injury a short time later. Hendrix, in addition to his passing skills, has proven to be a productive runnier on several occasions and can keep drives moving. He has four TDs this year via the run, including three last week.
Frazier, meanwhile leads the receivers with 47 catches for 749 yards and four touchdowns.
Defensively, S Jarrell Jones has 66 total tackles (43 solo) while the special teams are led by PK Kaleb Patterson, going 23 for 24 on PATs. He has a career long of 52 yards on field goals.
There is a new leader in Oxford in 2014 as Chuck Martin came from Brian Kelly’s staff at Notre Dame to become MU’s 36th head football coach last December. Martin had been a head coach before at Division II Grand Valley State in Michigan with great success in the NCAA Division II playoffs.
There was no where to go but up for the 'Hawks, who went 0-12 last season. They began the season with home losses to Marshall and Eastern Kentucky. They then played tough at Michigan and Cincinnati.
Miami opened MAC play with a narrow eight point setback at Buffalo before the comeback 42-41 win over UMass. MU was on the road for the next two weeks, falling at Akron and NIU.
Starting with the KSU game, the Hawks will finish the season with three of their final four games at home, the finale being with arch-rival Ohio in another "Battle of the Bricks.”
NOTES AND QUOTES: The win over UMass ended a losing streak of 21-games overall and 13 in MAC Play…Andrew Hendrix had a string of 134 consecutive passes without an interception until he had a pair of picks in the game with UA…David Frazier has four 100-yard receiving games so fat this season…Former MU basketball player Quinten rollins is the first believe to be the first college athlete to score a basket against Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium…intercept a pass against Michigan at the Big House in Ann Arbor and pick off a pass against Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium