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The Flashes managed two wins in a somewhat abbreviated season. A game at Buffalo was cancelled due to winter conditions in the area. KSU was 2-9 overall and 1-6 in MAC play. For what it was worth, their one MAC win was a biggie. The Flashes came back to beat rival Akron to close out the 2014 campaign.
Kent State ranked 10th among MAC teams in turnover margin. The Flashes committed 21 turnovers. Only four were fumbles, as the other 17 came on interceptions.
Quarterback Colin Reardon tossed 14 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in his sophomore season. He was seventh in passing yardage (224.2 ypg).
Kent State fans will be hoping for a healthy Trayion Durham this year. He failed to gain a single yard last season due to injury and was also limited back in 2013. Going back to 2012, however, the powerful Durham contributed 1,316 yards as part of a devastating KSU running attack that also featured speedy Dri Archer.
The Flashes ranked 12 among MAC squads and 116th nationally in total offense. They were also 12th among MAC teams in scoring (16.4 ppg) and first downs (18.0 per game).
Nick Holley led Kent State rushing in 2014 with 516 yards.
With Durham unavailable, KSU struggled with its ground game. The Flashes were 13th (MAC) with 81.9 ypg. Six rushing touchdowns was also a league low, with the next worst Miami (11). Finally, Kent State was last in third down conversions (30.3%).
KSU was 10th in red zone offense, scoring on 71.9 percent of its chances, with 15 touchdowns – three rushing and 12 through the air.
Safety Nate Holley led the MAC with 12.5 tackles per game (137 total) as a sophomore, earning First Team All-MAC honors. Safety Jordan Italiano also returns this season after racking up 96 tackles in the 2014 campaign. Linebacker Matt Dellinger collected 89 stops.
KSU yielded 29.0 ppg, seventh in the conference. The Flashes were ninth in total defense (430.3 ypg
Kent State topped the MAC in pass defense, allowing 216.3 ypg. Some of the luster might come off that stat, however, when one realizes the Flashes were 12th in rushing defense (214 ypg). Opponents picked up 4.8 ypc running the ball. KSU did rank sixth in pass defense efficiency.
The Blue and Gold registered a conference-low nine sacks. While KSU played only 11 games, the nine sacks were still three behind Eastern Michigan and six behind UMass at No. 11. Kent State was also ninth in red zone defense. Opponents scored on 84.8 percent of trips into the zone, with 29 touchdowns and 10 field goals. The 29 TDs came on 16 rushes and 13 passes.
Casey Pierce (60) and Chris Humphrey combined for 111 receptions and 11 TDs in their final seasons last year. Ernest Calhoun (33 receptions, Kris White (25 rec), and James Brooks (16 rec) return.
Anthony Melchiori is back in 2015 after leading the MAC in punting. His 44.3-yard average was good enough for 12th in the nation. Things didn’t go quite as well for Melchiori as a placekicker. He finished 10 of 18 on field goal attempts.