UB Stadium – Buffalo, NY
By EVAN MEYER
Last Saturday, fate first smiled then frowned on the Kent State Golden Flashes in the final minutes of their game with the Akron Zips. The Blue and Gold put together a 97-yard touchdown drive to take a 27-24 lead with a little over a minute left to play. The arch-rival Zips then took a short kickoff and in three plays scored the winning touchdown with just 20 seconds remaining for a 31-27 victory that dropped the Flashes record to 1-4 on the season.
KSU makes the trek up Interstate 90 to Buffalo to face the Bulls this week. It is the first meeting between the two schools in Western New York since the infamous blizzard of 2014 cancelled that game.
UB opens its Mid-American Conference slate with a 1-3 non-conference record after losing 35-3 last Saturday at Boston College.
KENT STATE GOLDEN FLASHES (1-4, 0-1 MAC):
LAST TIME OUT: The Golden Flashes celebrated homecoming at Dix Stadium. However, it was not a happy one as they fell in the final seconds to the arch-rival Akron Zips 31-27 in the annual battle for the Wagon Wheel Trophy. KSU used its third quarterback of the season as junior Nick Holley left his wide receiver position and played admirably, gaining 117 yards rushing and a touchdown.
In addition, he completed 19-of-35 passes for 285 yards and a pair of scores. Freshman RB Justin Rankin had a career day with 10 receptions for 181 yards and a fourth quarter touchdown with just 1:12 remaining to give KSU the lead. Defensively, Senior DB Nate Holley had 12 total tackles (eight solo) while freshman CB Jerrell Foster had two interceptions part of a three turnover haul for the Flashes defense.
KSU SEASON TO DATE: The Golden Flashes finished their non-conference schedule with a 1-3 record. The lone win came at home against Monmouth, while the losses were at Penn State, at defending National Champion and top-ranked Alabama, and to North Carolina A&T at home in four overtimes -- the longest game in school history
OFFENSE; KSU is averaging 20.6 points & 297.2 yards per game
RUSHING: Justin Rankin 49 carries - 247 yards-one touchdown
PASSING: Mylik Mitchell 39-69-1 363 yards five touchdowns
RECEIVING: Rankin 17 receptions - 231 yards – one touchdown
DEFENSE: The Flashes are allowing 31.6 points & 368 yards oer game
TOTAL TACKLES: Nate Holley 47-26-73
TACKLES FOR LOSS: Terance Waugh 9-60 yards
SACKS: Waugh 6-45 yards
INTERCEPTIONS: Jerrell Foster with two
PUNTING: Derek Adams 33 – 41.1 avg. per kick
PLACE KICKING: Shane Hynes 9-13 FG / 10-10 PAT
KICK RETURNS: Kavious Price 6-20.5 yds per return
PUNT RETURNS: Nick Holley 7-52
KSU NOTES: Nate Holley on Saturday became the first KSU quarterback with 100 yards rusing and 200 yards passing since Julian Edelman in 2008….Nick Holley leads the MAC in total tackles (73) and is first in the FBS in solo tackles (9.4)…Terance Waugh is seventh in the FBS in sacks (6.0) and sixth in tackles for loss (9.0)…The Flashes were not called for a single penalty against the Zips, the first time that has happened since the 2012 MAC Championship Game vs. NIU…The 97-yard, 16-play touchdown drive was the longest by the Flashes offense since 2011 at Kansas State
LAST TIME OUT: Last Saturday, UB finished the non-conference portion of its schedule, traveling to Boston, where they lost to the Eagles from the ACC, 35-3. The Bulls lone points came in the second quarter on a 28-yard Adam Mitcheson field goal. The offense gained just 67 total yards on the afternoon against one of the better defenses in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
BULLS SEASON TO DATE: UB opened the 2016 season on September 2nd and were stunned at home by Albany, 22-16, A trip to Nevada resulted in another loss as the Wolfpack from the Mountain West Conference dominated, 35-14. Their lone win so far this season came at home over Army, 30-27, in overtime
OFFENSE: UB is averaging 14 points and 274 yards per game
RUSHING: Jordan Johnson 57 carries – 231 yards one touchdown
PASSING: Tyree Jackson 50-99-2 475 three touchdowns
RECEIVING: Mason Schreck 13 receptions-173 yards one touchdown
DEFENSE: The Bulls are allowing 28.6 points and 400.8 yards per game
TACKLES: Khalil Hodge (22-27-49)
TACKLES FOR LOSSES: Hargrove and Crawford with three
SACKS: Ismael Hargrove 2-18
INTERCEPTIONS: Brand Williams 1-0
PASS BREAKUPS: Boise Ross with two
PUNTING: Kyle Deneen 22-42.6 average per kick
PLACE KICKING: Adam Mitcheson 20 pts (5-7 FG/5-6 PAT)
KICK RETURNS: Johnathan Hawkins 9-158
PUNT RETURNS: Jamari Eiland 6-29
BUFFALO NOTES: UB is 6-11 lifetime in MAC openers…Since joining the MAC, the Bulls have more wins against Kent State (seven) than against any other school…UB leads the MAC and is seventh in the FBS in pass defense, allowing just 147 yards per game