In their history of football games against Big Ten opposition, the Kent State Golden Flashes have struggled. Some of those struggles turned urgly, such as last season when KSU was obliterated by eventual national champion Ohio State, 66-0.
Then there was last Saturday in Minneapolis. The Blue and Gold came to play against a high-powered Golden Gophers attack. KSU scored a defensive touchdown and held one of the best quarterbacks in the Big Ten to under 200 yards passing. However, the Flashes offense did not fare well moving the football. That proved to be their downfall as they lost, 10-7, dropping their overall record to 1-2.
This Saturday the Flashes return to Dix Stadium (3:30 P.M.for their final non-conference game of the season. They face an old rival the Marshall Thundering Herd who are 2-1 on the season after defeating Norfolk State at home last week.
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MARSHALL THUNDERING HERD (2-1)
THEIR LAST TIME OUT: Marshall rebounded from its loss the previous Saturday at Ohio with a 45-7 rout of the Norfolk State Trojans (MEAC-FC) 45-7 at Edwards Stadium in Huntington.The Herd dominated this encounter, building a 38-7 lead after three quarters as they had 495 yards of total offense on the afternoon -- 216 coming on the ground as Devon Johnson rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown. QB Chase Litton completed 24-of-31 passes for 270 yards and four scores. WR Justin Hunt led the receivers with five catches for 68 yards and a touchdown
OFFENSE: MU is averaging 32 points and 385 total yards per game
RUSHING: Devon Johnson 54 attempts-381 yards 3 touchdowns
PASSING: Chase Litton 24-31-0 270 yards 4 touchdowns
RECEIVING: Hyleck foster 11 receptions-64 yards
DEFENSE: Marshall is allowing 19.7 points and 340 yards per game
TACKLES: Evan McKelvey 11-18-29
TACKLES FOR LOSS: Gary Thompson 3.5
INTERCEPTIONS: Taj Letman-3 23 yards
PUNTING: Tyler Williams 18-45.3 yds per kick
PLACE KICKING: Nick Smith 4-4 FG/ 12-12 PAT
PUNT RETURNS: Foster 9-4.1 avg per return
KICK RETURNS: Deandre Reaves 8-24.0 yds per return
MARSHALL NOTES & QUOTES: The Herd is currently tied for seventh in the FBS with six interceptions (three by Tej Letman, who is number one with three)…MU entered 2015 owning one of the better records in the FBS at 23-5 (going 13-1 last season and defeating Northern Illinois in the Boca Raton Bowl), Since 2013, Marshall is 25-6 -- seventh best in the FBS during that span…13 players on the current roster have earned their degrees and are in graduate school with one year remaining of eligibility.
ON THE YEAR: Marshall was picked to finish second in the Conference-USA Eastern Division pre-season poll (behind Western Kentucky). MU began the campaign with a 41-31 win over Purdue. It was the first time a Big Ten School had ever played against the Herd in Huntington..In Week Two, they traveled to Athens, where they fell behind early to the Ohio Bobcats and could not recover in a 21-10 loss. ...After the game with the Flashes, Marshall heads into C-USA play as Old Dominion comes to Edwards Stadium. MU will open conference play with three of its first four at home
KENT STATE GOLDEN FLASHES (1-2)
THEIR LAST TIME OUT: Kent State traveled to TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis where it fell to the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 10-7. The three-point loss was the closest margin ever for KSU against Big Ten competition.
The home team used a field goal in the first quarter and scored its only touchdown in the second period as QB Mitch Leidner found wide receiver KJ Maye from 14 yards out for a 10-0 advantage at halftime.
The Flashes got on the scoreboard in the third quarter when sophomore CB Demetrius Monday recovered a fumble and went 80-yards for a touchdown -- the second score registered by the defense in as many weeks. That, however, would be all the points KSU would score on the afternoon as the offense was held to just 142 yards.
Junior RB Nick Holley led the ground game with 58 yards on 17 carries and led the receivers with three catches for only 13 yards. Junior QB Colin Reardon completed just 10-of-28 passes for 63 yards. Defensively, senior LB Matt Dellinger had 13 total tackles (seven solo) one of four KSU defenders with 10 or more tackles in the contest.
OFFENSE; KSU is averaging 18.3 points & 293 yards per game
RUSHING: Nate Holley 34 carries-133 yards
PASSING: Colin Reardon 36-78-3 361 yards 3 touchdowns
RECEIVING: WR Kris White 9 catches - 155 yards
DEFENSE: The Flashes are allowing 25 points & 199 yards per game
TOTAL TACKLES: LB Matt Dellinger 12-10-22
TACKLES FOR LOSS: DL Terance Waugh 3.5-29 yards
SACKS: Waugh 3.5-29 yards
INTERCEPTIONS:DB Demetrius Monday 3
PUNTING: Anthony Melchiori 11 – 62.9 avg per kick
PLACE KICKING: Shane Hynes 1-2 FG / 3-3 PAT
KICK RETURNS: Rackwon James 10 23.0 yds per return
PUNT RETURNS: Ernest Calhoun 8-4.0 avg per return
KSU NOTES & QUOTES: KSU defense has allowed only one touchdown in their last two games (vs DSU & Minnesota)…The defense ranks third in the Football Bowl Subdivision in total defense and eighth in rushing defense…CB Demetrius Monday has four interceptions over his last four games dating back to last season and was named National Defensive Player of the Week by College Sports Madness…Their 492 total offensive yards against Delaware State were the most yardage gained since 2013 and their 91 offensive plays were the most in the last decade…In the second quarter, PK April Goss kicked an entra point making her the second female in the history of the FBS to record points in a game…LT Reno Reda was chosen to war number 54 this season to carry the legacy of former teammate Jason Bitsko who passed away before the start of the 2014 season…The west entrance at Dix Stadium was named in honor odf U.S. Army Specialist Adam Hamilton. The native of Kent died courageously in Afghanistan
ON THE YEAR: The Golden Flashes opened the 2015 season September 3-4 losing to the Fighting Illini of Illinois 52-3 at Champaign-Urbana. The home team scored two touchdowns within the first four minutes and never looked back. KSU’s only points in the game was a 43-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter by redshirt freshman Shane Hynes. His first made FG as a collegian..KSU managed just 245 total yards against the Fighting Illini…The next week in the home opener they routed the Delaware State Hornets (MEAC-FCS)in a steady rainstorm 45-13… The Flashes ran 92 offensive plays and gained 492 total yards (278 on the ground – 214 through the air) while the defense held DSU to only 33 total yards a (-38 on the ground thanks to six quarterback sacks)…The Flashes had a 16-0 lead after the first quarter and 36-6 at halftime to end the competitive phase of the contest…RB Trayion Durham led the ground game with 77 yards and a touchdown…QB Colin Reardon only passed 16 times completing 11 for 142 yards and three touchdowns two of them to RB Nick Holley. WR Kris White led the receivers with six catches for 83 yards…The Flashes defense had one of its finest games ever as they had six sacks for -46 yards holding the Hornets to -38 yards rushing and five yards passing for a grand total of 33 total yards. In addition the defense allowed no touchdowns (both of DSU’s scores came defensively) and collected two fumbles, an interception and a defensive touchdown scored by Nate Terhune on a fumble recovery in the end zone as well as a safety