BOWLING GREEN—For the second straight week, Kent State jumped out to
a double-digit lead on the road. But, unlike last week at Toledo, the Golden
Flashes protected their advantage and defeated Bowling Green, 30-6, in front
of 14,279 at Doyt L. Perry Stadium.
The Flashes (3-4 overall, 2-2 in the Mid-American Conference) avoided an ‘uh
oh, here we go again’ moment when they turned the ball over on the game’s
first possession then held the Falcons on a fourth down play at their own 29.
“That first red zone stand we had when they went for it on fourth down
and we held them, that was huge momentum builder,” said senior safety
Brian Lainhart. “We just went out and played.”
Lainhart then set up the Flashes’ first score when he picked off Bowling
Green quarterback Matt Schilz at the Falcons’ 37-yard line and
returned it to the BGSU 15.
Four plays later, sophomore kicker Freddy Cortez booted a 29-yard
field goal to give the Flashes an early 3-0 lead.
Bowling Green (1-7, 0-4) quickly responded when Jerry Gates returned
the ensuing kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown.
Gates appeared to have been tackled by two Kent State defenders before getting
back to his feet and racing to the end zone.
“(The referees) said that he was laying on top of another player, so
technically he’s not down. I didn’t really get that good of a look
at it,” said Kent State head coach Doug Martin.
Again, the Flashes avoided a meltdown after a mistake.
Freshman defensive lineman Roosevelt Nix blocked the extra point
try to minimize the damage.
“In the past, that would be the case,” said Martin when asked
if the early mistakes caused a dip in morale. “Our guys, they just don’t
think like that anymore. They just keep competing, keep playing. They don’t
really get bothered by that stuff. I thought they responded well.”
The Flashes responded by scoring 24 points before the end of the half.
Sophomore quarterback Spencer Keith scored on a one-yard run to put
the Flashes ahead for good, 10-6.
Keith would add two touchdown passes to classmate Tyshon Goode,
one from three yards and the other from 28, and Cortez added a 32-yard field
as the Flashes went into the break leading 27-6. Goode caught a career-high
12 passes for 158 yards and the two scores.
Keith had his best game of the season, as he completed 26-of-32 passes for
223 yards and two touchdowns without an interception.
“I felt comfortable back there in the pocket,” Keith said. “The
O-line did really well. I told myself all week I was going to be more patient
this game and just go through my reads. I’m really proud of our receivers
and our O-line for doing their jobs too.”
After Cortez nailed a 32-yard field goal to increase Kent State’s lead
to 20-6 with 2:27 left in the second quarter, the Flashes’ went to work
on the defensive side of the ball.
Using all three of their time outs, the Flashes forced a quick three-and-out
by Bowling Green and got the ball back at the Falcons’ 39 with 1:51 left
in the half. It took just two plays for Keith to find Goode in the corner of
the end zone for a 27-6 lead.
“That was really big. We did a nice job of clock management there,” Martin
said. “We had the wind right there too. You’re hoping you can get
at least a field goal but to get the touchdown was big. The offense went out,
it was a short two-minute drill, but it was really effective. They did a nice
job handling it. That was big going up another score right then. That kind
of took the wind out of Bowling Green.”
Cortez added a 30-yard field goal on the Flashes’ first possession of
the third quarter to close out the scoring.
While Kent State’s offense played its most consistent game of the season,
the Golden Flashes’ defense bounced back after a tough outing last week
in a loss at Toledo.
Bowling Green managed just 135 yards on 63 plays. With six sacks, the Flashes
held the Falcons to minus-10 yards rushing on 24 attempts and forced three
KENT STATE NOTES:
Freshman Luke Wollet made his first career start
at strong safety and had a career-high 10 tackles, all of which came in the
first three quarters.
made his second career interception and had punt returns of 12 and 17 yards.
Senior Dan Hartman had started 19 consecutive games
at strong safety.
Sophomore receiver Tyshon Goode had a career-high 12 catches
and a season-high
158 yards receiving. He caught his second and third touchdowns of the
season. His eight career scores are tied for eighth among KSU’s single-season
leaders. Goode has made a reception in 18-of-19 career games, including
each of his last 15.
Senior Brian Lainhart made his 16th career interception, placing
him tied for second among Kent State’s career interception leaders.
Lainhart has contributed to 19 turnovers (14 interceptions) in his last
Sophomore Freddy Cortez has made 17 of his last 21 field goals, after
going 3-for-4, missing only from 51 yards. It was the second time in
he has made three field goals. With 20 career field goals, Cortez ranks
fifth among the Flashes all-time leaders. He also made Kent State’s
first field goal since Sept. 11 at Boston College.
Senior linebacker Cobrani Mixon has recorded
a sack in four straight games. He also recovered a fumble for the second
Freshman Roosevelt Nix tallied two sacks and has recorded at least
one sack in five games this season, bringing his season sack total to 8.5,
tied for the fourth most in a season by a KSU player and sets the freshman
record. Nix also blocked his first career extra point, had a pair of
QB hurries and totaled 3.5 tackles for loss.
Jacquise Terry had a season-high 94 yards
rushing and added four catches for 19 yards.
Junior punter Matt Rinehart had
a pair of punts inside the 20 and averaged 45.2 yards on four punts.
quarterback Spencer Keith completed 26-of-32 passes for his highest completion
percentage in a game in his career. Keith moved up to fifth among
KSU’s career leaders in completions with 305, sixth among school
leaders in yards with 3,499 and is tied for sixth in touchdowns with
Senior linebacker Dorian Woodtotaled eight tackles,
2.5 tackles for loss, a sack and two pass breakups.
Kent State’s defense held an opponent under 100 yards rushing for
the fifth time this season. It was also the third time in the last two years
and second time this season Kent State held an opponent to negative rushing
(-10). Prior to last season (at Ohio), it had never been done.
the first time this season a KSU opponent did not score an offensive touchdown.
Kent State did not allow a Bowling Green first down until 8:26
left in the first half and just three first downs in that half.
have recorded 11 or more tackles for loss four times this year, tying a
season-high with 13 today.
At 27-6 Kent State held its biggest halftime lead since Oct.
25, 2008 at Miami.
Bowling Green’s first quarter kick return for a touchdown
was the first by a Kent State opponent since Temple in 2008.
Kent State won
at Doyt Perry Stadium for just the second time in its last 18 tries.
snapped a six-game road losing streak.