CLEMSON, S.C. - The Ball State University football team (1-1, 1-0 MAC) suffered a 52-27 loss at No. 12 Clemson (2-0) Saturday afternoon at Clemson Memorial Stadium.
"Clemson is a very good football team and I am sure they will be very successful this season," Ball State head coach Pete Lembo says. "They have some really good skill payers and some really good athletes. They created some mismatches. We have to cover better, tackle better and prepare our players better."
Ball State scored the first touchdown of the second half after freshmen running back Horactio Banks ran for 21 yards to earn Banks the first 100-yard game of his career, making it a 45-17 ball game with 11:46 left in the third quarter. Banks finished the game with a total of 120 net yards.
It was a record setting day for special teams as senior punter Scott Kovanda's 54-yard punt in the third quarter moved him into fifth all-time on Ball State's career list for punt yardage. Kovanda averaged 50.2 yards per punt on the day.
Senior kicker Steven Schott added his second field goal at the 1:30 mark for 33 yards in the third quarter to cut the Tigers lead to 45-20. Schott has now made five-of-six field goals this season, while also making 17-of-18 from 39 yards or less for his career.
"We had some guys come out and play and perform well," Lembo says. "We had others that did not today."
Clemson was held to one touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Cardinals closed out the game with a 12-yard touchdown run from Toney Williams at the 3:36 mark. The TD by Williams was his first as a Cardinal. Schott's extra point was good and he has now made 45 straight extra points which ranks second in Ball State history.
After Clemson took an early 13-0 edge over Ball State in the first quarter, the Cardinals had a defensive stop to get the ball back with 3:15 remaining. The ensuing possession resulted in a Ball State touchdown after Banks ran for a career long 54-yard TD; making the score 13-7 at the 1:22 mark.
The Tigers added a touchdown at the start of the second quarter, Schott answered back soon after with a 45-yard field goal to make it a 21-10 contest with 9:30 left in the second quarter. Clemson scored four more times in the second quarter to end the half with a 45-10 advantage over Ball State.
"We are certainly disappointed in how we played today," Lembo says. "I have to do a better job getting us ready to play our best football and we did not today."
YPSILANTI, Mich. — The Eastern Michigan University football team saw its 2012 home opener spoiled by the Illinois State University Redbirds here in a non-conference game Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, in Rynearson Stadium.
The Eagles could not overcome three interceptions, two lost fumbles and nine penalties in the 31-14 loss.
Illinois State on the other hand, had just one interception and one lost fumble while not getting called for any penalties in the contest. The setback makes Eastern 0-2 on the young season while ISU improves to 2-0.
The Illinois State defense held the EMU offense to just 103 yards on 32 rushes, while the Redbirds gained 216 yards on the ground on 53 carries.
Eastern's passing offense was good for 145 yards and one score and ISU had 155 yards and one touchdown through the air.
Senior quarterback Alex Gillett (Green Springs, Ohio-Clyde) completed 11-of-25 passes for 145 yards and one touchdown. Gillett was also EMU's leading rusher with 49 yards on 13 carries, including a five-yard touchdown run.
EMU's other touchdown came on a 32-yard strike from Gillett to senior tight end Garrett Hoskins (Grand Rapids-Creston). EMU place-kicker Kody Fulkerson (Maysville, Ohio-Zanesville) booted both EMU PATs for the other points.
The ISU offense was led by Brown who completed 14-of-22 passes for 155 yards with one score. Tailback Darrelynn Dunn rushed 32 times for a game-high 129 yards and two touchdowns.
Illinois State took advantage of an EMU miscue early in the first quarter when the Eagles were flagged for a roughing the kicker personal foul.
The Redbirds made that penalty hurt for the Eagles as tailback Jonathon Miller raced 58 yards for an ISU touchdown just three plays later. Nick Aussieker added the PAT for a 7-0 Illinois State lead with 7:10 remaining in the first quarter.
The visitors took advantage of a muffed punt by EMU at its own 41-yard line and increased their lead to 10-0 with 1:19 left in the first quarter on a 26-yard field goal by Aussieker.
EMU managed to cut the deficit to three, 10-7, on a 32-yard pass reception by Hoskins on a throw from Gillett.
Eastern grabbed its first lead of the game with 3:10 left in the second quarter when Gillett ran a quarerback keeper four yards for a score. Fulkerson added the PAT for a 14-10 EMU advantage.
Illinois State opened the second-half scoring on a 22-yard pass from Brown to Donovan Harden. Aussieker added the PAT to give the Redbirds a 17-14 lead with 11:37 on the third-quarter clock.
The visitors increased their lead to 24-14 on their next offensive possession with Dunn bursting through the middle of the line for a four-yard touchdown run with 6:53 left in the third. Aussieker added the PAT.
Illinois State closed out the game's scoring on another four-yard touchdown run by Dunn with Aussieker adding the PAT for a 31-14 Redbird lead with 1:08 left in the game. That score would hold as a final.
The Eagles will stay in non-conference mode next weekend, Sept. 15, when they travel to West Lafayette, Ind. for a battle with the Big Ten Conference's Purdue University Boilermakers.
MOUNT PLEASANT - The Central Michigan football team held the Michigan State offense in check throughout much of the first quarter, but the Spartans pulled away beginning in the second period to claim a 41-7 over the Chippewas in front of a Kelly/Shorts Stadium-record 35,127 fans Saturday afternoon.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Indiana put together consecutive 75-yard scoring drives in the second quarter to pull away from UMass en route to a 45-6 win in the Minutemen's inaugural FBS home game at Gillette Stadium.
LARAMIE, WY - Junior quarterback Terrance Owens threw for 300 yards and four touchdowns, and junior running back David Fluellen ran for a career-high 109 yards as the Toledo Rockets held on to a 34-31 victory over Wyoming Saturday.
Florida International 41, Akron 38 OT Final Stats
MIAMI – Jack Griffin's 29-yard field goal lifted Florida International to a 41-38 victory over Akron on Saturday night at Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium.
It was Griffin's 30-yard field goal kick as time expired in regulation that knotted the contest, which ran four hours and 20 minutes, at 38 apiece.
Akron (0-2) took a 38-35 lead with 1:53 to play when Dalton Williams connected with Marquelo Suel on a 15-yard pass.
Darian Mallary's 32-yard rushing TD gave FIU (1-1) a 35-31 lead with 6:54 to play.
Williams finished the night 27-of-54 passing for 313 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. Suel had seven receptions for 99 yards and two TDs.
Kurt Mangum led the UA defense with 11 tackles, eight of which were solo attempts, while J.D. Griggs had eight stops to go with a pair of sacks.
The Zips ran 88 plays for 411 yards of total offense, compared to the Panther's 80 plays for 441 yards. FIU rushed the ball 232 yards.
The Zips play host to Morgan State on Sept. 15 at 3:30 p.m. ET. The contest will be carried by ESPN3.
Buffalo 56, Morgan State 34 Final Stats
BUFFALO, NY – The postgame fireworks at UB Stadium were no comparison to the ones set off by the University at Buffalo offense in a 56-34 win over Morgan State on Saturday night. The Bulls rolled up 571 yards of total offense while possessing the ball for less than 20 minutes. The 56 points were the most ever scored by the Bulls in their Division I-A history.
"I was really proud of the way our kids came out tonight," Quinn said. "We played four quarters of football. It was a great win. I told these guys we really want to head out there tonight and feel good about all three phases of our team. There were some things offensively that were tremendous accomplishments."
The offense was led by the trio of Alex Zordich, Alex Neutz and Branden Oliver. Zordich had the finest game of his career by going 16-for-21 for 237 yards and a career-high four touchdowns. The four touchdown passes tied a Division I-A record. Zordich was red hot out of the gate, completing all 10 of his passes in the first half.
The Youngstown, OH native's favorite target was Neutz who finished with eight catches for a career-high 154 yards and tied a school-record with four touchdown catches. Neutz had touchdown catches of 16, 22, 34 and 28 yards.
And then there was Oliver. The junior running back had 25 carries for a Division I-A-record 238 yards and two touchdowns. It was a career high rushing effort for the Miami native.
On its first possession, Morgan State drove down the field and had first and goal at the UB 5-yard line. The UB defensive responded with a Lee Skinner sack, a Khalil Mack tackle for loss and a Colby Way sack to force a Morgan State field goal.
The Bears' lead was short lived as Buffalo took the ensuing kickoff and drove 75 yards for a touchdown. Oliver plunged into the end zone from one yard out for his first touchdown of the night. The scoring continued on UB's next possession as Zordich connected with Jimmy Gordon from 18 yards out to put the Bulls up 14-3. It was the first career touchdown for the junior tight end.
After a Morgan State field goal, the UB offense struck quickly again – driving 62 yards on just five plays. Oliver scored from three yards out, for this second touchdown of the game, to put the Bulls ahead, 21-6.
Morgan State drove 90 yards on its next possession to cut the UB lead to 21-13 with 2:30 left in the half. However, with the way the Buffalo offense was humming, it was plenty of time to put more points on the board.
The Bulls drove 68 yards on just four plays and Zordich found a streaking Neutz for a 16-yard score. Not content, the UB defense got the ball back for the offense and the Bulls drove 46 yards on just three plays to close the half with another touchdown. Zordich hooked up with Neutz again, this time from 22 yards out, to give the Bulls a 35-13 lead at the half.
"I like what our kids did right before the half. That was a big boost." Quinn said. "We managed the clock well, we were able to get the ball back and put some points on the board, which is the aggressive style I want our team to have. Our kids really rose to the challenge."
Neutz came up with his prettiest catch of the night for his third touchdown. The Grand Island native made an acrobatic catch over a defender and tip-toed down the sideline for a 34-yard score.
After Morgan State scored to cut the lead to 42-20, Nuetz caught his fourth touchdown of the night. However, this one was a 28-yarder from redshirt freshman Joe Licata. It was the first career pass attempt from the highly-touted recruit from Williamsville South High School.
Buffalo used its quickest scoring drive of the night for its next touchdown, driving 83 yards on just two plays. Oliver scampered 34 yards to start the drive and sophomore James Potts finished the job by galloping 49 yards for his first career touchdown.
Morgan State scored a late touchdown to make the final score 56-34.
Lost in the all the impressive offensive numbers, were some standout performances on the defensive side of the ball. The defense had 10 tackles for loss and six sacks. Mack, playing in his first game of the season, had eight tackles, 1.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss. Jake Stockman and Witney Sherry tied for the team high in tackles with 10 apiece – career highs for both players. Steven Means tied a career high with nine tackles and added 1.5 sacks.
Bowling Green 21, Idaho 13 Final Stats
Bowling Green, Ohio – In front of a crowd of 16,591, Anthon Samuel scored two touchdowns and the Bowling Green defense held Idaho to six yards rushing in a 21-13 victory Saturday night at Doyt Perry Stadium.
The Bowling Green offense got started on their second drive of the game when Matt Schilz found junior Shaun Joplin, who finished the game with seven receptions for 117 yards, for 42 yards deep in Idaho territory. The catch was the longest of Joplin’s career. Later on, Travis Greene took an end-around for ten yards to set up Anthon Samuel’s four-yard touchdown rush. The drive lasted 2:07 and covered 67 yards on just five plays.
Bowling Green’s offense then went quiet in the second quarter and the defense took over. Idaho went on a nice 11-play, 77-yard drive that lasted 6:03, but was forced to settle for a 20-yard field goal after defensive tackle Chris Jones sacked Idaho quarterback Dominique Blackman on third down.
The defense held its own again after a fumble gave Idaho a short field to work with. The Vandals threatened to score their first touchdown of the game, but were denied when Ryland Ward broke up a Blackman pass on third down. Trey Farquhar then connected on his second field goal of the game from 22 yards and Bowling Green headed to the locker room with a 7-6 halftime lead.
After Idaho went on a long drive to start the second half, Trey Farquhar pushed his 36-yard field goal attempt wide left and the Falcons kept their one-point lead.
On the ensuing possession, three big plays highlighted the Bowling Green touchdown drive. Quarterback Matt Schilz, who completed 24 of his 35 passing attempts for 283 yards, hooked up with freshman Chris Gallon for 37 yards. Gallon had a huge game in his first outing at the Doyt, as he hauled in six catches for 89 yards.
Schilz then kept the drive alive on third down when he rushed for 12 yards. On third and four, Samuel took a carry and went 29 yards for his second touchdown of the game to give the Falcons a 14-6 lead.
After Josh Pettus picked up his first career interception on a ball that was tipped three times by a pair of Falcons, Je`Ron Stokes caught his only pass of the game when Schilz found the transfer from Michigan up the middle. Stokes eluded a couple of would-be tacklers and finished off the 15-yard reception to give the Falcons a 21-6 lead heading into the final quarter of play.
Bowling Green tried to put the game out of reach before Schilz threw his only interception of the night. Idaho’s Solomon Dixon cut in front of a pass intended for John Pettigrew, and traveled four yards before stumbling down on his own 22-yard line. The Vandals proceeded to go on a seven-play touchdown drive that covered 78 yards in 2:15. Blackman (30-37 for 352 yards), who was playing in his first Division I game, finished off the drive with a 16-yard toss in the corner of the end zone to wide receiver Marquan Major to cut the deficit to eight at 21-13.
After Bowling Green stalled on its next drive, Idaho had one more chance to send the game to overtime. After a completed pass, BGSU captain Paul Swan chased down an Idaho ball carrier and forced a fumble that was recovered by defensive back Aaron Foster on the Idaho 33-yard line. After a key first down run by Pettigrew, the Falcons ran out the clock and secured the 21-13 victory.
Idaho falls to 0-2 on the season. The Falcons improve to 1-1 and will open MAC play on the road next week against their rival Toledo for the Battle Of I-75. Kick-off is set for 7 p.m.
* Shaun Joplin recorded a career-long 42-yard reception in the first quarter versus the Vandals. Joplin added his first career 100-yard game, ending the contest with seven grabs for 117 yards.
* Chris Gallon had a career-long 37-yard catch in the third quarter on a third-and 15 in BG’s first possession of the second half. The Falcons would eventually score a touchdown to take a 14-6 lead late in the third quarter.
* Je`Ron Stoke had his first career touchdown reception, a 15-yard catch from Matt Schilz. It was Schilz’s first touchdown pass of the season after finishing 2011 with 28.
* Anthon Samuel had touchdown runs from 29 and four yards for his first multi touchdown game of his career.
* Josh Pettus recorded his first career interception and BGSU’s first of 2012.
* Tyler Tate added the first three extra points of his career.
Western Michigan 52, Eastern Illinois 21 Final Stats Postgame Notes
KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Western Michigan (1-1) blew open a 14-14 game in the second quarter and rolled to a 52-21 victory over Eastern Illinois in the Broncos home-opener and annual CommUniverCity game Saturday night.
The Broncos did not allow Eastern Illinois (1-1) a first down in the second quarter and rattled off four touchdowns of their own, taking a 42-14 lead into halftime.
True freshman wideout Jamie Wilson continued to impress, hauling in two touchdowns, and making 11 receptions for 154 yards. It was the most reception yards for a freshman since Corey Alston had 263 in 1997. Wilson also fielded three punt returns for 104 yards, with his longest return going for 48 yards.
Senior tight end Blake Hammond also had a pair of touchdown receptions, and finished the night with six catches for 94 yards. Under center, senior quarterback Alex Carder rebounded from the hard loss at Illinois with 29 completions, 364 yards and five touchdowns.
Western Michigan totaled 239 yards on the ground, primarily using a four-back attack consisting of Brian Fields (14 carries, 66 yards), Tevin Drake (eight carries, 60 yards), Dareyon Chance (seven carries, 58 yards) and Antoin Scriven (eight carries, 29 yards, one TD).
Paul Hazel and Woody Legrier each had two sacks for the Bronco defense and Lewis Toler had two interceptions. Justin Currie made eight tackles and Freddie Bishop had seven.
The Broncos opened the game with a 67-yard drive, in which Hammond pulled down a 33-yard pass from Carder. It was capped by a nine-yard end-around touchdown run by Daniel Braverman on his first collegiate carry.
Eastern Illinois responded with a touchdown, a 17-yard run by Jake Walker, on its first possession to tie the score at seven-all. Carder then led WMU on a 55-yard drive, completing 5-of-6 passes along the way, including strikes of 20 and 13 yards to Wilson. Senior tight end Matt Cutler pulled in a two-yard touchdown catch.
EIU came up with another answer, in the form of a nine-play, 93-yard drive, to lock the score at 14-14. Chris Wright made an 18-yard touchdown reception for the Panthers. From there, it was all Western Michigan, as the Broncos rattled off 31-straight points before EIU scored again in the fourth quarter.
Western Michigan's defense held Eastern Illinois without a first down in the second quarter, as the Panthers went 0-for-5 on third-down conversions and 0-for-2 on fourth down conversions. EIU would pick up just one first down in the third quarter.
Carder hooked up with Wilson for a 35-yard catch during WMU's first drive of the second quarter and Hammond caught a one-yard touchdown pass. The Broncos' next drive began with a 43-yard catch by Hammond and ended with a two-yard Carder-to-Hammond touchdown, as WMU pushed the score to 28-14.
A seven-yard sack by Legrier pinned Eastern Illinois deep in its own territory with five minutes remaining in the half. Wilson fielded the punt at midfield and returned it 33 yards to the Panther 17, and then made a 13-yard touchdown reception.
Western Michigan got the ball back with great field position with 1:35 remaining in the half. Faced with a fourth-and-10 from their own 23, Eastern Illinois attempted a fake punt and the Broncos weren't biting. The result was a loss of three on the play and first and 20 for WMU. Carder then found Wilson for a 16-yard one-handed grab in the endzone.
The Broncos extended their lead to 45-14 in the third quarter when redshirt freshman kicker Andrew Haldeman booted his first collegiate field goal through the uprights. EIU opened the fourth with a six-yard touchdown run by Taylor Duncan. Western Michigan finished the scoring with a one-yard TD run by Scriven midway through the final quarter.
Western Michigan takes on its second Big Ten opponent in its first three games next Saturday, Sept. 15, traveling to Minnesota for an 11 a.m. CT kickoff. That game will be aired on the Big Ten Network. Minnesota defeated New Hampshire 44-7 Saturday, Sept. 8.
Ohio 51, New Mexico State 24 Final Stats
ATHENS, Ohio – Junior running back Beau Blankenship rushed for a game-high 168 yards on the ground to lead the Ohio University football team (2-0) to a convincing 51-24 victory over New Mexico State (1-1) Saturday night at Peden Stadium.
Teammate Tyler Tettleton (Norman, Okla.) also posted a strong performance offensively for the Bobcats as he passed for 257 yards and two touchdowns. The junior signal-caller finished the night by going 15-of-23 and completing passes to nine different receivers. Junior Donte Foster finished the night with a team best five receptions for 57 yards.
In addition, senior Matt Weller (Twinsburg, Ohio) finished the night 3-for-4 in field goals and drilled six extra points to become the school’s all-time leading scorer.
Defensively, Ohio registered six sacks and held New Mexico State to just 71 yards rushing. Junior Keith Moore (Grove City, Ohio) led the way with nine tackles.
As a team, Ohio outgained New Mexico State 584 to 206. The Bobcats rushed for 293 yards and passed for 291 as it won for the eighth time in its last nine games dating back to last season. The Bobcats’ 51 points were the most the team scored since 2008 when Ohio defeated VMI 51-31.
Ohio jumped out to an early 7-0 lead after Tettleton rushed in from six yards out to complete a seven-play 68-yard drive, which spanned 2:23. Tettleton was 3-of-4 on the drive with the big play coming on a 41-yard pass to Troy Hill.
New Mexico State fought back on its next offensive possession to even the score at seven apiece. The Aggies went 75 yards in 11 plays to even the score.
The Bobcats reclaimed the lead after Tettleton hit Foster for a 28-yard touchdown pass, which made the count 14-7. New Mexico State would respond once again as it went 78 yards in six plays.
Ohio found the end zone again two series later thanks to some strong running by Blankenship. During the five-play drive, Blankenship carried the ball five times for 71 yards, concluding with a 33-yard touchdown dash to make the count 21-14.
Heading into the locker room, Blankenship had already totaled a career-high 134 yards rushing, while Tettleton had completed 10-of-13 passes for 135 yards. Ohio outgained New Mexico State 273-164 as a team, but only held a seven-point lead.
In the third quarter, Ohio outgained New Mexico State 161-16 to open up a commanding 45-24 lead. Sophomore Landon Smith (Girard, Ohio), redshirt sophomore Nathan Carpenter (Lancaster, Ohio) and Blankenship all scored touchdowns. Carpenter’s 22-yard interception return for a touchdown was the 38th non-offensive touchdown for the Bobcats dating back to 2004.
In the fourth quarter, Ohio added a pair of field goals to secure the win.
The Bobcats return to action on Saturday as they travel to Marshall to take on the Thundering Herd.
Northern Illinois 35, Tennessee-Martin 7 Final Stats
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel HS) and running back Leighton Settle (Madison, Wis./Madison West HS) powered the Huskies (1-1) to a 35-7 win over UT Martin Saturday night at Huskie Stadium. The duo combined for 166 rushing yards on 32 carries for three touchdowns as both averaged over five yards per carry against the Skyhawks (1-1) for NIU's first win of the 2012 campaign.
After a tough loss at Soldier Field against Iowa last weekend, Lynch and the Huskies put on an impressive display in front of the hometown crowd as NIU won its 16th straight game at Huskie Stadium, dating back to 2009. UT Martin was coming off its first victory over a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) foe after defeating Memphis the previous week but went just one-of-four inside the red zone against NIU.
Lynch put together his best career passing day, establishing career highs of 19 completions, 25 attempts and 214 yards. The redshirt junior threw for a TD as well, connecting on a 31-yard pass down the middle to senior wide receiver Martel Moore (San Antonio, Texas/Earl Warren HS) to put NIU up 14-0 with 14:55 left in the second quarter after forcing the Skyhawks into a three-and-out. The only blemish on the day was his first career interception. Lynch also added 60 yards on 11 carries on the ground, and finished with three rushing scores.
"Obviously I'm happy with the victory," said NIU Head Coach Dave Doeren. "I thought our guys played hard. I'm proud of the balance we had on offense. Jordan Lynch played really well. He was precise with his passes. He did what we knew he could do."
Despite three Lynch TDs, the ground attack was anchored by Settle, who rushed 21 times for 106 yards to notch his first career 100-yard game.
"Leighton had a great week at practice," Doeren said. "I knew he would come out and play well. He ran hard and the offensive line did a good job of opening up holes."
The Huskie defense made several key stops and plays to hold UTM to just one touchdown, which came early in the fourth quarter. The first big stand came after a 13-play, 66-yard drive that took over five minutes of clock time in the first quarter. The Skyhawks worked the ball to the Huskie nine-yard line, but NIU's defense stood tall forcing a 21-yard field goal attempt by Cody Sandlin that sailed wide right.
The second impactful play for the defense came after Lynch's interception. The Skyhawks drove to the NIU redzone again and had first-and-goal from the NIU 10-yard line. Once again, the Huskies were up to the challenge, only giving up one more yard to force another short field goal. This time, the UTM snap for a 27-yard field was botched and Tyrone Clark (St. Louis, Mo./Mehlville HS) recovered.
Lynch then guided the Huskies on a 15-play, 83-yard drive that lasted over 5:30 and scored on a one-yard run. The score put NIU ahead 21-0 with 3:51 left in the first half, and the Huskies didn't look back.
In the second half, Lynch added a pair of rushing scores - breaking free on a 32-yard run up the middle and powering for a four-yard score.
Defensively, safety Jimmie Ward led NIU with 10 tackles, two pass break-ups and an interception, the Huskies' first of the season. Northern Illinois held UTM to 63 rushing yards on 33 attempts. UTM receiver Quentin Sims caught 10 passes for 152 yards in the game, but was held to 46 receiving yards on five catches in the second half.
Next up for the Huskies is their first road game of the season as they travel to West Point, N.Y. to take on Army on Sept. 17. The 11 a.m. (CT) game will air on the CBS Sports Network.
Kentucky 47, Kent State 14 Final Stats
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kent State's hope of capturing its first ever win in Southeastern Conference territory crumbled in the second half of a 47-14 loss at Kentucky under a barrage of passes by Matthew Smith.
The Wildcats' quarterback completed 30-of-39 passes for 354 yards and four touchdown passes – the last three scores highlighting a string of 30 unanswered points by Kentucky to break open what had been a tight game five minutes into the second half.
After a 26-yard touchdown rumble by Kent State's Trayion Durham with 10:34 to play in the third quarter, the Flashes trailed by just three points at 17-14. And at the time the Flashes were building on the success of a rushing attack that included Dri Archer, who gave Kent State an early 7-0 lead with a 47-yard draw-and-dash late in the first quarter.
If only Kent State's defense could find a way to slow Smith. Unfortunately for the Flashes, that never happened.
"We gave up way too many big plays and let the game get away from us," said Kent State head coach Darrell Hazell. "We have to get a lot better."
With 539 yards of total offense, Kentucky became the first team to eclipse the 500-yard mark against Kent State since Bowling Green did it in 2009.
The up-tempo, dink-and-dunk style kept Kent State's defense on its heals all night long. Eventually, the quick hitters turned into long run-after-catch touchdowns.
"Obviously the fast tempo, you try to drill it in practice but can't do it at the speed they do it at," said Kent State defensive end Jake Dooley. "The biggest thing is we are just disappointed. That wasn't Kent State defense … Everyone needs to take a look in the mirror and really evaluate themselves. We need to get a lot better."