"In 1977? I think I was in seventh grade," Kent State head coach Darrel Hazell tried to remember. "Yeah, actually I was in seventh grade. Bruce Jenner had just won the Olympic decathlon (the year before)."
Jimmy Carter was finishing his first year in office. Star Wars had had been in the theaters for a little more than four months. A few of Hazell's assistant coaches had yet to be born.
But as nice as it may be to think about breaking 35-year-old ground, savoring the first 3-0 start against MAC opponents since 2006 meant even more to Hazell. It meant even more to know two of those wins had been banked on the road.
"It's huge. Any type of MAC win is huge. Especially with as much as we have to travel this year, it's always going to be big for us to win on the road," said Hazell, whose Golden Flashes play seven of their 12 games away from home this season.
Nobody has played a bigger role than Archer during Kent State's fast start. With a 5-yard touchdown catch on a throw from Spencer Keith in the second quarter, a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half, and an icing-on-the-cake 64-yard touchdown run later in the third, the Kent State speedster reached the end zone for the ninth, tenth and eleventh times through the season's first five games.
Archer finished his day with 222 combined yards on just 13 touches, and just one week after he established this season's Division I high with 350 yards on another three-touchdown day.
Saturday's kick return was Archer's third for a score this season. It broke the Rynearson Stadium record for longest return by eight yards. And when added to another 98-yarder against Towson in the season opener and a 99-yard sprint in a win over Ball State last week, Archer is now averaging 47.8-yards per kick-return to lead the nation.
So, why would anyone consider kicking the ball in his direction?
"Absolutely, I was surprised," said Hazell. "I would never kick to the guy. That's just me, because he has a chance to take it 99, 100, it doesn't matter … He is explosive. You love to watch that guy. He is such a great kid. He is humble. He is such a team player. I'm so happy for him for his success."
Kent State's defensive players are now in the habit of waiting on the sidelines before heading to the bench. Like Kent State fan in the stadium, they want to see if teams will dare to kick in Archer's direction.
"We are spectators just like everyone else," said defensive tackle Roosevelt Nix. "We want to see something crazy happen, too. Dri is just such a fast dude. I don't see why anyone would kick to him."
Archer had high hopes coming into the year, but even he couldn't have imagined this kind of start.
"I know we have a great team, but we have to keep it rolling," said Archer. "We are clicking on all cylinders. We just have to keep it moving."
Archer wasn't the only playmaker worth watching on Saturday. Trayion Durham added 116 yards on 24 carries, including touchdown runs of four and two yards,
Just as important to Kent State's hopes was a return to form by a defense that held Eastern Michigan to three-and-out on every first-half possession but one – a 68-yard touchdown run by sophomore Bronson Hill in the second quarter.
At halftime, Kent State had 13 first downs compared to just one for Eastern Michigan.
The Eagles' only other score – a 25-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Benz to Demarius Reed – arrived mid way through the fourth quarter after the game was already well out of reach.
The big day on defense included interceptions by Calvin Tiggle and Luke Batton.
It was a satisfying effort for a unit that had surrendered 43 points and 557 yards to Ball State a week earlier.
"We weren't impressed with ourselves last week," said Nix. "We wanted to prove to ourselves more than anything that (last week) wasn't the defense we were going to be."
The 3-0 start flips the script from last year when the Flashes opened 0-3 in MAC play and 1-6 overall in Hazell's first season as head coach.
"Just to be 3-0 in the MAC is a great stepping stone," said Nix. "Especially after last year. It's completely different. We have to keep fighting and do whatever we have to do to win the MAC."
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Tyler Van Tubbergen threw 5 touchdowns and ran for another in an impressive outing, and the Western Michigan defense kept the pressure on the UMass backfield for 60 minutes as the Broncos defeated the Minutemen 52-14 at Waldo Stadium. With the win, the Broncos improve to 3-3 on the season, and even their Mid-American Conference record to 1-1. UMass falls to 0-6, 0-3 in the MAC.
The WMU defense stymied the Minutemen's attack throughout, using a dominant first half to put the game out of reach early. The Broncos held the Minutemen to just 96 total yards in the first half, with 38 of those yards coming in UMass's one scoring drive of the half. In fact, both of UMass's scores on the day came in the final minutes of their respective halves, with WMU firmly in control in the interim.
Overall, the Broncos held the Minutemen to 218 offensive yards and forced three turnovers, and the Bronco pass rush recorded four sacks and three quarterback hurries against UMass's Mike Wegzyn. Freddie Bishop finished with eight tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks, and Travonte Boles had four total tackles for loss as the Bronco front seven sliced through the Minuteman offensive line for 8.0 tackles for loss.
The Bronco offense was equally sharp, with a host of players getting involved in the winning effort. Van Tubbergen was responsible for six total touchdowns in the game, including five passing scores and his first career rushing touchdown, and finished 23 of 28 for 283 yards. Running back Antoin Scriven had 86 all-purpose yards to go with both a rushing and receiving touchdown, and 11 different players caught passes in the game, including Jaime Wilson, who had a game-high 88 yards on four catches and one touchdown.
Van Tubbergen's last touchdown pass was also the prettiest of the lot. With the Broncos leading the Minutemen 35-7 in the third quarter, Van Tubbergen lofted a high fade to Wilson in the back corner of the end zone. Wilson got behind his defender and hauled the pass in with one hand to cap a five-play, 45-yard scoring drive, giving the Broncos a 42-7 lead with 9:22 remaining in the third quarter.
Van Tubbergen would lead one more touchdown drive before calling it a day, pushing the offense 99 yards for a score. Starting on the WMU 1 with 8:14 remaining in the third quarter, Brian Fields and Dareyon Chance alternated carries and moved the Broncos from the shadows of their own goalposts to the WMU 43. Van Tubbergen completed a 16-yard pass to Josh Schaffer on 3rd-and-4 to put the Broncos on the UMass 36, and Fields got the Broncos to the red zone with a 14-yard rush that put WMU on the 12-yard line.
Van Tubbergen connected on a pass with Blake Hammond, who was tackled at the UMass 1, and Van Tubbergen would roll out on a bootleg right on the next play, winning a footrace to the pylon to score his first career rushing touchdown. Andrew Haldeman kicked the extra point to give the Broncos a 49-7 lead with 38 seconds remaining in the quarter.
The Broncos broke a scoreless stalemate in the first quarter by using a trio of running backs to pile up yards. With the Broncos starting the drive on their own 46-yard line, Chance took a draw hand-off and sliced through the middle of the line for a 17-yard gain; on the very next play, Scriven took a swing pass from Van Tubbergen and went 19 yards down the sideline to put WMU inside the red zone at the UMass 18.
The Broncos completed the drive two plays later when Fields took a screen pass from Van Tubbergen on the right side of the formation, bouncing off a tackler at the 3-yard line and spinning into the end zone for the score. Haldeman's kick gave the Broncos a 7-0 lead with 5:34 remaining.
The Broncos built the lead to two touchdowns on their next drive, with Van Tubbergen again spreading the ball around the line-up. Facing a 1st-and-10 from the WMU 28, Van Tubbergen completed a screen pass to Chance, who followed a convoy of blockers in gaining 32 yards and reaching the UMass 40. Van Tubbergen called his own number on the next play, tucking the ball and rushing out ot his left for a 15-yard gain, and went on to hit Schaffer on the left sideline two plays later to get inside the five-yard line.
A holding penalty pushed the Broncos back to the 13-yard line, but WMU overcame the gaffe to score on the next play. Van Tubbergen hit Justin Collins on a crossing route, and Collins went untouched into the end zone for his first career touchdown, capping the eight-play, 84-yard drive and giving the Broncos a 14-0 lead.
WMU broke the game open just moments later, when an odd special teams miscue gave the Broncos the opportunity to widen the gap over the Minutemen to an insurmountable level. Haldeman's low line-drive kickoff struck UMass's John Brandt at midfield, with the ball careening off Brandt and back towards the Broncos' kick coverage unit. Jarrell McKinney pounced on the loose ball to give the Broncos possession at their own 46-yard line.
On the first play of the drive, Van Tubbergen lofted a bomb to Wilson along the left sideline for a 38-yard gain, putting the Broncos on the UMass 16; two plays later, facing a 2nd-and-short from the seven-yard line, Van Tubbergen rolled to his right and found Matt Cutler on a flare route for the easy touchdown score. Haldeman booted the extra point to give the Broncos a 21-0 lead with 13:11 remaining in the half.
The Broncos tacked on another touchdown before half when Scriven went off left tackle with 9:24 remaining for a two-yard touchdown plunge, making it 28-0; Scriven would go on to score the first touchdown of the second half as well, hauling in a pass from Van Tubbergen from three yards out and reaching the end zone for the second time in the game.
AKRON, Ohio—The Bowling Green State University football team gained 228 third quarter yards on Saturday afternoon, taking over the game on their way to a 24-10 victory at Akron's InfoCision Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
In a game in which the Falcons trailed 10-0 at halftime, gaining just 150 first half yards, the rushing attack took over in the second half. As an offense, the Falcons gained 472 yards of offense, with 322 coming in the second half.
The Falcons received the opening kickoff of the second half, going 78 yards on seven plays for their first score of the game. Anthon Samuel would finish off the drive with a four yard rush for the score.
After the Falcon defense forced a three-and-out on Akron’s first offensive possession of the half, the Falcon offense would drive down the field, eventually converting a 26-yard field goal. Stephen Stein’s first made field goal of the season tied the game at 10.
After another defensive stop, the Falcons would continue their strong offensive quarter on their next drive. After two Jamel Martin rushes for a first down, Matt Schilz found Alex Bayer on a 60-yard play-action screen pass for the score.
The Falcons ended the third quarter out-scoring Akron 17-0, and outgaining them 228-4. Bowling Green's defense would continue to dominate in the fourth quarter, as no play was run on the BGSU side of the field in the quarter.
The Falcon defense recorded four sacks on the day, all in the second half, and all coming on third down plays.
Bowling Green would cap the scoring in the game when Matt Schilz hooked up with Alex Bayer for the second time on the day for a 12-yard score and a 24-10 lead.
For the contest, Bowling Green outgained Akron 472-316. The Falcon defense surrendered just 36 second half yards on 26 plays. Cameron Truss led the Falcons defensively, recording 10 solo tackles on the day.
Three Falcons rushed the ball at least ten times, with Anthon Samuel leading the way with 117 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown. John Pettigrew (13 attempts for 81 yards) and Jamel Martin (11 rushes for 79 yards) were the other two featured ball carriers.
The Falcons, who improved to 3-3 overall (1-1 MAC) with the win, will return home next Saturday afternoon when they play the Miami RedHawks. The contest is set to kickoff at 3:30 pm from Doyt Perry Stadium.
TOLEDO - The Rockets used a pair of second-half touchdowns off interception returns to defeat Central Michigan, 50-35, in a come-from-behind Homecoming victory at the Glass Bowl Saturday afternoon.
With Toledo holding a slim 34-28 advantage midway through the fourth quarter, senior safety Mark Singer picked off a Ryan Radcliff pass and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown. Fellow senior safety Jermaine Robinson slammed the door on the Chippewas late in the game when he went to the house on a 31-yard Radcliff pass.
Toledo (5-1, 3-0 MAC) trailed at halftime, 21-17, mostly due to three turnovers, matching its season total through the first five games. But the Rockets outscored CMU in the second half, 33-14, to claim its fifth straight win.
Junior wide receiver Bernard Reedy paced the offense with 293 all-purpose yards. Reedy caught 10 passes for 92 yards, and also returned a punt 66 yards for a touchdown. Junior quarterback Terrance Owens connected on 23-of-33 passes for 233 yards, while rushing for 66 yards and two scores to lead the offense. Junior running back David Fluellen rushed for 100 yards and one TD.
Toledo's defense, playing without three starting defensive linemen, held CMU to 373 yards of total offense, including just 46 yards rushing on 24 attempts.
Toledo opened the scoring on a 33-yard field goal by Jeremiah Detmer that was set up by a 53-yard punt return by Reedy. However, a Reedy fumble on Toledo's next possession gave CMU the ball on the 11-yard line. The Chippewas cashed in on the very next play, an 11-yard run by Zurlon Tipton that gave CMU a 7-3 lead.
Toledo regained the lead on a 13-play drive that was capped on a one-yard plunge by Fluellen on fourth down. CMU countered as Radcliff hit Titus Davis for a 23-yard pass to cap an 89-yard, seven-play drive that gave the Chippewas a 14-10 lead.
Another Toledo turnover helped CMU extend its lead to 21-10. Reedy fumbled following a short completion, giving CMU the ball on the UT 27-yard line. Four plays later Radcliff found Deon Butler for a seven-yard score to give the Chippewas a 21-10 lead with 8:08 to play in the half.
Owens threw an interception, his first in eight games, on UT's next possession but the Rockets' defense forced a punt thanks to a 13-yard sack by junior Ben Pike. Owens sat out the next UT possession in favor of senior Austin Dantin, then returned to the game to drive the Rockets 90 yards in the final two minutes to cut the CMU lead to 21-17 at the half.
Toledo came out of the locker room with renewed energy, scoring two third-quarter touchdowns. Reedy helped make amends for his earlier fumbles by dodging a handful of CMU tacklers on his way to a 66-punt return that went the distance. After a CMU punt, Owens led the Rockets on a 54-yard scoring drive and finished it off himself with a one-yard dive to put Toledo up, 31-21.
CMU countered with a touchdown that was set up on a 44-yard pass play from Radcliff to Cody Wilson that had 15 yards tacked on the end of it due to a personal foul. Three plays later Radcliff found Courtney Williams for a three-yard scoring pass that cut the lead to 31-28.
Toledo's next drive stalled, forcing the Rockets to settle for a 40-yard field goal by Jeremiah Detmer and extending the lead to six, 34-28. Just three plays later, Singer made the defensive play of the game when he picked off Radcliff and bolted 39 yards. Toledo went for two but Owens pass was intercepted, making the score, 40-28.
CMU cut the lead to 40-35 on a 15-play drive with 3:03 to play. But the Rockets drove to the 11-yard line with 54 seconds left and Detmer knocked down a 28-yarder to make the score, 43-35. Radcliff's first pass on the ensuing drive was a pick-six for Robinson, snuffing out any chance for a Chippewa rally.
The Rockets continue their tour of Michigan schools with a game at Eastern Michigan in a MAC West battle next Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
MUNCIE, Ind. - Junior tailback Akeem Daniels scored on a 54-yard pass from Jordan Lynch with 4:58 to play, and Lynch added a 71-yard touchdown run two minutes later as the Northern Illinois Huskies overcame a fourth-quarter deficit for the third time this season to claim a 35-23 victory over Ball State Saturday at Scheumann Stadium.
"We're a good fourth-quarter team," said NIU Head Coach Dave Doeren. "I think we do a good job of wearing guys down and I'm really proud of the resiliency of our football team. Road wins say a lot about our coaching staff and our players. When they are down, there is no flinch."
Lynch ran for a career-high 207 rushing yards on 29 carries with three rushing touchdowns, and threw for 195 yards and a score on 16-of-23 passing to account for 402 yards of total offense in the win. NIU improved to 5-1 overall while continuing its best start since 2003 and is now 2-0 in the Mid-American Conference . Ball State fell to 3-3 and is 1-2 in the MAC.
"He [Lynch] is a great player, I think everyone knows that now," Doeren said. "He's running the offense really well and making big plays."
After falling behind 23-14 on Ball State quarterback Keith Wenning's one-yard run with 12:24 to play in the third quarter, NIU scored the last 21 points of the game. Lynch scored on a 12-yard run to close out a five-play, 61-yard drive in just 1:01 at 8:46 of the third quarter to pull the Huskies within two at 23-21.
Late in the third quarter, Ball State's Steven Schott missed a 34-yard field goal and NIU remained just two down entering the final period. Lynch was stopped on fourth-and-one and Ball State had another opportunity to extend its lead. The Cardinals' drive stalled at the Huskie 16 and Schott missed from 33 yards.
NIU's next drive ended when Tommylee Lewis' fumble was recovered by Ball State at the BSU 25. A Cardinals' punt returned the ball to Northern Illinois with 6:25 to play and on second-and-seven from the Ball State 46, Lynch hit Daniels with a short pass in the right flat and the junior went 54 yards for the score. Mathew Sims' extra point gave the Huskies a 28-23 lead.
The Huskie defense forced a three-and-out and NIU regained possession on its own 26-yard line with 3:58 to play. NIU faced third-and-seven at its 29 with 3:11 to play when Lynch burst through the middle, broke a tackle and raced to the end zone.
"I thought [offensive coordinator] Rod Carey called some key plays. [The pass to] Akeem was a big-time call. Jordan threw a great ball and obviously Akeem finished the play. The [71-yard] quarterback draw was a great effort by Jordan."
Ball State made a final comeback attempt, driving to the Northern Illinois six-yard line before the NIU defense forced four straight incompletions.
Wenning threw a Ball State school record 71 passes and completed 42. NIU's Jimmie Ward and Michael Santacaterina recorded interceptions and the Huskies knocked down six passes. Northern Illinois held the Cardinals to field goals from inside the red zone twice
"Our word for the week was perseverance and I don't think I could have picked a better word for the team," Doeren said. "I thought the defense had a ton of huge stops today. We hit [Wenning] a lot and forced some bad throws."
Northern Illinois jumped out to a 14-3 lead on Lynch's first touchdown - a 29-yard run on fourth and two - and a one-yard run by Leighton Settle to close out a five-play, 57-yard drive. Settle's score came at 14:03 of the second quarter.
From there, Ball State reeled off 20 straight points from the 9:22 mark of the second quarter through the 12:24 mark of the third period, to take a 23-14 lead.
NIU has won 14 of its last 15 games, including 10 straight versus Mid-American Conference foes.
Northern Illinois plays its lone October home game next Saturday, Oct. 13, when Buffalo visits Huskie Stadium for Homecoming. The game kicks off at 2:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
CINCINNATI, Ohio - Quarterback Zac Dysert reached another career milestone Saturday night, but Miami fell to local rival Cincinnati, 52-14, in the 117th Battle for the Victory Bell.
The senior became the 78th player in NCAA FBS history to pass for 10,000 yards. He is now 66th all-time with 10,246 yards and is only 583 yards behind school record holder Ben Roethlisberger, who has 10,829 career passing yards.
Dysert reached the 10,000-yard mark in the first quarter on a 12-yard pass to Dawan Scott. He finished the game completing 25 of 49 passes for 303 yards with two touchdowns.
The RedHawks (3-3) took an early 6-0 lead on a 19-yard pass from Dysert to Scott at the 11:31 mark in the first. But a bad snap on the extra-point attempt forced a failed rushing play.
Scott finished the game 60 yards and a touchdown on five catches, while Luke Swift added five catches for 67 yards. Nick Harwell, who played in his first game since Sept. 8 against Southern Illinois after a leg injury, made five grabs for 40 yards and a score.
UC responded with four straight scores, which included a Camerron Cheatham 68-yard interception return for a touchdown that made the score 7-6.
Dysert connected with Harwell on a 10-yard pass with 2:05 left in the second to make it 24-14 at halftime.
Cincinnati held Miami scoreless in the second half and tacked on four more scores to earn the victory. The RedHawks still hold a 59-51-7 all-time record against Cincinnati.
Miami continues MAC play on the road against Bowling Green Saturday, Oct. 13. Game time is 3:30 p.m.