At 5-1, the Golden Flashes are now off to their best start since 1973.
Saturday's game was less than a quarter old when Dri Archer limped to the sideline and gave Kent State head coach Darrell Hazell what he called a "puppy-dog look."
"Absolutely not," Hazell told the speedster.
That was all the prodding Archer needed to return to the field and rush for 222 yards and a touchdown on just 12 carries. He reached the end zone on an 87-yard sprint that sealed the victory late in the fourth quarter.
Archer also opened the scoring for Kent State, padding his Paul Hornung-award resume with a 24-yard touchdown pass on a throw-back to quarterback Spencer Keith early in the second quarter. The Paul Hornung Award goes to college football's most versatile player, and on Saturday Archer was fourth in the online voting.
"Dri is just a special player," said Hazell. "Every time you hand him the ball, you expect him to go all the way … Even when a play isn't blocked so well."
The first pass ever thrown by Archer and the first catch of Keith's career was a set play Kent State was determined to run as soon as the Golden Flashes' offense crossed the Army 30-yard line.
"We saw on film that Army plays a whole lot of man defense and they don't typically account for the quarterback," said Hazell. "We expected Spencer to be wide open on that play, but the cornerback made a nice recovery. Dri had to throw a really good pass."
Keith added a 30-yard touchdown pass of his own to Eric Adeyemi later in the second quarter to send Kent State into halftime with a 14-0 lead.
After the two teams traded field goals in the third, a 44-yard run by Archer later in the quarter set up a two-yard touchdown by Trayion Durham and a commanding 24-3 lead for Kent State heading into the final 15 minutes.
While Archer made the eye-popping plays, the big lead through three quarters came courtesy of a Kent State defense that made life miserable for an Army rushing attack that racked up 516 yards against Boston College a week earlier.
Army finished with 325 rushing yards against Kent State, but almost half of that total came in the fourth quarter. The Black Knights converted just 1-of-9 third downs thanks in large part to linebacker Luke Batton's career-high, 16-tackle day and the stifling interior play of tackles Roosevelt Nix and Dana Brown.
Any hopes Army had for a second-half comeback were spoiled by two failed attempts on fourth down. Nix stuffed quarterback Trent Steelman for a loss on fourth-and-one in the third quarter, and Kent State cornerback Sidney Saulter forced a fumble that Danny Gress recovered on fourth-and-two in the fourth quarter.
All in all, it was a pretty good day against a triple-option that can create a feeling of culture shock for a defense.
"We are six games into the season, and all of a sudden you have to prepare for a whole new offense that you never see because not many teams other than Army run it," said Nix. "And they are good at it. It's pretty satisfying to win a game like that because it shows how prepared we were."
Kent State also won the special-teams battle with kicker Freddy Cortez booting a 30-yard field goal and freshman punter Anthony Melchiori flipping field position over and over again while booming career-long punts of 52 and 59 yards.
"Anthony Melchiori had a great day," said Hazell. "He doesn't look like a freshman anymore. Even late in the game when I told hiim just to one-step it, he dropped the punt inside their five-yard line."
The setting of the United States Military Academy added to a special weekend for the Golden Flashes. The team arrived in West Point on Friday and took a tour of the campus, visiting with cadets and stopping to pay homage at statues of legends like Dwight Eisenhower and George S. Patton.
"It was a great honor just to be here," said Nix. "We all have so much respect for the people at West Point. The atmosphere here was like nothing I've ever experienced."
Hazell, who coached at West Point in 1997-98, called Saturday's win "the best of the season so far."
"When you add the environment here, the fact that Army was building some momentum after a BCS win last week (over Boston College) and we were on the road, that has to be the best win of the season," Hazell said.
Kent State returns home for a 3:30 p.m. Homecoming battle with Western Michigan at Dix Stadium on Oct. 20.
Ypsilanti, MI - Junior Bernard Reedy scored three touchdowns in a breath-defying third quarter as Toledo survived a surprising challenge from Eastern Michigan, 52-47, on a rain-soaked Saturday afternoon at Rynearson Stadium.
Toledo (6-1, 4-0 MAC) held a modest 21-10 halftime lead, but then the contest quickly turned into a wild video game with the two teams combining for five touchdowns in a span of 1:51 of the third quarter, the final three scores coming in 32 seconds. When the drenched artificial dust settled in the third quarter, the Rockets and Eagles had racked up eight touchdowns and 769 all-purpose yards (total offense plus kickoff returns), with Toledo holding leading 49-37 lead going into the final quarter. Reedy scored on an 89-yard kickoff return and receptions of 65 and 59 yards in the third period. EMU's Bronson Hill had three TDs of his own on runs of 47, 58 and 70 yards in the stanza.
The pace slowed down in the final quarter, with the teams exchanging field goals before the Eagles scored on a seven-yard run by Hill to trim the lead to 52-47 with 1:57 to play. Toledo recovered the onside kick, ran out most of the clock, then successfully defensded three late passes to claim its sixth straight win.
Reedy racked up some incredible numbers and he wasn't alone. He caught a career-high 11 passes and set a UT record with 237 receiving yards. He also set a school record with 407 all-purpose yards. Junior RB David Fluellen rushed for 188 yards and two TDs on 24 carries, his third consecutive games 100-plus rushing effort. Junior QB Terrance Owens completed 21-of-32 passes for a career-best 401 yards and three touchdowns.
Toledo outpaced the Eagles in total yards, but just barely, 655-624. Hill's 283 rushing yards was the second-highest total in EMU history and the most by a running back in the FBS this season.
Ironically, the game began with a big defensive play by the Rockets as senior LB Dan Molls picked off the first pass on EMU's opening drive, hauling in a deflected toss at the EMU 33-yard line. Six plays later, Owens ran it in from four yards to put the Rockets up, 7-0.
EMU countered with a nine-play drive that ended with a 31-yard field goal by Dylan Mulder to cut the lead to 7-3. The Eagles then converted an interception into a touchdown to take a 10-7 lead with 4:49 left in the first quarter. The five-play drive was highlighted by a 40-yard completion from Tyler Benz to Donald Scott which set up a 10-yard TD pass from Benz to Tyreese Russell.
Fluellen put Toledo back on top, 14-10, with a career-tying long run of 53 yards early in the second quarter. Fluellen scored again with 1:57 to play in the half, this time from six yards out, to give Toledo a 21-10 halftime lead.
The second half began with an explosion of big plays with five touchdowns scored by two players--EMU's Hill and UT's Reedy-- in a span of 1:51of the third quarter, and eight TDs overall. EMU struck first, cutting the lead to 21-17 on a 47-yard scoring dash from Hill at the 10:18 mark. Reedy countered with an 89-yard kickoff return to put Toledo up, 28-17. Three plays later, Hill did it again, bolting 58 yards for the score. Reedy came back on the very next play from scrimmage to score on a 65-yard scoring strike. Hill scored for the third time, this time a 70-yarder, on EMU's next play.
Russell got in the action on the next series, scoring on a 70-yard scoring strike from Owens with 6:55 left in the quarter to put the Rockets up, 42-30. EMU wasn't finished, though, scoring on a 41-yard pass from Benz to Tyreese , cutting the lead to 42-36. Reedy then scored his third TD of the quarter, a 59-yard reception with 1:36 to play to give the Rockets a 49-37 edge going into the final quarter.
The contest returned to the appearance of a normal game in the final quarter. EMU settled for a 41-yard field goal on its first possession to trim the lead to 49-40. Toledo then gobbled up over seven minutes of the clock before Jeremiah Detmer knocked home a 22-yard field goal to make the score 52-40 with 4:47 to play. Hill scored his fourth TD of the game from seven yards out with 1:57 to play to cut the lead to five, 52-47. UT then recovered the onside kick attempt and used up all but 14 seconds of the clock, not enough time for the Eagles to mount a rally.
The Rockets will dry off and return home next with a clash against No. 20 Cincinnati in a 7:00 p.m. contest at the Glass Bowl.
Ohio 34, Akron 28 Final Stats
ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio Football improved to 7-0 Saturday afternoon for the first time since 1968 on the heels of a rushing attack that amassed 252 yards. Tyler Tettleton accounted for 254 total yards and three touchdowns as Ohio moved to 3-0 in Mid-American Conference play with a 34-28 victory over Akron.
Junior running back Beau Blankenship (Norman, Okla.) led the way on the ground for the Green and White, racking up 108 yards on just 17 carries for an average of 6.4 per rush. He was nearly joined in triple digits by Ryan Boykin, who carried the ball 19 times for 99 yards and one touchdown.
Through the air, Tettleton (Norman, Okla.) completed 13 of his 27 passing attempts for 150 yards and two touchdowns. The junior became Ohio’s all-time leader in touchdown tosses with his first score on Saturday, and now sits atop the record book with 40. Tettleton also caught the first touchdown pass of his career on Saturday, receiving a 39-yard pass from wide receiver Landon Smith (Girard, Ohio) to open the scoring.
Jelani Woseley (Staten Island, N.Y.) led the defensive charge for Ohio, accounting for 14 tackles, including three tackles for loss, one sack and one pass break up. Keith Moore and Octavius Leftwich each had interceptions for the Bobcat defense, which accounted for seven tackles for loss on the afternoon.
Ohio scored the game's first 20 points and led 20-0 with less than a minute left in the first half, but the Bobcats allowed Akron to march 75 yards in less than a minute at the end of the second quarter in order to cut the lead to 20-7.
Akron then took the second half kickoff and drove for its second-straight score, this time on a nine-play, 75-yard drive that lasted 3:04. Dalton Williams completed the drive with a 10-yard touchdown toss to Tyler Williams that pulled the Zips within six points, 20-14, early in the third quarter.
After Akron had scored its second-straight touchdown spanning the two halves, the Bobcat offense stalled on its first drive of the third quarter and gave the Zips a chance to take their first lead of the game.
The Bobcat defense came up with a big stop on the ensuing Akron possession, however. Taking over at his own four-yard line, Blankenship helped put together a 96-yard scoring drive that allowed Ohio to regain control of the game at 27-14. Blankenship accounted for eight carries and 78 yards on the drive before Tettleton found Troy Hill in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown with 3:26 left in the third quarter.
Octavius Leftwhich (Huntsville, Ala.) helped Ohio increase its hold on the game's momentum by intercepting Akron's Dalton Williams on the first play of Akron's next drive. Boykin led the charge on the Bobcats' following offensive possession, accounting for 48 yards and a touchdown as Ohio scored for the second consecutive drive. The nine-play, 56-yard drive increased the Bobcats' lead to 34-14 with 37 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Zips responded to Ohio's back-to-back scores with an 11-play, 70-yard drive of their own to pull within 34-21 with 8:48 left in the game. Williams finished off the drive with a six-yard touchdown pass to Jerrod Dillard.
Akron (1-6, 0-3 MAC) marched 43 yards in eight plays and 1:23 to put another score on the board and cut the Ohio lead to 34-28 with 1:55 to go. The Zips, who were out of timeouts, then attempted an onside kick, but the kick found its way out of bounds, giving Ohio the ball with 1:55 left on the clock. After Boykin picked up a first down on the second play of the drive, Ohio lined up in victory formation and ran the clock out for the 34-28 victory.
Ball State 30, Western Michigan 24 (OT) Final Stats
MUNCIE, Ind. - The Ball State football team (4-3, 2-2 MAC) captured an overtime homecoming victory by defeating Western Michigan (3-4, 1-2 MAC) 30-24 Saturday evening at Scheumann Stadium on a game winning 15-yard touchdown run from Jahwan Edwards.
Offensively Edwards had 23 carries for a total of 138 yards and three touchdowns while senior quarterback Keith Wenning ended the day with 265 yards passing off of 43 attempts and 27 completions with one TD.
The game would come down to the fourth quarter, Ball State took its first lead since the first quarter after an incredible 11-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Keith Wenning to hometown hero senior wide receiver Jamill Smith with :50 left in the contest. The touchdown gave the Cardinals the 24-21 advantage over WMU.
The Broncos marched their way down the field to put themselves in field goal range to set up a 52-yard field goal from Andrew Haldeman with .5 seconds left sending the game into overtime.
Ball State came out in the second half and scored off of a 32-yard touchdown run by Edwards, which made the score 21-17 at the 4:29 mark in the third quarter.
Western Michigan held a 21-10 halftime edge over the Cardinals after scoring two touchdowns one passing, one running in the second quarter. Ball State closed the half with a 34-yard field goal from senior kicker Steven Schott.
A defensive battle in the first quarter, Ball State would be the first to score after an 11-yard touchdown run from sophomore half back Jahwan Edwards at the 9:54 mark.
Western Michigan would then make its way down the field to tie the game 7-7 with 6:59 remaining after junior running back Antoin Scriven's 1-yard TD run.
With 2:52 on the clock, sophomore corner back Eric Patterson intercepted the ball at the Broncos 1-yard line. The interception marked Patterson's second of his career and the season.
The Ball State football team continues Mid-American Conference action Saturday at Central Michigan, with a 3:30 p.m. kickoff.
Bowling Green 37, Miami 12 Final Stats
The Bowling Green State University football team ended a 15-year drought at home against Miami and improved to 2-1 in the Mid-American Conference by cruising to a 37-12 win over the Redhawks at Doyt Perry Stadium on Saturday (Oct. 13).
The Falcons dominated on both sides of the ball. On offense, Bowling Green notched 486 yards of offense, which was split nearly evenly (251 rushing, 235 passing) and was an efficient 9-for-14 on third down.
On the other side of the ball, the Falcons' defense created three turnovers and six sacks. It held Miami's rushing attack to only three net yards on 20 carries and only 256 yards overall.
The game began well enough for Miami, who took the opening kickoff and drove 56 yards on 11 plays in 4:36 before having to settle for a 36-yard Kaleb Patterson field goal.
Bowling Green responded immediately withThe an 11-play drive of their own. Matt Schilz deftly guided the Falcons for 61 yards, 12 of which came on a key third-and-ten pass to Shaun Joplin.
The drive culminated with a two-yard touchdown run by John Pettigrew. The extra point by Stephen Stein gave BGSU a 7-3 lead they would never relinquish.
The teams traded until Bowling Green took over at midfield with 28 seconds left in the first quarter. From there, Schilz again used a mix of run and pass to drive the Falcons to another touchdown. He finished the six play drive with a seven yard touchdown pass to Anthon Samuel on third down.
After forcing Miami into a third consecutive three-and-out series, the Falcons went on a 14-play run dominated drive that took 8:12 off the game clock. Stein kicked a 26-yard field goal to give BGSU a 17-3 lead with 3:27 left in the first half.
Miami responded with a drive for a field goal to close the first half and a touchdown drive early in the third quarter. However, the Redhawks failed on a two-point conversion attempt after the touchdown, and BGSU maintained a 17-12 lead with nine minutes left in the third quarter.
After a pair of punts, Bowling Green went on a 72-yard drive to put the game away. Schilz threw passes of 25 and 21 yards to get the Falcons downfield, then threw a 13-yard scoring pass to Chris Gallon for his second touchdown of the day.
On the ensuing kickoff, Miami's returner muffed the ball and knocked it into the end zone, where he recovered the ball and was tackled. BGSU believed it had scored a safety, but officials ruled a touchback because Miami never established possession outside of the end zone.
That ruling worked in Bowling Green's favor. On the next play, Zac Dysert's pass fell into the hands of Jerry "Boo Boo" Gates, who raced 25 yards for another Falcon touchdown. With the extra point, the lead was extended to 31-12 late in the third quarter.
The final touchdown of the game was recorded by Pettigrew, who burst through the line and dashed 29 yards for a 37-12 lead with 9:49 left in the game.
Individually, Schilz was 20-for-27 and totaled 235 yards and two touchdowns to go along with a late interception. Ryan Burbrink led BGSU with five catches for 49 yards, as eight different players caught a Schilz pass.
Samuel ran for a career-best 171 yards on 22 carries. He earned 196 all-purpose yards on 25 touches to go along with his second quarter touchdown. Pettigrew added 53 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.
On defense, Chris Jones was a monster. He recorded 2.5 sacks and had an additional tackle for loss. Bryan Baird added two sacks, and five different players took part in BGSU's six sacks. Baird also recovered a fumble that was forced by Gabe Martin.
Gates' interception was one of two for BGSU against Miami's Zac Dysert. The other was snagged by Jude Adjei-Barimah, which was the first of his career.
For Miami, Dysert was 17-for-31 for 198 yards, one touchdown and two interceptionis. Nick Harwell led the Redhawks with seven receptions for 117 yards, with 64 of those yards coming on one pass.
Bowling Green improves to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in the MAC, while Miami falls to 3-4 and 2-1 in the MAC.
The Falcons next two opponents are both currently 0-6 with 0-3 records in the conference. First, BGSU travels to Foxboro, Mass. for a matchup with Massachusetts. Game time for that tilt is noon on Oct. 20th. The team then returns home for a battle with Eastern Michigan that kicks off at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 27th.
Northern Illinois 45, Buffalo 3 Final Stats
DEKALB, Ill. -- Junior quarterback Jordan Lynch (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel) was 13-of-20 passing for 232 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 129 yards and two scores as Northern Illinois claimed a dominant 45-3 Homecoming victory over Buffalo Saturday at Huskie Stadium.
The victory moves NIU to 6-1 overall, 3-0 in Mid-American Conference play, while increasing its Huskie Stadium winning streak to 19 games and winning streak over conference foes to 11. Buffalo falls to 1-5 with the loss, 0-3 in MAC play. Northern Illinois is also bowl eligible for the fifth straight year.
NIU received the game’s opening kickoff and methodically went 75 yards in 13 plays, capped by a 12-yard touchdown run from sophomore wide receiver Da’Ron Brown (Chicago, Ill./Morgan Park) on a reverse. Lynch was three-of-four passing on the drive while also picking up 23 yards on five carries.
Buffalo cut the Huskie lead to 7-3 on a Patrick Clarke 28-yard field goal. The Bulls responded to the long NIU drive with a 14-play, 73-yard effort, but they were unable to push it into the end zone, settling for three points.
That opportunity proved to be the only time Buffalo would convert on four trips inside the Huskie 20-yard line. Buffalo went one-for-four in the red zone in the game after coming into the contest 13-of-13. The Bulls missed a field goal and had a pair of passes intercepted by freshman defensive back Marlon Moore inside the 20. Moore’s pickoffs came in the first career start for the true freshman out of Mobile, Ala.
““We knew we had to run the ball and stop the run, and we did that,” said NIU head coach Dave Doeren. “We knew we had to be better on defense on third down and we were. We knew they were going to throw slants and fades and we contended those balls. We knew there was going to be some throws for Martel; he took advantage of them and Jordan put them on him.”
The Bulls punted on the final play of the first quarter and NIU pushed its lead to 14-3 with an 80-yard drive to begin the second. Junior running back Akeem Daniels (Kissimmee, Fla./Osceola) scored from a yard out on fourth and goal with 11:07 left in the second to push the NIU lead to 11. The big play on the drive was a 32-yard run by sophomore tight end Luke Eakes (St. Marys, Kan./St. Marys) on a fake punt with the Huskies looking at fourth and seven from their own 40.
Northern Illinois went four-of-five on fourth down in the game and are 11-of-14 on fourth down conversions on the year.
After the NIU defense held Buffalo to a three-and-out, the Huskies made it 21-3 with a four-yard Lynch touchdown run. Lynch gained 21 yards on the ground on the first play of the drive, followed by completions of 13 and 12 yards to sophomore Tommylee Lewis (Riviera Beach, Fla./W.T. Dwyer) and freshman Juwan Brescacin (Mississauga, Ont. Canada/Culver [Ind.] Military Academy), respectively.
Buffalo responded with a drive down to the NIU eight, but the Bulls came up empty as Clarke missed a 25-yard field goal.
The Huskies took advantage quickly, going 80 yards in just four plays and 1:19 to take a 28-3 lead into the half. Lynch ran for 40 yards on the first play of the drive. Following a nine-yard loss, Lynch connected with Eakes for 45 yards through the air to put the Huskies on the Buffalo four. Lynch capped the drive with a four yard run up the middle to give the Huskies a 25-point advantage at the half.
After holding Buffalo to just one first down on its first drive of the second half, NIU needed just one play to push the lead to 35-3. Lynch connected with senior wide receiver Martel Moore (San Antonio, Texas/Earl Warren) up the seam, with Moore carrying a Bull defender the final 12 yards for the score.
Marlon Moore’s first interception stopped the Bulls’ next drive, and after the Huskie offense went three and out, he recorded his second interception, picking off Zordich in the end zone to thwart the Buffalo threat.
With 1:04 left in the third, the Huskies scored again as Lynch hit Lewis on a fade route from 28 yards out. Martel Moore made three catches for 53 yards on the drive. He finished the game with eight receptions for 133 yards to go over the 2,000-yard mark in career receiving yards, becoming just the fifth Huskie player to do so.
“Martel played like a senior today,” said Doeren. “The window’s closing; we’re going to miss the dude. We only have seven more weeks together, if we keep on rolling. I just love when seniors play their best. I think that’s a testament to your coaching and to the development of your program.”
Junior kicker Mathew Sims (Hannibal, Mo./Hannibal) capped the scoring in the fourth quarter with a 42-yard field goal creating the final 42-point margin.
Northern Illinois will return to action next Saturday, Oct. 20, when they travel to Akron. Kickoff against the Zips is slated for 11 a.m. CT, and the contest will be television on the ESPN Regional package.