Headwind slows ‘FlashFast’ offense to a halt


Kent State freshman quarterback Dustin Crum breaks a tackle among Akron’s defenders Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017.

Ian Kreider

Tuesday’s game against Buffalo could be summed up in one play for Kent State: With 41 seconds left in the first quarter, sophomore backup quarterback Dustin Crum came on to pooch punt after a Buffalo timeout. The snap was clean, but the ball shanked off of Crum’s foot out of bounds for a punt with a final total of zero net yards. This allowed Buffalo to take over from their own 49-yard line, leading to a touchdown nine plays later.

“The ball just came off of his foot kind of funky,” coach Sean Lewis said.

Ultimately, Crum’s misplay proved to an ominous sign for the Flashes (2-8, 1-5 Mid-American Conference), as they fell to the Bulls, 48-14.

Buffalo (9-1, 6-0 Mid-American Conference) started this week much like how they started almost every game this season: with an early score. 

This time Bulls’ freshman running back Jaret Patterson gutted the Kent State defense for a 63-yard touchdown on the second play from scrimmage.

“They did a really good job of establishing the line of scrimmage,” Lewis said. “We knew they were solid on both the O-line and the D-line. They were able to establish the run game early.”

The offense was stagnant from the first snap. The duo of junior running backs Jo-El Shaw and Justin Rankin combined for just 55 yards on the night. Sophomore quarterback Woody Barrett finished with a career-low 14 total yards rushing. 

“We weren’t really able to establish the run, which made us have to throw the ball more,” Lewis said. “That’s tough on a day like today.”

The rushing attack for the Bulls could not be stopped. Patterson finished with 187 yards and two touchdowns. The Bulls added four more rushing touchdowns from junior running back Emmanuel Reed, freshman running back Kevin Marks, sophomore running back Anderson Theo and junior quarterback Tyree Jackson.

Jackson torched Miami (OH) last week for 358 yards passing and three touchdowns, but was limited against the Flashes due to the weather. He finished 7-for-16 with 111 yards and a touchdown.

Kent State’s two touchdowns were engineered by Crum, who took over at quarterback for Barrett midway through the third quarter. Crum finished 8-for-15 for 56 yards and a touchdown.

He was also the Flashes’ most effective runner on the day, finishing with 66 yards and a touchdown on 10 rushes.

Lewis was happy with the way that Crum competed.

“The kid’s got a tremendous heart,” Lewis said. “He did a great job preparing throughout the course of the week, and he made the right reads, which allowed the offense to work for him. It was great to see.”

The Flashes will look to bounce back from this loss as they take on Toledo (5-4, 3-2 MAC) on November 15 at 6 p.m. inside Dix Stadium.

Ian Kreider is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]