Flashes fall in 10-3 defensive battle

Taylor Rosen

Box Score

As the Kent State football team’s offense struggled to find a rhythm for the majority of the day, the Flashes defense kept the team alive and handed the offense an opportunity to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, but the offense failed to execute in crucial moments as the game slipped away at Miami, 10-3.

“It was a hard effort, and a tough effort,” Kent State coach Paul Haynes said. “There were things that we didn’t do to win the game, and that’s the bottom line.”

The Redhawks gave Kent State (1-7, 0-4 MAC) great field position at midfield as the Flashes trailing by just a touchdown with only four minutes left to play, but the drive moved into Miami territory and stalled on a 4th and 1 when sophomore runningback Nick Holley was stopped short of a first down.

“Yards after contact is the key for him,” Haynes said. “(Holley’s) a tough hard-nosed back that will be very good in this league.”

Game Notes

  • According to the athletic department, senior tight-end Casey Pierce matched a career-high of six catches in the loss. Pierce has made three or more catches in nine straight games. In his last two games, Pierce has made 17 catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns.
  • Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Jontey Byrd became the 17th different Kent State player (9 offense, 8 defense) to get his first career start this season.
  • Sophomore Nick Holley matched his career-high of 48 rushing yards and had a career-high 95 yards of total offense.
  • Kent State’s defense stopped Miami on its only fourth down attempt. Opponents are just 5-of-12 on fourth down conversions against the Flashes this season.
  • Kent State put together a season-high, 13-play scoring drive for the second straight week.
  • Junior kicker Anthony Melchiori made his fifth consecutive field goal attempt of the season in the first half.

In the second half, the Flashes came away with no points on four drives ending in Redhawks territory. Sophomore quarterback Colin Reardon took many hits throughout the game and never looked comfortable in the pocket. He finished the game 21 of 39 for 201 yards, and an interception.

Senior tight-end Casey Pierce led the Flashes with six receptions for 62 yards.  

“He’s done a good job,” Haynes said. “Kind of what we expected all year.  He’s a good tight-end that creates mismatch problems, and we’ve got to continue to get that out of him.”

The Flashes stuck to the game plan with 27 attempts on the ground, but those attempts only produced 79 rushing yards on the day.

The defense held Miami to only 287 total yards of offense and 120 passing yards. The Redhawks were 4 of 14 on third-down conversions. Kent State couldn’t capitalize, converting on only two of its 13 third-down snaps.

“It was a group effort,” Haynes said. “There are things we could have done better, especially with the quarterback running. We had chances to get off the field.  We didn’t do a very good job of containing him. Some of that will come with experience.”

Contact Taylor Rosen at [email protected]