KSU football quick hits

Richie Mulhall

What’s next for the Flashes

After suffering a close, heartbreaking 17-14 loss to the Northern Illinois Huskies this past Saturday in DeKalb, Illinois, the Kent State football team (0-5, 0-2 MAC) will return home this weekend to take on the University of Massachusetts.

The Minutemen, like the Flashes, are in a similar boat in that they have yet to win their first game this season. UMass currently sits at the bottom of the Mid-American Conference East division with an 0-6 losing record.

Saturday’s postgame notes (courtesy of kentstatesports.com)

  • Sophomore quarterback Colin Reardon moved into eighth place in career passing yards (2,993) at Kent State. He also currently ranks eighth in both career completions (282) and career TD passes (17).

  • Kent State’s fourth quarter touchdown by Reardon was the Flashes’ first rushing touchdown of the season. 

  • Junior Jordan Italiano’s fourth quarter interception gave him a hand in a turnover for three straight games. It was Northern Illinois’ first interception of the season.

  • Senior Chris Humphrey moved into 10th place in career receptions at Kent State with 97.

  • Kent State had season-highs of 327 yards of offense, 22 first downs and a season best 83 yards rushing.

  • Junior Anthony Melchiori made two field goals for the second straight game, giving him a streak of four straight.

  • Kent State put together an 83-yard drive in the third quarter ending in a Melchiori field goal. It was the Flashes’ longest drive of the season.

  • The Flashes converted on their first fourth-down attempt of the season on a run to the left side by senior Anthony Meray.

  • Redshirt freshman receiver Kris White had career-highs of four catches for 67 yards.

  • The Flashes’ defense had a season-high five tackles for loss. Sophomore receiver James Brooks had a pair of 20-yard carries on reverses. Each came on Kent State scoring drives.

  • Senior tight end Darren Goodson made his first career appearance on the Reardon touchdown run. Goodson previously played basketball for Kent State for two years as a small forward. Last season in his true senior year, Goodson averaged 9.1 points, four rebounds and 2.3 assists last season.

  • The three-point difference ties for the lowest margin of victory during NIU’s 28-game home winning streak. Ball State (2011) has been the only other team to lose by three.

  • The Flashes’ second-half field goal was their first points during a third quarter this season.

A little banged up

In Saturday night’s game against Northern Illinois, sophomore starting quarterback Colin Reardon went down with an ankle injury after his cleat got caught in the turf while sliding in the fourth quarter.

Two plays later, redshirt freshman backup quarterback Nathan Strock took a hard hit in the pocket and was helped off the field, leaving the fate of the game resting in the hands of sophomore quarterback and converted tight end Jack Williams.

In Monday morning’s press conference, Kent State football coach Paul Haynes addressed the injuries that both of his quarterbacks sustained Saturday night. He said the coaching staff is still unsure what to make of the quarterback situation right now, but a return to the field Saturday by either quarterback seems unlikely.

“We really don’t know, but right know I would say both (Reardon and Strock) are doubtful for Saturday,” he said.

Reardon went to get x-rays on his ankle Monday, and the extent of his injury is still unknown at this time. Strock suffered a concussion from the big blow he took Saturday night, so that will also be a process the team must go through, Haynes said.

“Both of them, I would say, are doubtful,” he said. “But it’s day-to-day to see what goes on with them.”

Haynes assured that Williams and freshman George Bollas are the two quarterbacks that will replace Reardon and Strock and share snaps come Saturday.

Despite working with two inexperienced quarterbacks taking over the reigns this weekend, sophomore lineman Reno Reda said in Monday’s press conference that he holds confidence in whoever plays under center.

“No matter who it is, I think they’re going to be ready,” he said. “The game is the same, it’s just a different voice.”

In addition to Reardon and Stock’s respective injuries, freshman cornerback Demetrius Monday is also dealing with a concussion and will be day-to-day.

The Flashes also expected to get senior linebacker Devante’ Strickland (knee) and senior defensive back Calvin Tiggle (foot) back this past weekend against the Huskies, but Strickland did not play and Tiggle left the game after just a few plays, according to the Record Courier.

Holley named MAC Defensive Player of the Week again

Kent State sophomore safety Nate Holley once again earned MAC Defensive Player of the Year honors for the second time this season, the conference office announced Monday.

Holley’s repeat accolade comes after Saturday night’s performance in which Holley led the team in tackles with 16.

For the third time this season, Holley racked up 12 solo tackles, which helped hold the Huskies’ offense to just 17 points.  He also recorded 1.5 tackles for loss.  His 16 total tackles were among the most he’s had in a single game, second only to his first player of the week performance, when Holley registered 18 tackles against Ohio, according to kentstatesports.com.

Holley currently ranks second in the nation in solo tackles per game (9.2) and third in total tackles (14.4) and has been the team’s leading tackler in seven consecutive games, according to kentstatesports.com.

Contact Richie Mulhall at [email protected].