Out of reach: Flashes no longer eligible for bowl game


Quarterback Colin Reardon attempts to complete a pass at the Homecoming game against Army on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. The Flashes faced the University of Miami of Ohio this past weekend and lost, 3-10.

Taylor Rosen

With only four games left in the 2014-2015 football season, the Flashes are strictly playing for pride as their bowl game hopes dwindle after last Saturday’s 10-3 loss in Oxford.

With the loss to Miami, the Flashes have fallen out of playoff contention, and their ambitions for a .500 record and a possible trip to one of the five new bowl games the Mid-American Conference implemented this season have vanished.

“Penalties killed us defensively that kept drives alive and changed the field,” Kent State coach Paul Haynes said. “On offense, we’ve got to continue to get stronger. We’re not strong enough yet up front. We’ve got a lot of young guys.”

A defensive stalemate

Kent State’s defense put together a solid effort in the loss at Miami (2-7). The Flashes limited the high-scoring Redhawks offense to just 287 yards of offense and 10 points, a stout stand considering that the same Miami offense has put up 41 points twice this season.

“Miami is a high-powered offense that can get a bunch of big plays, and we only gave up that one big pass play that ended up being three points,” Haynes said.

According to the Kent State Athletic Department:

Sophomore quarterback Colin Reardon completed 20 or more passes for the fourth consecutive game.

Sophomore Nate Holley led both sides with 10 tackles in the loss at Miami. Holley has led the Flashes in tackles in 8 of his 11 career starts.

The Flashes’ defense held Miami to 120 passing yards, despite the Redhawks averaging 310 yards passing per game on the year.

Freshman defensive back Jerrell Foster made tackles on each of Miami’s first two punt returns, one for no gain and one for a loss of five.

However, Kent State was never able to punch it in for a touchdown. The team came away empty-handed following four drives ending in Redhawks’ territory. The Flashes did manage to put together a season-high, 13-play scoring drive for the second straight week to produce their only three points of the game, but three points wasn’t enough. 

“You got the ball on the two-yard line and you’re not strong enough just to call power,” Haynes said. “You just got to continue to pound it in the weight room. We had a couple of chances, and we just didn’t capitalize on them.”

According to kentstatesports.com, a grand total of 12 offensive drives ended in punts, a testament to the impervious defensive play exhibited by both sides.

A glance ahead

The Flashes (1-7, 0-4 MAC) must continue their long sought-after search to consistently find ways into the end zone week in and week out. After all, winning a Division I football game by only scoring three points is no easy task.

Lack of consistency has plagued the Flashes all season long. Just a week ago, the team put together its best performance of the season by dominating a tough Army team en route to scoring a season-high 39 points.

If Kent State wants to bounce back with a similar victory, they must do a better job converting on third downs and producing more points.

The Flashes will prepare for their next game under the lights Tuesday night at Dix Stadium against Toledo. The game can be seen on ESPN 2 and will kick off at 8 p.m.

Contact Taylor Rosen at [email protected].