Flashes fall behind early, take a Buckeye beating

Colin Reardon, Kent State’s quarterback, is sacked by an Ohio State defensive player at the Kent State vs Ohio State game Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. Reardon was sacked three times throughout the game and the Flashes fell to the Buckeyes with a final score of 66-0.

Taylor Rosen

Box Score

On Saturday afternoon in Columbus, 104,404 fans in attendance at The Horseshoe witnessed the difference in level of talent between the Mid-American Conference and the Big 10.

The Kent State football team did not take care of the football or convert on many third downs as Ohio State jumped out to a 21-0 first quarter lead and never looked back. The Buckeyes dominated the Flashes in every facet of the game and went on to win, 66-0.

According to an article by the Associated Press, Ohio State paid Kent State $850,000 to make the trip down to Columbus to battle the Buckeyes.

“Not how we wanted to show up today, and I give them credit,” Kent State head coach Paul Haynes said. “They bounced back and played well. We knew we had to play our best football to be able to beat them, and we didn’t do that.”

The Buckeyes dominated the first half and cruised into halftime with a convincing 45-0 lead. Ohio State combined for 198 yards in the first quarter, and 155 of those yards came from the passing attack. J.T. Barrett led the nonstop passing barrage, completing 21 of 28 passes and throwing for 297 yards and five touchdowns to round out the half.

Post-game notes (courtesy of kentstatesports.com):

  • Sophomore Nate Holley was Kent State’s leading tackler for the fifth straight game with tackles and 12 solo stops.
  • Sophomore Elcee Refuge had a career-high eight tackles and one tackle for loss. Four of junior Anthony Melchiori’s punts went for over 50 yards and four were downed inside the 10-yard line.
  • Junior Matt Dellinger made his first career interception, following a hit made by redshirt freshman Demetrius Monday.
  • Freshman linebacker Marques Moore recorded his first career forced fumble and had a career-high six tackles.
  • Freshman quarterback Nathan Strock made his first college appearance in the second quarter and had his first pass completion in the second half.
  • Sophomore running back Nick Holley made career-high six catches. Freshman Matt Sommers recorded his first career forced fumble, following a blocked punt.

The 45 points the Buckeyes scored in the first half were the most in a half against an FBS opponent since Ohio State put up 45 in the first half of a 58-7 win over Northwestern in 2007.

“I mean it was another football game — you never want to be down,” Kent State sophomore safety Nate Holley said. “When we got down, we tried to keep a positive attitude and keep everybody up.”

Sophomore quarterback Colin Reardon struggled throughout the day, more specifically in the first half. The sophomore was pulled from the game for a series and completed 14 of his 27 passes for 76 yards on the day.

“We have to have our backups ready because you never know what could go on down the road,” Haynes said. “We just want to make sure he’s ready if we happen to need him later on when we’re going to play for a MAC championship.”

Kent State turned the ball over three times during Saturday afternoon’s contest, and all three turnovers stemmed from Reardon interceptions. Two of his three interceptions were deflected.

“It’s a hard thing to do, especially for me personally,” Holley said about the three turnovers. “I had a few plays that I definitely wish I could have back. It’s hard to keep everybody up and excited, but that’s what we tried to do with our best ability.”

The Buckeyes extended their lead by controlling possession and moving the football down the field, outscoring the Flashes in the second half, 21-0.

“So we’ll go back to the drawing board, fight like crazy, take the bye week to get ready for Virginia, then get ready for the MAC — to be MAC champs,” Haynes said.

The Flashes will take a bye week this coming weekend and will return to action Saturday, Sept. 27, to face the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

Contact Taylor Rosen at [email protected].