A good start wasn’t enough for Flashes football Saturday, as the team struggled to take care of the football, committing five times turnovers and falling to the University of Virginia, 45-13.
“I’m very disappointed,” Kent State head coach Paul Haynes said. “We didn’t play two halves, it was a tale of two halves, and we didn’t play well in the second half. We talked about the ball is the program, and there is no way against a quality opponent like Virginia that you can turn it over five times and win.”
Flashes sophomore quarterback Colin Reardon was 12/28 for 219 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Sophomore wide-receiver James Brooks caught his first career touchdown, a 45 yarder from Reardon. The play was Kent State’s longest offensive play of the season.
One of Reardon’s interceptions was returned for a momentum shifting Virginia touchdown in the first quarter. The Cavaliers also recovered a Reardon fumble in the second half.
“We’re a young football team, but that is no excuse,” Haynes said. “We have to make sure we do the little things right, and if we don’t then those things are going to happen.”
The Flashes have turned the ball over eight times in their last two games—something a MAC team simply can’t do when competing against teams in the ACC and Big 10.
“We still have to come out and play well,” Haynes said. “We didn’t play very well in that first series of the second half. Like I said, we just have to play better. You can’t beat two teams, and we’re beating ourselves right now.”
Sophomore safety Nate Holley was Kent State’s leading tackler for the sixth straight game with 15 tackles and remains among the nation’s leaders.
“(It was) nothing that they were doing. It was more so of us missing our fundamentals and techniques,” Holley said. “We had some assignment errors. It wasn’t anything differently that they did, we just beat ourselves in that third quarter.”
The Flashes had only 126 total yards of offense two weeks ago against Ohio State, but on Saturday in Virginia they ran 175 yards of offense in the first quarter.
The Flashes finished the game with a season high 318 total yards of offense, 72 of which came from the rushing attack.
“It was a little bit again of what they were giving us,” Haynes said. “If you can sit there and throw hitches for five yards, and run for the football for three or four then you’ll get first downs. We just have to continue to do it on a regular basis.”
Kent State will travel to DeKalb, Illinois next Saturday to battle the Huskies of Northern Illinois. The game will kick-off at 5:00 p.m.
Contact Taylor Rosen at [email protected]