Kent State football wins MAC opener against Miami

Josh Johnston

Kent State outlasted Miami for a 29-19 win in a rain-soaked Mid-American Conference opener at Dix Stadium tonight.

Behind five forced turnovers and a 92-yard kickoff return by junior running back Anthony Bowman, the Flashes (2-2, 1-0 MAC) survived a 552-yard onslaught from the RedHawks (0-4, 0-2 MAC).

Miami struck first with a 28-yard field goal on its first drive of the night. In the ensuing kickoff, Bowman broke through Miami’s coverage on the left sideline and raced to the end zone.

The score became the front end of 19 unanswered points by Kent State.

Back-to-back long runs by running backs, sophomore Jacquise “Speedy” Terry and freshman Dri Archer, drove Kent State 55 yards in two plays for a touchdown in the second quarter. Terry finished with 103 yards on 15 carries while Archer added 28 yards with four carries on the night.

After missing his first extra point attempt, freshman kicker Freddy Cortez was perfect for the rest of the night, connecting from 37 and 42 yards out to finish off the Flashes’ scoring run.

After its field goal, Miami failed to sustain any lengthy drives for most of the first half. Consecutive drives ended in lost fumbles for the RedHawks, including one on Kent State’s 5-yard line after an official review awarded Kent State the turnover.

Behind the passing of freshman quarterback Zac Dysert, Miami drove for 78 yards at the end of the 2nd quarter for a touchdown. Dysert completed seven of his 10 pass attempts on the drive.

The Flashes never found a solution for Dysert, who in his first collegiate start passed for 337 yards (31-for-53 with two interceptions) and ran for 107 more.

After a hard sack midway through the third quarter, sophomore quarterback Giorgio Morgan was replaced by freshman Spencer Keith. On his first play under center, Keith found senior wide receiver Jameson Konz downfield for a 56-yard touchdown strike to put Kent State up 26-10.

The RedHawks responded with an 11-play, 81-yard march down the field for a touchdown. Facing fourth and long, Dysert completed a 30-yard pass to junior wide receiver Armand Robinson to keep the drive alive.

Miami continued to threaten throughout the second half behind the play of Dysert. While Kent State’s defense was able to pressure Dysert and force him out of the pocket multiple times in the night, the RedHawks’ quarterback remained on his feet long enough to either complete passes or rush downfield.

Kent State and Miami traded field goals in the fourth quarter to finish out the game. An interception by junior safety Brian Lainhart in the final minute of the game clinched the win for Kent State.

The pick was Lainhart’s fourth in four games and his 13th turnover in 11 games.

Next week Kent State will travel to Waco, Texas to take on Baylor.

Kent State vs. Miami