Wildcats’ second half too much for Flashes

Jonas Fortune

Kent State sophomore running back Eugene Jarvis fights his way past Kentucky linebacker Sam Maxwell during the second quarter of Saturday’s 56-20 loss at commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky. Jarvis rushed for 131 yards and had two touchdowns – one rushi

Credit: Laura Torchia

After one half of football Saturday night in Lexington, Ky., 14-point favorite Kentucky looked outmatched and outgunned by a savvy Kent State football team looking for their second upset in as many weeks. The second half proved to be another story as the Wildcats scored 42 points and rolled to a 56-20 victory.

The Flashes, who went into halftime tied with the South Eastern Conference team 14-14, mustered only 6 points in the second half.

With three first-half turnovers, including two in the redzone, some of the Flashes could only blame themselves.

“We shot ourselves in the foot with the three turnovers,” junior quarterback Julian Edelman said. “When you go against a team that’s high caliber, like they are, you have to play mistake free.”

For the first half at least, those turnovers did not seem as worrisome. The Kent State defense seemed to come up with stop after stop against a potent Wildcat offense ran by Heisman-hopeful quarterback Andre Woodson.

Woodson found little room and time to show off his NFL arm in the first half as the Kent State defense smothered him, recording four sacks and only giving up 96 yards of total offense.

While Woodson struggled, Edelman and sophomore running back Eugene Jarvis were busy carving up the Wildcat defense.

Edelman rushed for 105 of his 135 yards in the first half, and Jarvis recorded 127 yards and a touchdown -he finished with 131 yards and two touchdowns – as the Wildcat defense had no answer for the Kent State ground game.

At the half, Kent State had 268 of their 453 total yards of offense. They scored their first touchdown on a fake field goal. Freshman Leneric Muldrow recorded his second touchdown of the season from six yards out on the trick play.

But things seemed to fall apart for the Flashes in the second half. The Wildcats scored on their first three possessions. Running backs Rafael Little, Derrick Locke and Alfonso Smith began to find holes in the Kent State defense. Little rushed for 102 yards on the game as the Wildcats gained 388 yards of total offense in the second half.

“Our defense was really struggling and we had a hard time slowing their running game down and that was really the difference,” Kent State coach Doug Martin said. “Had we been able to hang in their and keep the score close, (the turnovers) really wouldn’t have hurt us that bad.”

But with the score now 35-14, those turnovers began to seem ever so crucial.

Despite the lopsided loss, The Flashes were still able to look at the first half and the game from a positive standpoint.

“We feel like we can play with pretty much any team,” Jarvis said. “I’m pretty sure we showed that today, even though we didn’t finish.”