With QB out early, football loses bowl eligibility in Eastern Michigan battle

Jacob Hansen, Reporter

Kent State fell to Eastern Michigan Wednesday in its last home game of the season. 

The team now cannot qualify for a bowl game. The Flashes had two games left going into Wednesday, and they needed to win both. 

Kent State falls to 4-7 on the year and 3-4 in the Mid-American Conference. Eastern Michigan improved to 7-4 on the year and 4-3 in the MAC. The team is now 5-1 on the road. 

First quarter picks up

It was a scoreless first quarter until 5:16 left in the quarter. 

EMU’s graduate student quarterback Taylor Powell hit graduate student wide receiver Hassan Beydoun for a 13-yard touchdown reception. The Eagles took a 7-0 lead.

Before Eastern Michigan’s scoring drive, both teams had at most five plays per drive. 

Redshirt junior Collin Schlee answered back on the next drive, throwing for 39 yards to senior wide receiver Ja’Shaun Poke with three minutes left in the quarter. 

With one second left in the first quarter, Eastern Michigan went for a fake punt but turned the ball over at the KSU 40-yard line. This set Kent State up at its own 40-yard line.  

Schlee goes down in the second 

Just under a minute into the second quarter, Schlee threw his second 39-yard pass of the night to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Devontez Walker. 

Walker, after being held on a defensive pass-interference, made the catch at the EMU 19-yard line.  

Sophomore kicker Andrew Glass hit a 36-yard field goal. KSU led 10-7. 

After a 23-yard pass to Walker in the previous play, junior running back Marquez Cooper ran it in from the one-yard line with 7:50 left for a 17-7 KSU lead.  

With 4:52 left in the half, Schlee broke free for a 21-yard run on a read option. Going down, he slammed his head on the turf. He was then helped off the field. 

Freshman quarterback Devin Kargman, who had previously totaled 335 yards over his four games played, entered the game. 

Schlee finished the half with 150 passing yards and a touchdown and 45 rushing yards. He ran to the locker room towards the end of the half with his helmet on. 

Walker led the team in receiving with 73 yards in the first half. Poke was the second-leading receiver with 62 yards and a touchdown. Cooper had 53 rushing yards and a touchdown at the half. 

The Flashes had 257 yards of total offense. EMU had just 185 total yards at the half. 

Powell had 129 passing yards and a touchdown at the half. Beydoun led the Eagles in receiving at the half with 65 yards and a touchdown. 

Senior running back Samson Evans, the MAC’s fourth-leading rusher, had just 46 rushing yards on 16 attempts, averaging 2.5 yards per carry. 

A Schlee-less, third-quarter offense struggles 

Schlee was not on the sideline to start the quarter. 

Eastern Michigan scored first in the second half. Powell threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to graduate student wide receiver Tanner Knue, bringing the game to 17-14 with 9:23 left in the third quarter.  

Sophomore kicker Jesus Gomez tied the game 17-17 with 4:14 left to go. 

Kargman totaled 13 passing yards in the third quarter, going one-for-eight. Kent State had 14 yards of total offense in the third quarter. 

Eastern Michigan closes it out in the fourth 

EMU scored again with 10:46 left in the game after Powell completed an 11-yard touchdown pass to Knue for his second touchdown of the game. The Eagles had a 24-17 lead.

With 3:51 left, Evans ran it in from the one-yard line to extend the lead 31-17. 

For the first time in the second half, Kent State’s offense made it to the endzone with a three-yard run from Cooper. EMU took the game 31-24. 

Kent State had just 100 yards of offense in the second half. Kargman passed for 91 yards with a completion percentage of 36.8. 

Walker led his team with 121 yards receiving. Poke totaled 105 receiving yards. Cooper finished with 80 yards rushing and two touchdowns. 

The Flashes had 357 yards of total offense. Before Wednesday, they averaged 429.4 total yards of offense per game. 

Powell passed for 315 yards and three touchdowns. He averaged just 205.3 yards passing per game heading into Dix Stadium. Graduate student Dylan Drummond led the team with 97 receiving yards. 

Evans ended with 95 rushing yards and a touchdown. He matched his average of 95 rushing yards per game. The Eagles had 459 yards of total offense.   

Jacob Hansen is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].