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October 23, 2010
BOWLING GREEN—For the second straight week, Kent State jumped out to a double-digit lead on the road. But, unlike last week at Toledo, the Golden Flashes protected their advantage and defeated Bowling Green, 30-6, in front of 14,279 at Doyt L. Perry Stadium.
The Flashes (3-4 overall, 2-2 in the Mid-American Conference) avoided an ‘uh oh, here we go again’ moment when they turned the ball over on the game’s first possession then held the Falcons on a fourth down play at their own 29.
“That first red zone stand we had when they went for it on fourth down and we held them, that was huge momentum builder,” said senior safety Brian Lainhart. “We just went out and played.”
Lainhart then set up the Flashes’ first score when he picked off Bowling Green quarterback Matt Schilz at the Falcons’ 37-yard line and returned it to the BGSU 15.
Four plays later, sophomore kicker Freddy Cortez booted a 29-yard field goal to give the Flashes an early 3-0 lead.
Bowling Green (1-7, 0-4) quickly responded when Jerry Gates returned the ensuing kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown.
Gates appeared to have been tackled by two Kent State defenders before getting back to his feet and racing to the end zone.
“(The referees) said that he was laying on top of another player, so technically he’s not down. I didn’t really get that good of a look at it,” said Kent State head coach Doug Martin.
Again, the Flashes avoided a meltdown after a mistake.
Freshman defensive lineman Roosevelt Nix blocked the extra point try to minimize the damage.
“In the past, that would be the case,” said Martin when asked if the early mistakes caused a dip in morale. “Our guys, they just don’t think like that anymore. They just keep competing, keep playing. They don’t really get bothered by that stuff. I thought they responded well.”
The Flashes responded by scoring 24 points before the end of the half.
Sophomore quarterback Spencer Keith scored on a one-yard run to put the Flashes ahead for good, 10-6.
Keith would add two touchdown passes to classmate Tyshon Goode, one from three yards and the other from 28, and Cortez added a 32-yard field goal as the Flashes went into the break leading 27-6. Goode caught a career-high 12 passes for 158 yards and the two scores.
Keith had his best game of the season, as he completed 26-of-32 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns without an interception.
“I felt comfortable back there in the pocket,” Keith said. “The O-line did really well. I told myself all week I was going to be more patient this game and just go through my reads. I’m really proud of our receivers and our O-line for doing their jobs too.”
After Cortez nailed a 32-yard field goal to increase Kent State’s lead to 20-6 with 2:27 left in the second quarter, the Flashes’ went to work on the defensive side of the ball.
Using all three of their time outs, the Flashes forced a quick three-and-out by Bowling Green and got the ball back at the Falcons’ 39 with 1:51 left in the half. It took just two plays for Keith to find Goode in the corner of the end zone for a 27-6 lead.
“That was really big. We did a nice job of clock management there,” Martin said. “We had the wind right there too. You’re hoping you can get at least a field goal but to get the touchdown was big. The offense went out, it was a short two-minute drill, but it was really effective. They did a nice job handling it. That was big going up another score right then. That kind of took the wind out of Bowling Green.”
Cortez added a 30-yard field goal on the Flashes’ first possession of the third quarter to close out the scoring.
While Kent State’s offense played its most consistent game of the season, the Golden Flashes’ defense bounced back after a tough outing last week in a loss at Toledo.
Bowling Green managed just 135 yards on 63 plays. With six sacks, the Flashes held the Falcons to minus-10 yards rushing on 24 attempts and forced three turnovers.
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