The Kent State football TEAM issued another strong performance in all three phases of the football game and solidly beat Western Michigan 26-14 on Saturday afternoon. Kent State fans, you can get used to hearing that can't you?
Spencer Keith had a career high in completions with 24, and yards with 373 as the Flashes out gained the Broncos 477-293. Tyshon Goode was better than good on Saturday. The 6-1, 178 pound true freshman from Syracuse, New York hauled in a career high 11 receptions for 198 yards and two TDs. Jacquise Terry had 90 yards rushing and 52 yards receiving with a rushing TD while Jameson Konz had a career high in receptions (5) and matched a career high in yards with 74.
Monte Simmons paced the defense with three sacks, five total tackles and a forced fumble. Cobrani Mixon led KSU with 10 tackles while freshman Luke Batton came up with an interception that helped the seal the game in the fourth quarter.
Kent State will head into November while controlling their own destiny in their journey to capture a MAC East title.
Kent State will take on the Akron Zips next week in their first trip to Infocision Stadium as the two teams battle for the Wagon Wheel. The Flashes are riding a three game winning streak while Akron has lost six straight games.
PRESSURE ON HILLER
The Kent defense was able to get some pressure on Western Michiganquarterback Tim Hiller. Defensive end Monte Simmons finished with a career high three sacks, five total tackles and a forced fumble. “First and foremost, the defense as a unit, especially the d-line likes to rush the passer,” Simmons said. “As a defensive line unit, pass rushing is our deal.” Kent State knew that Hiller isn’t the most mobile quarterback, but Western Michigan’s offense is designed to deliver the football quickly and not let Hiller be gotten to. “As we watched film, he’s not quick moving outside the pocket,” Simmons continued. “If he moves his feet left to right, sideways, he’s not really good. That’s why we got in front of his face. We did our jobs correctly.” State
DEFENSIVE LINE DEPTH
Part of the reason the Kent defensive line has been so successful this season and has a MAC leading 30 sacks, is the depth of the defensive line. KSU can shuffle in and out several players in between series, or plays. “It’s big that we’ve got probably two and a half sets of defensive lineman that we can play, so fatigue should never be a factor with our guys,” Doug Martin said. “Our depth is key. All our guys are doing a great job of making offenses double-team them, and they’re pushing the pocket backward.” Players like Lee Stalker, Dana Brown and Ishmaa’ily Kitchen have rotated in and done a good job for the Flashes. “It’s great to know that we have someone else that’s also going to come on the field and give their all,” Simmons said. “That’s what we need as a group. In that area, it’s a good thing that we have as many defensive linemen that are capable of doing that.” State
HE’S PRETTY GOODE, ISN’T HE?
How about the performance from true freshman receiver Tyshon Goode. Goode finished with a career high 11 receptions for 198 yards and tied a career high with two TDs. Goode became the first Kent player with at least 10 receptions in a game since 2004 and he became the first receiver with at least 175 receiving yards since 2005. Goode made a spectacular one handed grab in the game on a pass from Keith. Goode also showed the ability to go up and grab the football out of the air and out of the reach of the defensive back. “That’s what we saw when we recruited Tyshon from Hargrave,” Martin said. “He would go up and take the ball away from people, and he’s a physical receiver. He’s going to get much stronger and bigger. He’s just a freshman. He has great athletic ability when the ball is in the air.” State
“It’s just having fun,” Goode said. “It’s what I love to do. Just go up there and make plays. Most of all, I’m in it to do anything it takes to win the football game. At the end of the day, I’m just trying to do whatever I can to get a victory.”
Goode also had a few key blocks down field to spring long runs, especially a scramble from Keith.
KEITH AND GOODE CHEMISTRY GROWS
You think Spencer Keith enjoys having a play-making wide receiver like Tyshon Goode? And on the flip side, Goode must be loving his quarterback for putting the ball up in the air so he can jump up and make a play on the ball. The two are developing quite the combination and chemistry just nine games into their true freshman seasons. “At the end of the game, the last deep ball that Tyshon caught, I told Spencer to throw it to him if he was single covered, but he threw it to him when he was double covered, and he made a great catch,” Martin said. “That shows what type of confidence Spencer has in him. Those two have got a good chemistry together.” I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but how fun will it be to watch these two perform together for the next 3+ years?
Matt Rinehart boomed an 80 yard punt on Saturday. The ball got up in the jet stream over Dix Stadium and bounced into the end zone for a touchback. It was Kent State’s only punt of the game.
3RD DOWN CONVERSIONS ARE IMPROVING
The Kent State offense has been steadily improving with their third down conversions. On Saturday they were a season best 10-14 for 71%. During this three game winning streak KSU has gone 21-42 on third downs for 50%. Prior to that, the team was just 15-79 for 19% in the first six games of the season.
Kent State will now make their first trip to Infocision Stadium to take on the Akron Zips, the battle for the Wagon Wheel. It has been a rough season for Akron. The Zips have lost six straight games, had their starting QB kicked off the team and a coach resign amid some recruiting violations. Injuries have also brought them down. With that said, they must be considered a very dangerous team. They would love nothing more to salvage their season by beating Kent State. Doug Martin is hoping some KSU fans make the short trek over to Akron. “Hopefully, next week we get more people,” he said. “That’s the same thing as a home game. Its 14 miles down the road here. We can get as many Kent State people there as Akron people, and I hope that happens.”
What a sweet sight it was, to see Kent State in the ‘victory formation’, taking a knee to run out the clock on Saturday. To those that were in attendance, you know what I mean. It came after a very impressive performance in all three phases of the game. The announced attendance was 15,206. While there wasn’t that many people on Saturday, those who were there saw a team they can be very proud of. To those who were not in attendance, you’re missing out. This is a very good football team, and they look like they have a special season starting to develop. Some Kent State students still probably say, “Why would I go to a Kent football game, they suck.” Nope, can’t say that anymore. And if they do, they’re obviously not paying any attention. This is a team to be proud of and support.
Keith’s passing yards were the most ever by a KSU freshman, It’s the first time a KSU quarterback has thrown over 300 yards since 2006…With two field goals, Freddy Cortez improved to 6-7 on field goals in MAC play…KSU snapped a 12 game losing streak to WMU, dating back to 1988…KSU is 4-1 in the MAC for the second time since 1977 and the fifth time in 50 years with 2006 being the most recent year KSU started 4-1…KSU stretched their run without giving up a defensive touchdown to nine quarters before WMU scored a TD in the second quarter…KSU swept their West Division opponents for just the second time since Division play began in 1997