Stephanie Storm’s in-game blog – KSU at Miami
Just four plays into Miami’s first possession, Kent State DE Mark Fackler tipped Miami QB Zac Dysert’s pass, then hauled it in with one hand to give the Flashes great field position.
After Fackler's interception, Kent State needed just four plays to drive 41 yards - a drive capped by RB Trayion Durham's 10-yd touchdown run. Less than four minutes into the game, Kent State took a 7-0 lead.
In the anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better department, KSU RB Dri Archer one-upped Durham with a 35-yard touchdown sprint as the Flashes went up 14-0 with 8:49 to go in the opening quarter.
Now Archer one-upped himself. After his first 35-yd scoring sprint, Archer added a 43-yarder to give the KSU a 21-0 lead. Yep, still in first quarter, folks, and its 21-0 Flashes. The touchdown was Archer’s 18thof the season.
As soon as Miami reached the red zone for the first time, the KSU defense forced another interception, one deflected by defensive lineman Dana Brown and hauled in by DE Zach Hitchens. But on the first play after the turnover, KSU QB Spencer Keith returned the gift by throwing an interception of his own.
Right at the end of the first quarter, the Miami kicker Kaleb Patterson missed a 45-yard field goal attempt wide left. The quarter comes to a close with Kent State leading 21-0, a period in which the Flashes racked up 152 rushing yards while the RedHawks totaled minus-two on the ground.
There's a pattern developing here in Oxford. Durham once again finds his way into the endzone on a 9-yard touchdown run – his second of the day. With K Freddy Cortez's fourth extra point, the Flashes increase their lead to 28-0 over host Miami with 9:40 to go in the second quarter.
KSU's defensive shutout bid fades away as Miami avoids shutout with a 12-yd touchdown pass from Dysert to WR Nick Harwell with 7:23 to go in the second quarter.
But the Flashes answered the score right away on their next drive, needing just four plays to drive 72 yards. A 31-yard pickup by Archer set up another Kent State score as Keith tucked the ball and ran for a 28-yard score of his own with the Flashes increasing their lead to 35-7 with 5:46 left in the first half.
Keith with his second interception of the day. Not sure why the Flashes are even trying to throw the ball with the way their ground game is dominating Miami.
KSU defensive back Darius Polk with pass break up to force a Miami field goal with 20 seconds left in the first half, Patterson boots a 33-yader as the RedHawks now trail the Flashes 35-10.
Kent State takes a 35-10 lead over host Miami at halftime. The Flashes have 361 total yards of offense to the RedHawks' 201.
With the third quarter about to get underway, the Flashes are just two yards away from having two 1,000-yard rushers as Archer now has 1,021 yards and Durham has 998.
KSU with its first punt of the day after its second half opening drive stalls with a Keith sack. Freshman P Anthony Melchiori’s booming 75-yarder gives him eight punts of 50 yards and more this season.
After steamrolling RedHawks in the first half, the Flashes offense has come out flat in the second half and has punted on their first two drives.
With 7:28 to go in the third quarter, Miami uses a 47-yard pass from Dysert to WR Andy Cruse and then a two-point conversion between the two pull Miami to within 35-18.
Cortez boots season-long 48-yd field goal with 4:05 left in the third quarter to extend the Flashes lead to 38-18 after Miami scored eight points on its last drive.
The Flashes hold a 20-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. However, the Flashes gained just 26 rushing yards in the third and Archer did not run the ball at all.
Keith's 33-yard touchdown pass to now WR Archer pushes KSU's lead to 45-18 - could be the knock out blow with 13:09 to go in the game. Archer now has four three-touchdown games on the season. His 19 scores is a KSU single season record.
When Dysert is your quarterback, you’re never out of a game. Thus, his 9-yard touchdown pass to Cruse pulls the RedHawks back to within 20 points, 45-25 with 9:30 to go.
With just over eight minutes to go following a 12-yard run, Durham comes up limping on his left side, and then falls to the ground while trying to get off the field. KSU head coach Darrell Hazell out to check on Durham before he limps off.
Durham’s stretching on the sideline after the scare, so he’s going to be OK (the injury ends up being a quad bruise, but he says he’s fine after the game). He’s likley done for remainder of game, finishing the afternoon with 20 carries for a career-high 172 yards and two touchdowns.
Another field goal by Cortez - this one a 32-yard chip-shot - pads KSU's lead to 48-25 over host Miami with 4:15 left in the game.
Dysert drilled another touchdown - a 7-yard pass with 1:58 to go - to mark his second best performance of season. But the RedHawks still trail the Flashes 48-32 with 1:48 to go in the game.
Kent State wins by a score of 48-32, improving to 9-1 overall and a perfect 6-0 in the MAC while raising its winning streak to eight consecutive games. Up next next is a date at Bowling Green Saturday.
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