Kent State (4-6, 3-3 MAC) defeated UB football (5-5, 3-3 MAC), 30-27 Thursday night. The Bulls dominated the Golden Flashes throughout the game before collapsing in the fourth quarter.
Kent State has allowed the most rushing yards in the MAC, giving up 253.9 yards per game and Buffalo attacked that weakness, rushing for 245 yards Thursday.
The Bulls outgained the Golden Flashes 379-284, averaging 5.19 yards per play, and in the third quarter, went on a 19-play 93-yard drive, resulting in sophomore running back Kevin Marks rushing it in from 2 yards out. The drive took 9:16 off the game clock.
The Bulls took a commanding 27-6 lead with 11:18 left in the fourth.
But it didn’t last.
What led to the loss
Kent State took advantage of Buffalo’s special teams’ performance. After cutting the lead down to 27-13, the Golden Flashes recovered an onside kick with 7:34 left in the fourth. Kent State scored one play later on a 41-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Dustin Crum to redshirt sophomore running back Xavier Williams, cutting Buffalo’s lead to seven points.
With 6:17 left in fourth, Kent's sophomore cornerback Jeremiah Salaam blocked freshman Jackson Baltar’s punt, recovering the ball at Buffalo’s four-yard line. Crum later connected with senior wide receiver Mike Carrigan on a 5-yard touchdown reception to tie the game.
Buffalo was forced to punt the ball late and Kent State started the drive with 2:04 left on the clock. The Golden Flashes were driving down the field when Crum hit senior wide receiver Kavious Price for a 17-yard completion, putting the team in field-goal range.
Sophomore kicker Matthew Trickett hit a 44-yard field goal as time expired, giving Kent State the victory.
Who showed out
The Bulls running back duo played well. Sophomore running back Jaret Patterson ran for 144 yards on 30 carries, averaging 4.7 yards per rush, while Marks rushed for 57 yards and a touchdown.
Sophomore quarterback Kyle Vantrease threw for 134 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for a score.
Senior linebacker Matt Otwinowski led the team with 10 tackles and senior safety Joey Banks had 7 tackles and caught an interception.
Junior defensive ends Malcolm Koonce and Taylor Riggins combined for 4 sacks.
The fourth-quarter mishaps left the Bulls with an additional loss on the season, but the first three quarters of play showed a promising team. With two games against MAC opponents left in the season, the Bulls need to secure one win to become bowl eligible for the fourth time in school history. The Bulls look to bounce back against conference rival Toledo (6-4, 3-3 MAC), Nov. 20 at UB Stadium.
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