Kent State vs. Ohio U. was a classic MAC battle

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The Kent State Golden Flashes and the Ohio University Bobcats opened their respective Mid-American Conference (MAC) seasons at Dix Stadium in Kent, Ohio in front of a crowd of 22,754.  Kent State is coming off of a disappointing 4-8 record during the 2013 season while the Bobcats are coming off of a 7-6 mark and a 5th consecutive bowl game appearance.

Both teams exchanged touchdowns in the 1st quarter with Ohio University opening the scoring on a 23 yard pass from Derrius Vick to Landon Smith to put the Bobcats up, 7-0 on a 5-play, 87 yard drive highlighted by a 58-yard pass from Vick to Brendan Cope.  The Golden Flashes responded with an 8-play, 75 yard drive, capped off by a touchdown pass from Colin Reardon to Josh Boyle to knot the score at 7-7.

In the 2nd quarter, Vick and Smith connected again, this time on a 5 yard touchdown pass off of a slant pattern to put the Bobcats up 14-7.  The drive was highlighted by a 38 yard strike from Vick to Daz Patterson, putting the ball on the 8 yard line when Vick rifled the pass into tight coverage for the touchdown.

The 1st half and the 3rd quarter ended with the score 14-7 in favor of the Bobcats.

 

Kent State knotted the score at 14-14 with a 25-yard pass from Reardon to Colin Humphrey coming off of an 11 play, 78 yard drive with 3:38 left in the 4th quarter, after Ohio University was dogged by 4 2nd half fumbles, 3 of which were deep in Kent State territory by 3 separate Bobcats running backs.

The Bobcats drove the ball down to the Kent State 33 yard line where Bobcats head coach Frank Solich opted to let the clock run down to 3 seconds to allow his field goal kicker, Josiah Yazdani, a former walk-on placekicker who converted 14 of 15 field goal attempts, last season and 3 of 4 attempts from 40 to 49 yards out.

Yazdani converted the field goal attempt and the Bobcats escaped with a narrow 17-14 victory.

Vick was very effective in running the Bobcats offense after taking over the quarterback position from the long-time signal caller, the graduated Tyler Tettleton.  Vick completed 18 of his 24 pass attempts for 262 yards, two touchdowns and a stellar pass efficiency rating of 194.2.  Vick also ran the ball 8 times for 35 yards.

Leading the ground attack for the Bobcats was Daz Patterson with 62 yards on 17 carries; however, he also fumbled the ball, twice, thus negating some solid offensive drives.  Overall, the Bobcats rushed 44 times for 175 rushing yards, a 4.0 average yards per carry, although the 4 fumbles are a cause for concern for Solich, going forward.

The Golden Flashes were also able to move the ball through the air, with Reardon completing 30 of 41 attempts for 264 yards and 2 touchdowns.  However, their ground game was stifled by the Bobcats defense, with only 31 yards on 22 rushing attempts, due primarily to the efforts of the stout Bobcats rushing defense.

The victory puts the Bobcats at 1-0 and the Golden Flashes at 0-1 to start the season.  The Bobcats travel next to Lexington, KY to take on the Kentucky Wildcats and the Golden Flashes host the South Alabama Jaguars of the Sun Belt Athletic Conference.

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