football

Flashes crack in Glass Bowl

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Kent State couldn’t have asked for a better start to its game at Toledo
on Saturday. The Golden Flashes scored touchdowns on their first two possessions
for the first time this season and led by 14 at halftime, but crumbled in the
second half as the Rockets scored 27 unanswered points to win, 34-21.
Toledo hasn’t lost to Kent State at the Glass Bowl since 1977.
“Hats off to Toledo, they came out and played much better in the second
half than we did,” said Kent State head coach Doug Martin. “It’s
just unfortunate that we didn’t compete offensively in the second half
as we definitely had things going our way.”
Junior running back Jacquise Terry got the Flashes off to a fast
start with two first quarter touchdown runs. Terry rushed for 96 yards in the
first half, but ended the game with just 98 on 28 carries.
The Flashes responded to Toledo’s only touchdown of the first half with
another scoring drive, again capped by a Terry touchdown run.
Kent State’s three first half scoring drives covered 75, 80 and 41 yards
in 8, 12 and 4 plays respectively. In 11 other drives, the Golden Flashes managed
to get just one first down, and that came on their final drive of the contest.
Toledo’s coaching staff certainly made the right adjustments at halftime
as the Flashes didn’t gain yards on a drive until they started at their
own 26 with 5:13 left in the game, trailing by two scores.
“There was a lot of coaching going on at the half and that is what I'm
proud of,” said Toledo head coach Tim Beckman. “I thought
our coaches did a great job of getting our kids together and figuring out what
we were doing wrong and what we needed to improve on. I thought our players
met that challenge and came out in the second half and won a football game.”
The Rockets got some help from the Flashes, too.
After Toledo scored to cut Kent State’s lead to 21-14, the Flashes went
three-and-out then forced a Toledo punt. But, fifth-year senior Kirk Belgrave was flagged for a dead ball personal foul, which gave the Rockets a first down
at Kent State’s 22.
Toledo’s Adonis Thomas scored on the next play to tie the score
at 21 with 6:24 left in the third.
“It was huge,” Martin said of the penalty. “It was third
down, we’re off the field. (It’s a) lack of poise on our player’s
part.”
It was the mental errors that kept the Flashes from competing in the second
half.
“They can’t blame (the coaches) for stuff we did in the second
half,” said senior linebacker Cobrani Mixon. “We came
out game-plan executing in the first half and then we came out flat in the
second half. That’s not coaching. That’s the players.”
Despite the vote of confidence from his players, Martin knows the bottom line
is it’s the coaches always held responsible for what happens on the field.
“The bottom line is the coaches are the only ones held responsible and
that’s the way that will be,” Martin said. “The players can
say that all they want, that’s the way it is and coaches know that. We’ve
got to do a better job, find a way to help these guys play better because you
shouldn’t be able to come out here and have 250 yards of offense in the
first half and not get a first down the whole second half. Obviously there’s
a reason for that, a lot of mental errors and guys not playing up to their
capabilities.”
With Miami’s win at Central Michigan on Saturday, Kent State’s
loss effectively ended the already slim chance the Golden Flashes had of competing
for a Mid-American Conference East Division title. The Flashes return to action
next Saturday when they travel to Bowling Green.
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