Updated Wed, Nov 20, 2013 2:18 pm
After falling in blowout fashion against two of the Mid-American Conference’s best teams, the Ohio Bobcats continued their downward spiral, as the Golden Flashes used a second half surge and a plethora of Bobcat miscues to run away from Ohio, winning, 44-13, on Tuesday night.
Ohio’s offense came out strong, marching down the field to score first on a 20-yard Josiah Yazdani field goal on its first possession. Tyler Tettleton appeared to have found a rhythm, passing for 84 yards in the first quarter after totaling just 93 yards through the air in the entire game against Bowling Green last week.
“We were rolling and going up-tempo,” Tettleton said. “I don’t know if we lost track of that tempo wise or if we weren’t executing the same way, but it wasn’t going well later.”
Ohio led, 13-10, with just over two minutes remaining in the second quarter, but a Bobcat three-and-out gave the Flashes a chance to score just before the half. With just 31 seconds remaining, Kent State quarterback Colin Reardon lobbed a pass into triple coverage in the end zone, but receiver Casey Pierce climbed the ladder to snag the touchdown pass. The Flashes took the 17-13 lead into halftime and never looked back.
Just as the safety call against Buffalo and Bowling Green’s early offensive brigade deflated the Bobcat attack, so did Kent State’s opening drive of the second half. The Bobcats were called for horse collar and pass interference penalties, keeping the Flashes’ drive alive. Running back Dri Archer ultimately capped the drive with a 5-yard touchdown, but the penalties were ultimately what plagued the Bobcats.
Archer capped his Kent State career with his best performance of the year, rushing for 138 yards and three touchdowns as well as catching five passes for 53 yards.
To add insult to injury, Kent State defensive lineman Nate Terhune made a play worthy of SportsCenter Top 10 attention, taking a fake punt 61 yards for a Flashes score while hurdling a Bobcat defender in the process.
“We got a three-and-out on that series and we all thought it would be a punt,” Ohio linebacker Ben Russell said. “We’re on the bench and look up and the noseguard is running for a touchdown.”
With the loss, Ohio extends its losing streak to three games, a streak similar to the November slide in the 2012 season. The Bobcats’ bowl chances seem slim at best and need a win to secure a winning record for the year.
The team seems to be on a free-fall, but a win over Massachusetts next week could salvage what many would consider a disappointing season and send one of Ohio’s winningest senior classes out on a high note.
“We’re a football team that’s spiraling down and we’re struggling to get out of it,” Ohio head coach Frank Solich said. “It's tough on everybody, but right now, it's a matter of ending at 7-5 and being a winning football team or ending at 6-6.”
"I think everybody's spirits are there and we want to finish this off right,” Tettleton said. “I'm not quitting, I'm not tanking it in. That's not in my DNA, and if it was I'd be at Miami."
The Bobcats return to Peden Stadium for their season finale against the Minutemen on Friday, Nov. 29, at 2 p.m.