The Eastern Michigan University football team’s struggles so far this season continued Oct. 6 as the Kent State Golden Flashes defeated the Eagles 41-14 during Homecoming weekend. The Golden Flashes exposed the Eagles on offense, defense and special teams for the blowout victory.
Kent State runs their record to 4-1 (3-0 MAC), while EMU remains winless at 0-5 (0-2 MAC).
The Eagles struggled throughout the game on offense, especially in the first half. Through the first five drives, EMU was only able to muster ten yards of total offense and failed to gain a first down. The Eagles only gained seven first downs throughout the game.
“We’re not blocking well,” EMU coach Ron English said. “Today and all season long. We are allowing too much penetration and not allowing ourselves to get in a rhythm.”
The first quarter yielded a Freddy Cotez 42-yard field goal to give the Golden Flashes a 3-0 lead. The end of the first quarter saw EMU quarterback Tyler Benz’s pass get deflected in the air and intercepted by KSU safety Calvin Tiggle, giving the Golden Flashes a first down at the EMU 29 yard line, where they ended the first quarter.
EMU had two chances to stall the Golden Flashes in the red zone to start the second quarter. On fourth down and two to go, EMU gave up a three yard pass to make it first and goal for KSU.
Two plays later, the Golden Flashes had a third down and goal from the five-yard line and the pass from Spencer Keith was incomplete. However, a defensive holding penalty on the play gave KSU a first down at the EMU 3, where Keith then found Dri Archer for the touchdown to give the Golden Flashes a 10-0 lead. Two drives later,
EMU found a spark on offense, as running back Bronson Hill took the carry on the first play and ran the ball 68 yards for a touchdown.
Special teams then began to hurt the Eagles as the ensuing kickoff was returned by Archer to the KSU 47 yard line. The offense then drove the ball 53 yards and was capped off by a Trayion Archer three-yard touchdown run to give the Golden Flashes the ten point lead again. The score stood until halftime.
The second half began with more troubles on special teams for the Eagles.
Archer returned the opening kickoff of the second half 98 yards to give the Golden Flashes a 24-7 lead. EMU’s first drive was yet another three and out. The defense did hold KSU to a three and out of their own, but a fourth and inches allowed a fake punt by punter Anthony Melchiori to run for 42 yards down to the EMU 29. Keith found John Doyle for 27 yards down to the Eagles two, where Durham punched it in again for a score to give KSU a commanding 31-7 lead.
“The defense was on the field way too much,” English said. “We are giving them way too short of a field as well.”
The Eagles began to drive for the first time all game on their next possession, with two long completions by Benz to the EMU 48. But the drive stalled and Benz threw an interception to middle linebacker Luke Batton. A Pudge Cotton interception on KSU’s drive gave the ball back to EMU at the KSU 38, but a personal foul on tight end Garrett Hoskins pushed the Eagles back to the KSU 46, and the Eagles were forced to punt.
KSU outscored EMU the rest of the game for the 41-14 final score.
“I am not going to make excuses, but we are a very young team, and we are very inconsistent,” English said.
The Eagles host the Toledo Rockets at Rynearson Stadium at 1 p.m.