Once again, with all the cancellations and postponements around the college football landscape, the Mid-American Conference football games are nights that we can cherish. On Tuesday night, the Akron Zips traveled down Route 59 for about ten miles to Dix Stadium, where they would play rival Kent State for ownership of the Wagon Wheel. The Wagon Wheel will stay in Kent for at least one more year, after they put on an offensive show versus the Zips.
The Wagon Wheel first became a staple of this rivalry in 1946, when the rivalry resumed after World War II. However, this was not the same football being played as it was in 1946. Kent State put on a offensive clinic en route to handily beating the Zips 69-35.
In the early stages of the game, it was a closely contested affair, as both teams traded touchdowns. On the third play of the game, Akron signal-caller Zach Gibson was intercepted by Kent State defensive back Elvis Hines, setting the flashes up in good field position. The ensuing Flashes drive resulted in a touchdown run by Kent running back Marquez Cooper. The drive took only five plays to reach the end zone. On top of that, the Flashes drive took only 1:18 off the clock, recording their fastest scoring drive of the year.
Akron got the ball back down by a score and found the end zone for themselves in a lucky way. Zach Gibson was closing in on the end zone when he was stripped by a Kent State defender. However, Xavior Gray, an offensive lineman for the Zips recovered the fumble in the end zone to knot the game at 7.
For the rest of the half, the two rivals traded touchdowns back and forth. With just under a minute left in the first half, Kent State quarterback, and NFL prospect, Dustin Crum led the Flashes on a 6-Play 58-yard drive, that ended with a Crum touchdown pass to receiver Ja’Shaun Poke. The entire drive lasted only 37 seconds, showcasing Kent State’s quick scoring ability. The Flashes led at half-time 35-28, in a game that was much closer than most expected. A stat-line that might grab your attention is that Dustin Crum was 17-17 for 300 yards and two touchdowns all in the first half.
When the two teams emerged from the locker room after half-time, it was clear that the Golden Flashes had received a much better pep talk in the locker room. The second half was all Golden Flashes, as they put up 34 second half points on the Zips. Just like that, the Wagon Wheel will stay in its comfortable confines at Kent State for another year.
Dustin Crum, QB, Kent State: 22-25 for 348 yards and three touchdowns. Carried the ball 13 times for 104 yards and two more touchdowns.
Zach Gibson, QB, Akron: 9-15 for 154 yards and one interception.
Teon Dollard, RB, Akron: Carried the Ball 28 times for 202 yards and four touchdowns.
Marquez Cooper, RB, Kent State: Carried the ball 14 times for 107 yards and three touchdowns.
Xavier Williams, RB, Kent State: Carried the ball 10 times for 97 yards and a touchdown
Isaiah McKoy, WR, Kent State: Caught six passes for 140 yards and a touchdown
Zayin West, DE, Kent State: Had two sacks and two tackles for loss
Kent State Offense: Perfect 11-11 on third downs, 360 yards passing, 390 yards rushing, 750 total yards
Next Up: Kent State will travel to Buffalo, which will likely be the toughest game on their schedule. The Zips continue to look for their first win of 2020, as they host Miami (OH) next week.
Other MAC Game
Buffalo 42 at Bowling Green 17: The Buffalo Bulls improved to 3-0 on the season after beating Bowling Green handily on the road. Jaret Patterson was the show tonight, as he carried the ball 31 times for 301 yards and four touchdowns. Patterson was playing the Falcons for the second time in his career. In those two games he totaled 599 yards rushing and ten touchdowns! Next week the Bulls will host another 3-0 team in Kent State. Bowling Green will look to get their first win of 2020 when they travel to Ohio University next week to take on Frank Solich and his Bobcats.
Wednesday’s MAC Games:
Northern Illinois (0-2) at Ball State (1-1)
Toledo (1-1) at Eastern Michigan (0-2)
Western Michigan (2-0) at Central Michigan (2-0) (ESPN2)
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