Kent State Suffers 40-10 Defeat At Northern Illinois
Golden Flashes welcome Miami at 3:30 pm next Saturday for Homecoming
DeKALB, Ill. — Kent State found the road unkind for a second straight week suffering a 40-10 loss in a Mid-American Conference match-up at Northern Illinois Saturday afternoon.
Two early turnovers proved costly for Kent State (1-5; 0-2 MAC) as Northern Illinois (3-3; 1-1 MAC) capitalized by jumping out to a 14-3 lead despite gaining just 45 yards of total offense. The Golden Flashes continued to put forth a valiant defensive performance, but were never able to get into a flow offensively as they drop their second MAC game on the road in as many weeks.
"We didn't execute as well as we can or should and I thought they played well," said Head Coach Darrell Hazell. "They put pressure on our outside and their guys on the inside pushed the pocket on us."
The Huskies' Naba Jefferson started things off when he interrupted Kent State's opening drive with a 25-yard interception return for a touchdown. Kent State answered two possessions later with a nine-play, 29-yard drive the was capped off by a 24-yard field goal from junior Freddy Cortez (Fort Meade, Fla.).
After forcing another Northern Illinois punt, the Golden Flashes were poised to move the ball down field trailing only 7-3 on their opening drive of the second quarter. An unfortunate fumble put the drive to an end and gave the Huskies the ball on the Kent State seven yard line. The ensuing touchdown would then place Kent State in a hole that it was unable to recover from.
"We shot ourselves in the foot early spotting them 14 points," said Hazell. "You can't turn the ball over in any football game especially against a good team."
The defense was led by a 12-tackle performance from junior linebacker Luke Batton (Macedonia, Ohio) while sophomore safety Luke Wollet (Poland, Ohio) accounted for the lone Kent State touchdown scoring on a 36-yard fumble return in the fourth quarter. For Wollet, the Sept. 24 MAC East Division Player of the Week, it was his second career defensive touchdown following a 12-yard interception return he had against Akron on Oct. 9, 2010.
Freshman quarterback Cedric McCloud (Jacksonville, Fla.) saw his first collegiate action under center for the Golden Flashes when he came on in relief in the first half. McCloud completed six passes for 63 yards. Fellow freshman Trayion Durham (Cincinnati, Ohio) led the team in rushing accounting for 39 yards on 15 carries.
Kent State returns to action next Saturday, Oct. 15 for a Homecoming game vs Miami at 3:30 p.m. For ticket information contact the Kent State Ticket office at 330-672-2244.
• Senior Justin Thompson has made a catch in five games this season
• Senior Matt Rinehart had his second punt of 65 yards or more in as many games.
• Junior Luke Batton led both sides with 12 tackles
• Junior Freddy Cortez made his 29th career field goal. It was his 26th make in 33 attempts.
• Sophomore safety Luke Wollet scored his second touchdown in as many seasons.
• Sophomore defensive tackle Roosevelt Nix had a pair of tackles for loss and forced a fumble. He leads the Flashes with eight tackles for loss.