Dri Archer’s outstanding day (242 yards rushing, two touchdowns) set the pace for Kent State, which downed Bowling Green 31-24 to win the MAC East. The Golden Flashes will meet Northern Illinois for the MAC championship on Friday, Nov. 30 in Detroit.
Kent State extended its impressive win streak to nine games. The only runs longer: Oregon, Kansas State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and the same NIU team KSU will face in the MAC championship game. The Golden Flashes will face a test to their streak in the regular season finale next Friday vs. Ohio. However, if the KSU offense can have the dominant showing that paced it against Bowling Green next week, this team should move into the postseason 11-1.
A 40-year bowl drought comes to an end for Kent State, but with each win since earn postseason eligibility, this bunch sets the precedent for program greatness. Not since Nick Saban suited up for the Golden Flashes has Kent State reached such heights.
Archer continued his incredible season, getting the ball rolling with a 79-yard touchdown rush in the first quarter. The Golden Flashes dashed ahead 10-0 on his gallop, but hardly put away a very good Falcon team likely head to its own bowl game.
Bowling Green responded with 17 straight points, courtesy of Matt Schilz touchdown passes of 27 and 72 yards. After Golden Flash quarterback Spencer Keith connected with Eric Adeyemi to tie it at 17 in the third quarter, Bowling Green reentered a place no Kent State opponent wants to go:
The Danger Zone.
Indeed, Archer took the Falcon defense to the danger zone, breaking off a touchdown rush of 74 yards to give KSU the lead — albeit fleetingly. Schilz responded with an 81-yard scoring pass on the very next play from scrimmage.
This contest for the East division lived up to the very definition of #MACtion. Seriously, look it up in the football dictionary. You’ll see this game.
Each team gave its opponent all it could handle, but Keith’s touchdown rush midway through the final stanza proved the difference maker. The onus fell on the Golden Flash defense from there, and it responded. Twice, Bowling Green broke into the Kent State red zone. Twice, the Golden Flashes denied the Falcons on fourth down.
The gutsy, game-saving effort was indicative of Kent State’s entire season. A program that has consistently struggled is MAC East champion, ranked in the top 25, and making history.