Kent State runs over RedHawks, dashing MAC Championship hopes
The "Thunder and Lighting" running back duo of sophomore Trayion Durham and redshirt junior Dri Archer was too much for Miami University to handle as it fell to Kent State University 48-32.
The loss drops the RedHawks to 4-6 on the season and 3-3 in the Mid-American Conference (MAC). The 'Hawks are officially eliminated from MAC East contention and they must now win their final two games in order to become bowl-eligible.
"I would say they are pretty dynamic," junior linebacker Chris Wade said. "Anytime you have a 250-pound running back running at full speed it is going to be difficult to stop him. And a guy as fast as [Archer] is, it creates challenges for defenses because we have to be able to guard both."
The Flashes (9-1, 6-0 MAC) had a tremendous day on the ground, picking up 399 yards on the day; 301 of those came in the first half alone.
Trayion Durham, the thunder, was the team's leading rusher with 172 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. He even caught two catches for 26 yards.
"I felt like a train just going," Durham said. "Nothing could stop me."
Dri Archer, the lighting, carried the ball 11 times for 151 yards and two scores. He was also the team's leading receiver with two catches for 54 yards and one touchdown.
"Archer is just so dynamic that [when] you get him any crease that is all he needs," Head Coach Don Treadwell said. "That is what great backs do.... He is just so talented."
Even senior quarterback Spencer Keith, who entered the game with only 65 rushing yards, got in on the action for Kent, picking up 69 yards and a score on nine rushes. He completed 10 passes for 147 yards and one touchdown. He did throw two interceptions though.
Despite the loss, redshirt senior quarterback Zac Dysert had an impressive game, completing 37 passes on 50 attempts for 455 yards and four touchdown passes. He did have two interceptions that were the result of tipped passes.
"As everybody knows, he is the catalyst for the offense," Treadwell said of Dysert. "He really rallies those guys."
Dysert now ranks third all-time on the MAC career passing yards list and 27th on NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision list. With his game against Kent, Dysert passed notable names such as Carson Palmer and Peyton Manning.
"Doesn't really matter right now, it didn't pay off," Dysert said. "The better team won today, they made a lot more plays."
Senior Andy Cruse had arguably the best game among the wide outs, catching eight passes for a game high 123 yards and two scores.
"I can't say enough about Cruse," Dysert said. "I have so much confidence in him. I can just throw the ball up and I think he is going to come down with it every time."
Junior Nick Harwell caught a game high 10 passes for 122 yards and one touchdown. Sophomore Dawan Scott reeled in six balls for 70 yards and one score. Junior Luke Swift caught four balls for a career high 71 yards.
The running game was non-existent for the Red and White, as they could only muster up 26 net yards. Freshman running back Jamire Westbrook only ran the ball four times, but did pick up 26 yards. The 'Hawks would have picked up more yards on the ground, but Dysert was sacked five times, hurting the net total.
The Red and White gave up 28 straight points to the Golden Flashes to start the game and were never able to recover.
The RedHawks will now travel to Mount Pleasant, Mich. to take on Central Michigan University Chippewas in their final road game of the season.
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