By: Dan Lukas
The Golden Flashes began their 2017 campaign with a very difficult game against the reigning champs, the Clemson Tigers. From the start the Tigers took complete control of the game and were able to run away with it for a 56-3 victory. This was obviously going to be a difficult game for the Golden Flashes, not just because of the matchup, but being without Head Coach Paul Haynes, who is currently on a medical leave.
The Tigers scored on their first drive of the game, courtesy of a C.J. Fuller 26-yard run, and never looked back. The Tigers then scored on their next two drives, to open up a 21-point lead in the 1st Quarter.
Kent State was then able to muster up its best drive of the day behind the strong running of quarterback Nick Holley and running back Myles Washington. Kent State was able to get the ball down to the Clemson 20-yard line, before having to settle for a field goal, their only points of the game.
After the field goal the Kent State defense was able to slow down Clemson on their next two drives, first forcing a punt, then getting an interception in the red zone courtesy of senior safety Quan Robinson Jr. Unfortunately, the strong defense didn’t last long as Clemson was able to score again on their next drive and take a 28-3 lead into the half.
The second half was not kind to the Golden Flashes as Clemson really began to assert its dominance on both sides of the ball. The Clemson defense forced punts on all six drives for the Golden Flashes in the second half and expanded their lead to 56-3, getting touchdowns from seven different Tiger players.
Kent State was greatly overmatched in this game and the score and the stats reflect it. Kent State was only able to accumulate 120 yards of total offense and only 1 yard through the air. Kent State ran with ten different players but none of them were able to find any success. Quarterback Nick Holley led the way rushing with 53 yards on ten carries.
Kent State will look to bounce back next Saturday in their home opener against the Howard University Bison.
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