Miami (Ohio), Kent State knock off undefeated teams

By Jesse Mayfield Sheehan

Miami (Ohio) freshman kicker Kaleb Patterson sent a 31-yard field goal through the uprights with one minute, 24 seconds to go to give the RedHawks a 23-20 upset victory over No. 23 Ohio on Saturday evening.

The Bobcats (7-1, 3-1 Mid-American Conference) made one last drive down the field, going 68 yards in eight plays and getting to the Miami 7-yard line with nine seconds left, but Miami junior defensive lineman Wes Williams sacked Ohio junior quarterback Tyler Tettleton as time expired to end the game.

The RedHawks (4-4, 3-1 MAC) took the lead early in the game, scoring 13 unanswered points in the first quarter off of two field goals from Patterson and a 54-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Zac Dysert to junior wide receiver Nick Harwell.

Ohio struck back late in the first quarter with a 5-yard run from junior running back Beau Blankenship to make the score 13-7. Miami scored early in the second quarter on a 1-yard run from freshman running back Jamire Westbrook, but those would be the last points the team would score until Patterson’s winning field goal.

The Bobcats cut into the RedHawks’ lead once again with a 3-yard touchdown run by Tettleton, and went into halftime trailing 20-14. Two field goals from senior kicker Matt Weller, one early in the third quarter and one with 4:41 remaining, tied the game at 20.

Kent State knocks off undefeated Rutgers

Kent State got its first win in program history over a nationally-ranked opponent by upsetting No. 15 Rutgers by a score of 35-23 on Saturday.

Prior to Saturday’s contest, in 90 years of football, the Golden Flashes (7-1, 4-0 MAC) were 0-22 against Top 25 teams.

Last week, Kent State became bowl eligible by defeating Western Michigan for its sixth win of the season. With this win, the team now has a more impressive bowl résumé.

The Golden Flashes’ defense forced seven turnovers throughout the game, including six interceptions off of Scarlet Knights sophomore quarterback Gary Nova. Two of those interceptions were made by junior defensive end Mark Fackler, one of which he returned 25 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter.

Even with all of the turnovers, Nova still threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns to help try to keep Rutgers (7-1, 4-0 Big East) in the game.

Kent State accumulated 224 rushing yards against a Scarlet Knights defense that had been ranked third in the nation against the run, led by sophomore running back Trayion Durham, who ran for a career-best 131 yards and a touchdown, and senior running back Dri Archer, who ran for 79 yards and a touchdown.

Golden Flashes’ senior quarterback Spencer Keith also made big contributions to the victory, throwing for 121 yards and two touchdowns.

Ball State becomes bowl eligible

Ball State got its sixth win of the season by defeating Army, 30-22, on Saturday and became bowl eligible for the second year in a row.

Cardinals senior kicker Steven Schott hit a 37-yard field goal with 4:52 left to play, putting Ball State up two scores at 30-20. The field goal was Schott’s 20th of the season, putting him at second for most field goals made in a single season in Ball State history.

The Cardinals (6-3, 3-2 MAC) struck fast, scoring on their first two drives of the game, with a 6-yard pass from junior quarterback Keith Wenning to junior wide receiver Jamill Smith on the first and a 2-yard run by sophomore running back Jahwan Edwards on the second.

But the Black Knights (1-7) stuck with them, and late in the second quarter, trailing 17-10, were driving into Ball State territory. However, Cardinals senior linebacker Travis Freeman forced Army junior fullback Hayden Tippett to fumble the ball at the Ball State 28-yard line, senior linebacker Kenneth Lee recovered it, and Ball State went into the half with a 7-point lead.

The teams exchanged field goals in the third quarter and exchanged touchdowns early in the fourth, including Cardinals freshman wide receiver KeVonn Mabon’s first career touchdown catch.

Schott’s field goal put Ball State up two scores, and then the Cardinals took a safety on the game’s final play for the last two Army points.

Jesse Mayfield-Sheehan can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @jgms88.