The Kent State Golden Flashes (1-3, 0-0 MAC) had Minnesota against the ropes late, but couldn't close last week. This week, the Golden Flashes jumped out to an early lead, and just couldn't keep Tony Pittman from running over the Kent State defense, as the Marshall Thundering Herd escape with the 36-29 victory.
In an affair that went into double overtime, the Flashes jumped out to a quick lead, thanks to a 47-yard Antwan Dixon touchdown run and a Trayion Durham touchdown run, leading the Herd 19-6 at the 9:05 point in the third quarter. Marshall answered that rally with a furious one of their own, scoring 15 points unanswered to take the 22-19 lead. Shane Hynes tied the game from 33 yards out with 4:55 left in regulation.
In overtime, Colin Reardon and Chase Litton exchanged touchdowns on each team's first possession, resulting in a sudden death scenario. Kent State had the opportunity to stop Marshall from scoring in the first possession, but couldn't stop Marshall on 4th and three. From there, Marshall's Pittman took over. Pittman ran for 34 yards on both possessions, highlighted by the game-winning 18 yard scamper. Kent State had the ball to end the game, but after two plays for minimum yardage, Reardon just couldn't connect with Ernest Calhoun, ending with two consecutive incompletions.
On the day, Colin Reardon finished 13-34 for 187 yards and two touchdowns, keeping his team in contention up to the final seconds. Trayion Durham took a trip to the way back machine and ran for 114 yards on 31 carries with a touchdown. Nick Holley, the primary back last week vs. Minnesota, did not see a single carry today. Raekwon James was economical with his touches, gaining 77 yards on only three catches, which led all Kent State receivers. Tight end Brice Fackler contributed with two carries, 18 yards, and a touchdown. Antwan Dixon had 80 total yards between rushes and receptions.
For Marshall, Chase Litton completed 14-36 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns, but also turned the ball over twice on interceptions to Jordan Italiano and Marcus Elliott. Tony Pittman was the primary go-to, taking 24 carries for 129 yards and two touchdowns. No other rusher ran for more than nine yards for the Thundering Herd. Ryan Yurachek led all Marshall receivers with four receptions and 58 yards, scoring a touchdown. Davonte Allen caught the first OT touchdown and also had three catches for 24 yards.
Kent State outperformed Marshall in every major category, including time of possession (34:21 to 25:39), first downs (20 to 17), turnovers (1 to 3, with the one being on downs), and total yards (434 to 277), but just couldn't keep Marshall from coming back, playing a sloppy game that at one point, resulted in an ejection for Najee Murray that eventually set up the touchdown that gave Marshall the lead.
Kent State will open up conference play against the Miami Redhawks at Dix Stadium on Saturday at 3:30 p.m., while Marshall opens C*USA play against the Old Dominion Monarchs at Joan C. Edwards Stadium Saturday at 3:30 p.m.