The defense once again carried the day as Monmouth was only able to score a single late touchdown in an otherwise drab game. The defensive leaders of Nate Holley and Terence Waugh dominated their FCS opposition creating havoc in the backfield and cleaning up any potentially big plays by Monmouth. On the day, Holley unsurprisingly lead the team with 17 total tackles and Waugh contributed two sacks.
For once the defense wasn’t the whole story for Kent State as the offense put together a number of long clock eating drives that would result in scores. Mylik Mitchell was awarded his second straight start and while he didn’t excel throwing the ball, he contributed to Kent State gaining an impressive 235 yards on the ground.
Much of the day the offense could be seen in option type plays with Mitchell given the decision to keep it or hand the ball off to Justin Rankin, who would end the day with 71 total yards. When the Golden Flashes coaching staff did dial up a pass, Mitchell by in large took what the defense was giving him. He completed a number of bubble screens and short slant type routes, mainly to Nick Holley who had seven catches for 65 yards and a couple of touchdowns. Mitchell ended the day with 106 yards on 14 of 18 passing.
Unlike a week ago in the loss to North Carolina A&T, Kent State was able to get an early lead and then put Monmouth away with more long scoring drives. Kent State went comfortably into the half leading 13-0 after drives of six, eleven, and seven plays with the only negative being an inability to finish with touchdowns.
Kent State then all but closed the door on Monmouth midway through the third quarter as Mylik Mitchell engineered a long 15 play drive to open the second half, capped off by a Nike Holley touchdown catch.
Monmouth would add some late drama with a touchdown with just over five minutes to go after Zach Welch ran it in from two yards out to make it a 20-7 game. This late score wouldn’t matter however as Kent State would respond with a touchdown of their own. Mitchell would throw possibly the best pass of his college career as he hit Nick Holley on a post route from 28 yards out. The pass was one of the few times that Mitchell was able to open up in the passing game and show his arm strength.
The final drive, albeit against an FCS opponent will leave Kent State fans hopeful as they begin conference play in two weeks. First though they travels down to Alabama next week to take on the Crimson Tide at noon.