This was one of those games where both teams had to win.
Eastern Michigan (6-6, 3-5 MAC) had to win in order to cement a trip to a bowl game. Kent State (6-6, 5-3 MAC) had to win in order to even be considered.
In the end, it came down to who wanted it more. With Kent State’s Keith Sherald intercepting the ball with 44 seconds to go left in the game, the Golden Flashes made it apparent they wanted it more.
Eastern Michigan started the scoring by capping off a drive with a Shaq Vann 30 yard run at 12:19. Kent State followed that immediately with the finishing touch in the form of a Xavier Williams run for 8 yards.
Kent State would take the lead with 3:50 left in the first quarter after a three yard run by quarterback Dustin Crum. It would take most of the quarter for Eastern Michigan to tie the game after an 18 yard pass from Mike Glass III to Quian Williams. Kent State would go ahead after a field goal and another Dustin Crum rushing touchdown.
Kent State would get the dagger strike after Jamal Parker would return the second half opening kickoff for 96 yards and a touchdown to make the score 31-14 at that point. Eastern Michigan would knock the lead to 11 points after Mike Glass III connected with Line Latu. The ensuing extra point was blocked however.
Eastern Michigan would come within five points, after Bryson Cannon would catch the six yard strike from Mike Glass III. Kent State would kick the field goal with 1:27 left in the game to make it eight points again. Eastern Michigan’s hopes would end with the interception mentioned above.
Mike Glass III would have a pretty game by throwing 29 of 37 for 386 yards. The two interceptions that he threw would prove costly though. On a day when Shaq Vann should have run roughshod, he only got 73 yards on the ground. The two leading receiving targers were Arthur Jackson III with 129 yards and Line Latu with 108 yards.
Kent State quarterback Dustin Crum would finish the game by completing 17 of 23 passes for 197 yards. He didn’t thrown any to the Eastern Michigan defense though. Xavier Williams would run for 79 yards and his partner Will Matthews would run for 74 yards to contribute to 253 yards on the ground for Kent State. Kent State receiver Isaih McKoy would get 83 yards and his partner would get 79 yards.
In a game where I thought Eastern Michigan would run away, Kent State stepped up big. Now it is the waiting game for both teams as they find out if they are going to play in the postseason.