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Kent State Golden Flashes vs. Virginia Cavaliers Final: Virginia Punishes Kent State 45-13

Kent State blows early lead after a fourth quarter meltdown to suffer its fourth loss this season.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Kent State (0-4, 0-1 Mid-American Conference) grabbed an early lead against the Virginia Cavaliers (3-2, 1-0 A) but fell apart in the second half to suffer a 45-13 thrashing in Charlottesville. The Golden Flashes gained only 72 yards in rushing for the entire game, leaving it without a win this season.

With 8:50 left in the first quarter, the Golden Flashes grabbed a 7-0 lead on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Colin Reardon to sophomore wide receiver James Brooks.The throw came on 3rd-and-12 with Reardon finding Brooks downfield. But Virginia quickly responded with a 69-yard run by the Cavaliers’ cornerback Maurice Canaday to tie the game.

Kent State took advantage of a couple of penalties to place Anthony Melchiori in good position to kick a 31-yard field goal by Anthony Melchiori to put the Flashes ahead 10-7. It was the last time the Golden Flashes would lead in the game.

In the second quarter the Cavaliers answered the KSU field goal by marching 83 yards in just seven plays and taking the lead on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Matt Johns to running back Khalek Shepherd, putting the Cavaliers ahead 14-10 at half time.

Turnovers plagued Kent State in the third quarter. With 7:06 left in the third quarter, Kevin Parks ran for 4 yards to increase Virginia’s lead 24-10. In less than 5 minutes, Virginia Quarterback Johns ran for a one yard touchdown to extends Virginia’s lead 31-10. The hapless Golden Flashes allowed itself 5 turnovers in the second half. With 8:59 left, KSU quarterback Collin Reardon fumbled for the second time deep in Kent State territory. The Cavaliers recovered at the 19 and scored five plays later. Kent State’s final score came on a 43-yard field goal by Melchiori.

Although the Golden Flashes nearly matched the Cavaliers in Passing, 266-246, Virginia’s dominated rushing with 254 yards compared to Kent State’s 72 yards.

Turnovers, both legitimate and questionable, are the reason Kent State has found itself trailing 24-10 after a 5-yard touchdown run by Kevin This one is starting to get away from Kent State. Virginia has tacked on a 1-yard touchdown run by Johns. After Kent State’s initial lead, Virginia scored 38 points unanswered by the Golden Flashes.

Next week, Kent State faces MAC rival Northern Illinois (3-1, 0-0 MAC). The Huskies suffered a 52-14 loss today against Arkansas. Kent State lost its last two face offs against the Huskies.