What a difference two weeks make. Two weeks after losing 45-3 to an Illinois team that is set for another season of mediocrity, Kent State came to TCF Bank stadium with an upset on their minds. Kent's defense played the best they have in years, but it wasn't enough in the 10-7 loss Saturday afternoon.
For a game in which Minnesota was favored by over 20 points, Haynes and this Golden Flashes Defense came out with some intensity no one had seen from them this season. With Nick Holley running the ball consistently, and the defense limiting this Golden Gopher offense. The defense forced two turnovers, both when the Gophers seemed to get the momentum going. Mitch Leidner had a first-half case of the Monday's.
On the opening drive, the Flashes took a chance early on which could have doomed them way too early on- going for it on 4th and short. Luckily for them they made it, but an eventual chop-block penalty killed the drive.
Penalties were the theme of the first half for the Flashes offense.
Holley finished the game with 17 carries for 58 yards, but it felt like so much more. The offense began and ended with his legs, and in the case of today, that wasn't good enough against this Power 5 opponent.
Minnesota's offense struggled just as much as the Flashes' in the first half, and until the last part of the first half, the Flashes defense being called by Defensive Coordinator Brian George was near flawless in shutting down the Gopher attack.
On the Gophers' second drive, disaster nearly occurred in favor of the Flashes. Carrying the ball near the sidelines, (insert name) was stripped near the sideline, and the ball was recovered by the Golden Flashes. Replay was showed, and it was ruled that the ballcarrier had stepped out of bounds with one foot before the ball was ripped loose.
Leading the drive for the Gophers were led by Mitch Leidner. Leidner drove the Gophers down the field with both his arm and his legs. The drive was capped off by a 14 yard touchdown run by K.J. Maye on a play that had the defense confused from the initial motion.
Coming out of the half, DeMetrius Monday had already solidified himself as the player of the game, but he took it upon himself to put the Flashes on the scoreboard. He just didn't know he would be the only one scoring today.
Monday ripped the ball out of the hands of WR Rashad Still, and had the awareness to pick up his knee off the ground before picking up the ball. The rest is history. Monday took it 80 yards for a touchdown in what would be the last score of the game.
While usually Punter Anthony Melchiori is as reliable as they come in the kicking game, He definitely had his ups and downs today. After several good punts, including one that was 58 yards, this 2 yard beauty came to us. #MACtion.
While in their previous 6 games when playing teams in the Big Ten, the Flashes had been held to 6 total points (including the game earlier this season) 7 points were not enough, as the touchdown given up right before halftime would loom large. This Golden Flashes team has a lot of positives to take on going forward, but the offense needs to find some momentum before conference play begins.