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Kent State will break 40-year bowl drought after getting sixth win of the season

Frank Schwab
Dr. Saturday

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(US Presswire)

Kent State has been to two bowl games.

In 1954, it went to something called the Refrigerator Bowl (according to the Golden Flashes' media guide it was the "Evansville, Indiana, Jaycees/Junior Chamber of Commerce Refrigerator Bowl" but before you laugh, consider some of the names of the bowls today). The Golden Flashes lost 19-7 to Delaware.

In 1972 Kent State won the MAC and went back to a bowl game, the Tangerine Bowl. Those Golden Flashes - an interesting collection of talent that included tight end and current Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, defensive back and current Alabama coach Nick Saban and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Lambert, who were all coached by College Football Hall of Fame inductee Don James - lost 21-18 against Tampa. Tampa stopped playing football after the 1974 season.

That was the last time Kent State played in a bowl game, but that streak will end this year.

Kent State improved to 6-1 with a 41-24 victory over Western Michigan, becoming bowl eligible with its sixth win. The Golden Flashes trailed going into the fourth quarter but scored 24 unanswered points for the win.

Between Kent State's revival and Ohio appearing in the Top 25 for the first time since 1968, it has been an interesting season for the MAC. Kent State is 4-0 in the conference, one of four remaining undefeated teams in league play, and its focus is on winning the MAC - though going to a bowl game for the first time in 40 years will be pretty nice too:

"We don't talk a whole lot about (bowl eligibility) to be honest with you," coach Darrell Hazell told the team's web site. "We talk more about MAC championships because if you take care of that everything else takes care of itself. But there is a calmness in the locker room with these guys. There is a confidence and a calmness, and I think that has a lot to do with their preparation, their trusting each other and their really believing in each other."

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