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Dr. Saturday

Kent State clinches first-ever 10-win season and earn a MAC title game berth

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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Kent State hasn't had a lot to brag about on the gridiron.

It hasn't had a winning season since 2001 and has had just two winning seasons since 1977. It hasn't played in a bowl game since 1972.

But things are looking up — way up — for the Golden Flashes, who defeated Bowling Green 31-24 to claim the Mid-American Conference East Division championship and notch their first-ever trip to the MAC championship game.

And they did it in grand fashion.

After trading touchdowns with Bowling Green throughout the game, the Golden Flashes stopped the Falcons twice in their territory in the final five minutes, including a game-sealing interception in the end zone with no time remaining in the game.

The title is a bit a sweet justice after the Golden Flashes were the most-mocked team following a wrong-way punt return during the opening weekend. In their next game against Kentucky — the Golden Flashes' only loss of the year — they were once again the butt of the college football joke as two players ran into each other in the end zone to cause an ill-timed safety.

But Kent State pulled it together and blew out its opponents almost all year long. The Golden Flashes have never won 10 games in a season — the closest they came was nine wins in 1973 — and they still have a chance to win 11 against Ohio in the regular season finale and as many as 13 by the end of the year.

Running back Dri Archer has been outstanding this season. On Saturday, he became on the fifth FBS players this year with two 70-yard rushes in the same game.

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