OBSERVATIONS: Did Kent State use an eight-man defense?

By Hal McCoy

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave while watching some so-called NFL officials try to steal a game from the Cleveland Browns with some incredibly inept spotting of the ball after running plays. Biased? Me? OK, sure I am.

—Kent State University’s football history isn’t something much discussed at alumni brunches. When I was sports editor of The Daily Kent Stater my junior and senior years, the Golden Flashes were 5-and-14.

Privately, in the inner sanctum of the newspaper office, as we drank coffee by the gallon to imitate real newspaper people, we called them the Golden Flushes. And we referred to KSU and Chaos U.

This year, though, Kent State looked legit with a high-powered offense. . .until Saturday when they ran into the University of Buffalo, a team with a guy who covers more real estate than Marco Polo.

Just one week after rushing for 301 yards and four touchdowns against Bowling Green, Buffalo tailback Jaret Patterson made those numbers seem like the work of a piker.

Both Buffalo and Kent State were 3-and-0 before Saturday’s game. Final score: Buffalo 70, Kent State 41. That’s football, not basketball.

Patterson? An incredible 409 yards rushing and eight rushing touchdowns. Eight!!! I checked the video twice to make certain Kent wasn’t using an eight-man defense.

Patterson’s 409 yards were just 18 yards short of the all-time NCAA record. The 427 rushing yards in one game is owned by former Oklahoma running back Samaje Perine.

Yes, that’s the same Samaje Perine (could there be another?) carrying the ball these days for the Cincinnati Bengals. Uh, well, he didn’t carry the ball Sunday during a 19-17 loss to the New York Giants, but he did catch one pass for two yards.

Patterson’s eight rushing touchdowns tied the NCAA record held by a University of Illinois running back. And, no, it wasn’t held by the famous Galloping Ghost, Red Grange. His best was five touchdowns.

The holder, now co-holder, is Howard “The Galloping Ghost II” Griffith. He scored eight in 1990 for Illinois against Southern Illinois in a 56-21 win. He scored every touchdown for the Illini. But he only rushed for 208 yards, about half Patterson’s total.

—QUOTE: From Red Grange, The Galloping Ghost from Illinois: “No one ever taught me and I can’t teach anyone. If you can’t explain it, how can you take credit for it?” (The amazing thing to me is that Grange ran wild on the football field without any kind of face mask and a thin leather helmet.)

—University of Florida quarterback Kyle Trask is a front-runner for the Heisman Trophy. With what he is doing one would think he was wildly recruited. One would think wrong.

Only Florida and a Division II school, Dallas Baptist, offered him a scholarship.

If Trask had played at Dallas Baptist in the Lone Star Conference, instead of throwing passes against Alabama, Georgia, Auburn and Tennessee, he’d be throwing them against Tarleton, Angelo State, West Texas A&M, Cameron, Midwestern, Eastern New Mexico and Western New Mexico.

Texas Woman’s University also is in the Lone Star Conference, but doesn’t yet have a football team. If it did, it might talk Sarah Fuller into transferring from Vanderbilt.

Fuller, a Vandy soccer player, made history Saturday by becoming the first female to participate in a Power Five football game.

She kicked off for the second half, that’s it. She would have attempted field goals and extra points but Vanderbilt is so bad there was not an opportunity. The Commodores lost to Missouri, 41-0.

—Speaking of Florida’s Trask, how could the University of Kentucky play at Florida Saturday with 18 players and five members of the staff missing due to Covid-19? Florida rolled, 34-10, as Trask hit 21 of 27 for 256 yards and three touchdowns.

How could Kentucky play, but Ohio State had to cancel its game at Illinois (a sure victory because neither Red Grange nor Howard Griffith is still there)?

If Ohio State has one more game canceled (Maryland, Illinois already) they won’t have enough games to qualify for the Big Ten title game. And that would mean no appearance in the National Playoffs. Can’t you just see Michigan canceling its game against Ohio State?

—Remember the name Michael Penix? He quarterbacks the Indiana Hoosiers. Two weeks ago he threw for 491 yards and two touchdowns against Ohio State in a 42-35 loss.

Well, this Saturday against Maryland, he was 5 for 19 for 84 yards and no touchdowns. What does that say about the Ohio State secondary, other than it is as leaky as a wet diaper.

Penix left with an ankle injury late in the third quarter Saturday, but the Hoosiers, using a ground attack, prevailed, 27-11.

—Have to wonder if the University of Dayton will ever play a basketball game this year. The pandemic wiped out Saturday’s exhibition game against Cedarville and Tuesday’s game against Alcorn State. Their next try is Saturday against SMU at UD Arena, pandemic-permitting.

Meanwhile, several Atlantic 10 teams have played two or three games. Richmond is 2-and-0, including their upset Sunday over No, 10 Kentucky. Saint Louis is 2-and-0, VCU and George Mason are 2-and-1. Rhode Island is 1-and-2.

—Personal Opinion: The Cleveland Browns win despite some shady officiating. That being said (a favorite phrase used every day by former Reds manager Bryan Price), why in the name of Jim Brown don’t the Browns run Nick Chubb inside the 10-yard-line? Instead, they have Baker Mayfield misfire some weak-kneed passes into the end zone.

—Opposing fans despise that song, “Go Cubs, Go,” that home fans sing as they exit Wrigley Field after a Chicago Cubs victory.

Amazingly, it was written by famous singer/composer Steve Goodman, who wrote and recorded the song, ‘The City of New Orleans.’

Who knew Goodman was a Cubs’ fan? And I used to really like ‘The City of New Orleans.’

—With the Stay-at-Home edict, here is what I am reading and enjoying:

(-)Tom Seaver: A Terrific Life, by my good friend and Hall of Fame writer Bill Madden.

(—)Spaceman Chronicles, by Scott Russell, an unusual and entertaining approach in describing the life of pitcher Bill Lee.

(-)Clemente, by David Maranis, a classic autobiography about baseball’s GOAT, Roberto Clemente.

(-)The Called Shot, by Thomas Wolf, a 308-page tome featuring the 1932 baseball season, surrounded by Babe Ruth’s famous called shot home run against the Chicago Cubs in the World Series (Did he or didn’t he?)

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