Kent State outlasted Utah State 51-41 in a shootout on Friday night to emerge victorious in the Frisco Bowl. It’s the first bowl win in the history of Kent State’s football program, though it was also only the fourth time the Golden Flashes had ever appeared in a bowl game.
While the storylines heading into the game were focused on Utah State quarterback Jordan Love, who was playing his last game for the Aggies before heading off to the NFL, it was Kent State QB Dustin Crum who stole the show. Crum finished the game with 289 yards passing and two touchdowns, but it was impressive what he did with his legs as well. Crum rushed for 147 yards and a touchdown, routinely extending drives on the ground. His lone touchdown run came in the final minutes and served as the final nail in Utah State’s coffin.
It should be mentioned, however, that just because Crum was the star, that doesn’t mean Love didn’t play well. The junior threw for 317 yards, three touchdown and an interception — which wasn’t necessarily his fault. It was more a fumble that popped out of the arms of his receiver and into the waiting arms of Mandela Lawrence-Burke. As good as Love played, it wasn’t enough. Utah State turned the ball over three times, and the nine points the Flashes got out of those turnovers loomed large in a 10-point game.
As for this being Kent State’s bowl win, it shouldn’t surprise anybody that it was Utah State on the losing end. Akron beat Utah State in the 2015 Potato Bowl, which was Akron’s first — and only — bowl win in program history. Then, in 2017, Utah State lost to New Mexico State in the Arizona Bowl. That was the first time New Mexico State had won a bowl in 57 years. The Aggies are actually quite charitable to long-suffering programs during bowl season.