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November 19, 2008
A snowstorm and the Northern Illinois Huskies ruined Kent State's senior night Tuesday at Dix Stadium. The Huskies (6-5, 5-3) felt right at home in the snow in a 42-14 rout of the Golden Flashes.
Quarterback Chandler Harnish rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns, and threw for 173 yards and two more touchdowns to help the Huskies become bowl eligible.
"We played a good football team tonight and they out executed us," said Kent State head coach Doug Martin. "They took care of the football a lot better then we did. And offensively, we didn't play good enough to win the football game."
It was a disappointing end to the careers of Julian Edelman and the other 12 senior's at Dix Stadium.
NIU took the first drive of the game 63 yards in nine plays and it ended with Harnish hitting tight end Reed Cunningham for a two-yard touchdown pass.
The Flashes answered back with an impressive drive of their own only to see it end in a Eugene Jarvis fumble at the NIU 25.
The Huskies added another touchdown in the second quarter when Harnish ran it in from the three-yard line and NIU was up 14-0.
Kent State came back and scored on a fake field goal when Leneric Muldrow took it in for a five-yard score that cut the Huskies' lead to 14-7. It's the third time in Muldrow's career he's scored off a fake field goal.
The second half saw the Huskies dominate and out score the Golden Flashes 28-7.
The field conditions plagued Kent State as they fumbled four times and lost three of them.
In the second half with the snow coming down hard, it was difficult just to locate the yard line the teams were on, with the field completely covered in snow.
Edelman capped his home career by rushing for 108 yards on the ground, and passing for 126 yards.
"We just turned the rock over and unfortunately I have to go out in my career with a loss at my home stadium," he said. "They took care of the ball, executed like coach said. We just didn't do it."
"It was a very unique game," said Northern Illinois head coach Jerry Kill. "We played in very tough conditions. The advantage of being at DeKalb is that we practice just about everyday in conditions like this in spring ball because we don't have an indoor facility."
Kent State will conclude the 2008 season Friday, Nov. 28 at Buffalo with the kickoff scheduled for 2:00 p.m.
The Edelman Show: In a lost season at 3-8, there aren't enough good things to say about Julian Edelman. There are too many accolades to list for the 6-foot native of Redwood City, Calif. Playing his final game at Dix Stadium, Edelman didn't disappoint by rushing for 108 yards and passing for 126. Edelman runs the football, throws it, and started returning punts for the last two games.
"He's a great football player," Martin said. "You can see how upset he is. Nobody cares more than that guy right there. There's not a coach that we've played that hasn't told me that Julian Edelman is the best football player in the Mid-American Conference."
Scouts in the house: It was believed that scouts from the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars took in Tuesday night's snow bowl at Dix Stadium. Martin said, "(Augustus Parrish) and Julian will have the opportunity to play at the next level."
Certainly Northern Illinois' Larry English will have that chance as well. English leads all active NCAA FBS players in career sacks, sack yardage and tackle for loss yardage. With two sacks on Tuesday night, English broke the NIU career record for sacks.
It is believed Edelman could have a shot as a return man and slot receiver.
Burrell impressing: On Tuesday night senior linebacker Derek Burrell became the first Kent State player with back to back 100-tackle seasons since Roger Terry in 1996. Going into the game, Burrell ranked second in the MAC and 17th nationally at 9.6 tackles per game.
Tough Break: Cedrick Maxwell reinjured the same leg he hurt earlier in the season against Ball State.
Martin said, "You can't give any more than what Cedrick Maxwell gave. The guy was playing on a broken leg. He's a warrior."
Happy Husky: "Diesel", NIU's real live mascot, made the trip to Kent on Tuesday night and looked very pleased with the 42-14 victory. The Husky was unavailable for comment after the game.
Little Fan Fare: In an all out blizzard, with the team out of contention and struggling through a 3-8 season, its not surprising not many people bothered to show up Tuesday night. The announced crowd was 2,267-and must have included the snowman some creative fans put together in a seat in the home stands during the second half of the game.
If the cheerleaders, band, and media were all included, it looked like a few hundred people braved the elements.