The 2019 Frisco Bowl was a matchup between the Utah State Aggies vs the Kent State Golden Flashes. The Aggies went 7-5 on the season and finished third in the Mountain division of the Mountain West Conference. The Flashes came into this contest having gone 6-6 on the season and finished third in the East division of the Mid-American Conference.
Aggie Quarterback Jordan Love used his arm and legs to move the football down the field on the games opening drive. In addition to his 20 yards on the ground, he completed all four of his passes for 41 yards. Running Back Gerold Bright capped off the 10 play 75-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown run putting the Aggies up 7-0 with about 12 minutes left in the first quarter.
The Flashes wasted little time answering the Aggies. On 3rd and 7, Quarterback Dustin Crum found sophomore Wide Receiver Isaiah McKoy for a 78-yard touchdown that pulled the teams even at 7-7.
After a three and out for the Aggies the Flashes continued their fast start. Crum used his legs effectively gaining 42 yards on five carries. Sophomore Running Back Xavier Williams finished off the drive scoring from two yards out giving the Flashes a 14-7 lead. Just three plays later Linebacker Mandela Lawrence-Burke intercepted Love’s pass at the 43-yard line setting up excellent field position for Kent State. Luckily for the Aggies, their defense held the Flashes to a field goal as the lead increased to 17-7. The Aggies used a twenty-yard pass from Love, an unnecessary roughness penalty and the legs of Bright to set up a field goal that put an end to a wild first quarter as the Flashes led 17-10.
The Flashes ran four minutes off the clock to start the second quarter. Unfortunately, the drive would stall after a failed fourth-down attempt and the Aggies took over at their own 32. Love methodically moved the ball down the field completing four of five passes for 56 yards and capped off the drive with a 25-yard touchdown to Senior Wide Receiver Siaosi Mariner that tied the game at 17.
After a three and out the Flashes recovered a botched punt at the Utah State eight-yard line setting up a first and goal. The Aggies defense held serve and didn’t let the Flashes in the end zone, forcing a field goal as the Flashes took the lead 20-17. Another field goal for Kent State ended the first half scoring as the Flashes led 23-17 at halftime.
The third quarter of play began with the Flashes moving the ball all the way down to the red zone. On third down from the nine, Crum was sacked for a three-yard loss by Nick Heninger and the Flashes settled for a 29-yard field goal to go up 26-17. The Aggies would go on a 13 play 75-yard drive as Love completed all seven of his passes including a 17-yard touchdown pass to Devin Thompkins which pulled the Aggies within two at 26-24. The Flashes were marching down the field until backup quarterback Woody Barrett fumbled at the 28-yard line. Love would complete all four of his passes on a 44-yard drive that ended in a field goal and capped off the third quarter scoring as the Aggies took a 27-26 lead into the fourth quarter.
After a Utah State punt with 14 minutes left in the game, Kent state wasted little time regaining the momentum. Crum would find Senior Wide Receiver Antwan Dixon for 53 yards to set up a first and goal from the four-yard line. Will Matthews would score on the very next play and the Flashes also added a two-point conversion and took a 34-27 lead.
Having had the momentum taken from them, the Aggies looked to quickly draw even, and it didn’t take long to do so. Receiver Devin Thompkins would reach the end zone for the second time on a 57-yard run to finish off a quick three-play 58 yard drive as the two teams stood even at 34-34. The next drive saw Crum continue his stellar all-around performance moving the chains with his arm and legs and capped off an eight-play 64-yard drive by throwing his second touchdown pass, this one to Antwan Dixon as the Flashes regained the lead 41-34.
The Aggie’s next possession ended almost as fast as it started when Gerold Bright fumbled on the second play at the 44-yard line setting up the Flashes with excellent field position. Even though their defense was left to defend a short field the Aggies forced a 37-yard field goal by Matthew Trickett and the Flashes went up by two scores 44-34.
With about five minutes left in the game, Jordan Love would quickly march the Aggies down the field in under two minutes as he completed six of his eight passes including an 11-yard touchdown to Siaosi Mariner to pull the Aggies within three at 44-41. On the very next play, however, Jamal Parker sealed the fate of the Aggies by returning a short kickoff 46 yards down to the 13. Crum would then finish off a wild fourth quarter in which both teams combined for 39 points with a four-yard touchdown run as Kent State would defeat Utah State 51-41 in a back and forth Frisco Bowl shootout. This was the first bowl win in school history for Kent State.
Jordan Love was sensational for the Aggies in his final game before entering the NFL Draft. He completed 30 of his 39 passes for 317 yards and three touchdowns. He also set school records for completions in a season with 293 and career offensive yards. However, Dustin Crum stole the show with 436 all-purpose yards (289 passing, 147 rushing) and three total touchdowns as he won Offensive MVP honors.
The Aggies and Golden Flashes put on a show for the fans in Frisco, Texas as the two teams combined for 1,056 yards of offense and 92 points, both Frisco Bowl records. One thing is for sure, the future versions of this bowl will have a lot to live up to after this 2019 classic.