2008 Kent State Golden Flashes Football Preview
Kent State Golden Flashes - Mid-Amercian Conference
Kent State's 2007 Record: (3-9, 1-7)
2007 Bowl: none
Kent State Head Coach: Doug Martin (15-25 at Kent State, 15-25 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: A.J. Pratt
Defensive Coordinator: Pete Rekstis
Returning Leaders for Kent State:
Other Key Returnees: DE Darrius Carter, WR Phil Garner, DT Aaron Hull, LB Cedrick Maxwell, LB Stevon Moss, WR Leneric Muldrow, CB Rico Murray, OT Augustus Parrish, C Josh Perry, OT Pat Reedy
Key Losses: G Shawn Donaldson, DT Collin Ferrell, S Fritz Jacques, G Joe Marafine, TE Tom Sitko, WR Rashad Tukes, CB Jack Williams
Injuries derailed what was a good start for Kent State during the 2007 campaign. All three wins came in the first five games and against a couple decent teams in Iowa State and Ohio. And both of those were on the road. The Golden Flashes have the potential to compete for a MAC championship…if they can stay healthy.
Kent State's 2008 Strengths:
The offense starts with Eugene Jarvis. The 5-5 running back rushed for 1,669 yards and 10 touchdowns as a sophomore and could explode onto the national scene with another big year. Jarvis was also the top receiver on the team last year with 306 yards. It is not a good thing that he led the team, but it is a good thing that he can do a little more than just run. The defense gave up points in bunches, but they were not as bad as the 29.2 points per game would indicate. The offense put them in bad positions thanks to a multitude of turnovers. Kent State hopes to get more pressure into the backfield this season and having end Kevin Hogan is a good place to start. Returning three senior linebackers will allow the coaching staff to use more complex blitzing schemes involving Derek Burrell, Cedrick Maxwell and Stevon Moss.
Kent State's 2008 Weaknesses:
But will the blitzing and the new bump-and-run coverage help the secondary that has to replace a couple starters? The Flashes believe the young group will be much more successful being more aggressive, but it will not do much good if the front four cannot get some pressure on the quarterback. Speaking of quarterbacks, the Kent State passing game was horrible in 2007, connecting for just 166 yards per game. Julian Edelman missed part of the season last year and that was when the season pretty much ended for the Flashes. Edelman is not much of a passer, and he certainly does not have the targets needed to make the passing game much better, but he does provide a nice running attack to compliment Jarvis.
The Bottom Line for the Golden Flashes:
However, quarterbacks are not just there to run. The offense can be very predictable without the threat of a pass. New offensive coordinator A.J. Pratt will try and shake things up a little bit, but shaking will not make Edelman a better passer or Phil Garner a more dangerous receiver.
2007 Team Stats for Kent State:
Rushing Offense: 200.25 (22 nd in nation, 2 nd in conference)
Passing Offense: 166.42 (111, 13)
Total Offense: 366.67 (82, 7)
Scoring Offense: 21.58 (94, 9)
Rushing Defense: 157.25 (61, 2)
Pass Defense: 228.33 (60, 10)
Total Defense: 385.58 (61, 3)
Scoring Defense: 29.17 (75, 6)
Turnover Margin: -.92 (110, 12)
Sacks: 1.92 (68, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 3.17 (108, 12)
By Joel Welser
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