2011 Kent State Preview – Offense
Kent State WR Tyshon Goode
CollegeFootballNews.com 2011 Preview - Kent State Golden Flash Offense
Kent State Golden Flashes
Preview 2011 - Offense
- 2011 Kent State Preview |
Kent State Offense
2011 Kent State Defense |
Kent State Depth Chart
What You Need To Know: The running game was supposed to be night-and-day better last year with a change around in philosophies, but instead things were worse with little consistency on the ground and not enough big plays for the passing game. The new coaching staff will be looking for a little bit of balance and more of a quick tempo for the attack. The experience is there with 11 players with appreciable starting time returning led by the 1-2 receiving tandem of Tyshon Goode and Sam Kirkland as good as any in the conference. Jacquise Terry and Dri Archer are ultra-quick backs working behind a big, veteran line that should be more consistent. The big key to improving the nation's 102nd ranked offense will be the play of QB Spencer Keith, who's in his third year as the starter and needs to start being more of a playmaker.
Star of the offense: Junior WR Tyshon Goode
Passing: Spencer Keith
215-364, 2,212 yds, 8 TD, 11 INT
Rushing: Jacquise Terry
151 carries, 542 yds, 7 TD
Receiving: Tyshon Goode
59 catches, 743 yds, 5 TD
Player who has to step up and be a star: Junior QB Spencer Keith
Unsung star on the rise: Junior WR Eric Adeyemi
Best pro prospect: Goode
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Goode, 2) WR Sam Kirkland, 3) OT Brian Winters
Strength of the offense: Starting WRs, Experience
Weakness of the offense: Proven Run Blocking, Big Plays
State of the Unit: The passing game couldn't seem to find its groove, even though the call came out to start pushing the ball deep and to get more big plays. The Golden Flashes finished 102nd in the nation in passing efficiency and only finished with 11 touchdown passes with 14 interceptions, and while it's not going to be anything special this season, the goal will be to start doing more on third downs and get more consistent production.
Junior Spencer Keith took over the starting job early on and ended up completing 59% of his throws for 2,212 yards and eight touchdowns with 11 interceptions. The 6-3, 215-pounder has the size and a little bit of mobility, running for three scores, and has the arm and the upside to start doing more as long as he gets decent protection. Proving to be durable after suffering a separated shoulder two years ago, he's bigger, stronger, and experienced.
6-2, 234-pound redshirt freshman Cedric McCloud is taking over the No. 2 job with the size and the upside to push hard for playing time. With great bulk and a tremendous arm, he can push the ball down the field without a problem, and he can run a bit, too. He'll battle with longtime backup Giorgio Morgan, a 6-4, 207-pound fifth-year senior who has the raw skills, but has never been able to stay healthy. He saw a little time last season completing 11-of-19 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions.
Watch Out For … McCloud. Arguably the team's most talented quarterback, he's a bomber who could be the type of player the offense revolves around if, and it's a big if, Keith doesn't progress.
Strength: Size. The Golden Flash quarterbacks at least look the part. Keith, McCloud, and Morgan all have the size needed to be pro-style passers. They can all move a little bit, too.
Weakness: Passing efficiency. This has been an issue for the last few years without enough clutch plays and not enough third down completions. All the quarterbacks have to do is keep the mistakes to a minimum and move the chains, and they haven't proven they can do that.
Outlook: The offense put more of an emphasis on the ground game last year, and that's going to change now with more downfield passing and more of a balance. Keith has been around long enough to know what he's been doing, and there are several nice options to work into the mix to get more production from one of the nation's most inefficient attacks.
Unit Rating: 5
State of the Unit: The emphasis was supposed to be on the ground game last year, but the commitment to pounding the ball averaging just 114 yards per game. The team ran for just 1,363 yards on the year and seven scores, and never ran for more than 185 yards. The ground game failed time and again to take control of games, and the entire offense suffered.
Senior Jacquise Terry started off the season relatively well, running for 86 yards and two score against Miami University and 94 yards against Bowling Green, but he struggled over the final month and went from carrying the ball 20+ times a game to running just 27 times over the final five games. The ultra-quick 6-0, 192-pounder led the team with 542 yards and seven touchdowns averaging 3.6 yards per carry, and he finished third on the team with 23 catches for 285 yards and two scores. Extremely smart, he's an Academic All-American off the field, and a lightning fast speedster on it. Now he has to prove he can hold up for a full season and be effective through November.
5-7, 162-pound junior Dri Archer is a very small, very quick runner who has the ability to dart in and out of spaces in a heartbeat. He didn't get too much work last year as a runner, coming up with just 140 yards and a touchdown, but he finished fourth on the team with 16 catches for 75 yards and a score. With his wheels he needs to start breaking off more big plays.
On the way is Trayion Durham, a 6-2, 240-pound thumper who comes in as a the team's top recruit and a potential workhorse. He's not going to crank out any long runs, but he can bring the power between the tackles and can be sued as a fullback from time to time. He'll get a long look for instant playing time, but 6-2, 215-pound sophomore Tim Erjavec will be the starting fullback. He got a little bit of work catching seven passes for 71 yards, but the former walk-on linebacker will only be used as a blocker.
Watch Out For … Archer. The ground game has to come up with a better rotation, and Archer takes over the Eugene Jarvis role as the team's short, tiny jitterbug playmaker. Jarvis averaged 5.1 yards per carry, and Archer can do the same.
Strength: Quickness. The Golden Flash running backs don't get too much room to move, but they have the quickness and speed to make things happen on their own. They can all catch and they can all get open without a problem.
Weakness: Production. The offense was geared around running the ball last year and the numbers still weren't there. There were plenty of opportunities, but the backs simply didn't break off enough big plays.
Outlook: The backs have the quickness, speed, and potential to finally start cranking out yards. The offense was supposed to go to a Nevada-like style last year, but it didn't work and the backs never seemed to be able to find room to move. The offense should work to the backs' styles this year and there will be much more than 1,363 yards.
Unit Rating: 5
State of the Unit: The receiving corps has been fine for the last several years and has the potential and the ability to shine with better quarterback play. There's speed, experience, and depth, and considering this should be the strength of the offense, the coaching staff has to find ways to get the ball into the playmakers' hands.
Junior Tyshon Goode is one of the MAC's most dangerous receivers, but he needs to get the ball more and he has to be used on more deep passes. After catching 53 passes as a true freshman, he led the team with 59 grabs for 743 yards and five touchdowns averaging 12.6 yards per catch. A steady producer throughout the year, the 6-1 182-pounder blew up against Bowling Green with 12 catches for 158 yards and two scores, and he caught seven passes for 155 yards and a touchdown against Army.
Senior Sam Kirkland was supposed to be a No. 2 option next to Goode, and he ended up being receiver No. 1A in the equation. At 6-1 and 191 pounds, the former defensive back caught 18 passes as a sophomore and was terrific last year catching 56 passes for 599 yards and a score. Very quick and great with the ball in his hands, he also got three carries for 84 yards. After starting out the season with nine catches for 126 yards and a score against Murray State, he only went over the 100-yard mark one other time, against Akron, but was steady with three catches or more in every game but one.
6-0, 180-pound junior Eric Adeyemi started off his career at Kentucky and now brings the Golden Flashes his incredible speed to the outside. He got a little bit of time with the Wildcats, catching five passes for 41 yards and getting three starts, and now he'll be used in three-wide sets and as a home run hitting deep threat in a rotation with Goode. Also in the receiving rotation is senior Chris Gilbert, a veteran backup who caught 11 passes for 142 yards with most of his yards coming on a 46-yard play in the win over Ball State. He's not all that bit at 6-0 and 198 pounds, but he's tough and he's not afraid to make things happen across the middle.
6-1, 220-pound senior Justin Thompson and 6-5, 235-pound senior Jon Simpson will combine at tight end with Thompson the key target of the two. Built like a wide receiver more than a true tight end, Thompson caught 14 passes for 101 yards and a touchdown, while the bigger Simpson, who redshirted last year, is more of a blocker. A starter for part of 2009, Simpson caught seven passes for 66 yards and two touchdowns, and he has the ability to be a bigger part of the passing attack.
Watch Out For … More from Goode. The two-time New York all-state running back was a stunningly good recruit for the program, and he's playing like it. He started out as a good, dangerous target, and now he knows what he's doing and could blow up to a true all-star level.
Strength: The 1-2 combination of Goode and Kirkland. They might not get a whole bunch of recognition considering the offensive style, but there might not be a better twosome in the MAC.
Weakness: Veteran backups. The No. 3 and 4 most productive receivers last year were running backs. While it's not like the Hawaii passing game that needs several targets to spread the ball around to, but it would be nice if there were more proven options.
Outlook: If there's a little more consistency from the quarterbacks and if there's a little more help from the depth, the combination of Goode and Kirkland should be outstanding, but now the bigger plays have to come. The receiving corps should be as good as it's been in several years, and the new coaching staff has to take advantage.
Unit Rating: 5.5
State of the Unit: The offensive front didn't do nearly enough for the ground game, but it was decent in pass protection. Almost all the key starters are back and the potential is there for a strong year, but like the rest of the offense, consistency will be vital. There's size and talent, but the experience has to translate into production.
The key to the line should once again be Brian Winters, an All-MAC caliber left tackle who's starting to grow into his own. At 6-5 and 305 pounds, he has great size and uses it well as an excellent pass protector. Known mostly as a pounding run blocker, he's rounding out his game after starting eight games last year on the left side and the last four on the right.
6-3, 304-pound junior Josh Kline started for most of last year at right guard, and now he'll get work at right tackle. He has the size and the bulk, but he has to prove he can be consistent as a pass protector. Versatile, he can play anywhere on the line including center, while 6-4, 290-pound redshirt freshman Terrell Johnson should be ready to make a run at playing time at one tackle spot. A star defensive lineman in high school, he has the athleticism to eventually grow into an ultra-productive blocker.
Back at his starting spot in the middle is 6-2, 305-pound fifth-year senior Chris Anzevio, a strong veteran who started every game over the last three seasons. A third-team All-MAC performer, he's as reliable as any center in the MAC. 6-3, 250-pound sophomore Phil Huff is the undersized understudy who makes up for his lack of size with tremendous quickness.
6-4, 294-pound junior Kent Cleveland started the first eight games last year at right tackle before moving over to left tackle for the final month. Now he'll be in a more natural right guard spot where he should be one of the team's best run blockers. Versatile, he started at left guard earlier in his career, he can be moved anywhere he's needed, while 6-4, 290-pound redshirt freshman Tom Pizzurro is a great-looking prospect who's good enough to allow Cleveland to move around if injuries hit the rest of the line.
The lone opening up front is at left guard where a pair of sophomores, Tyler Arend and Max Plunkett will combine for the spot. The 6-5, 295-pound Arend started four games last year at right guard and showed the upside to potentially be a devastating run blocker with a little more time. The 6-8, 318-pound Plunkett has yet to see the field, and he's too tall and big for a guard, but he has the bulk to be an interesting blocker to throw into the mix.
Watch Out For … More. The disappointment of last year should be gone quickly with so much experience returning and more production. This group wasn't too bad in pass protection, and now it should do far more for the ground attack.
Strength: Experience and youth. There's plenty of reason to be fired up with five starters returning and ready to form a solid front five that should jell with a little more time. There's only one senior of the lot.
Weakness: Power run blocking. There's too much size and too much upside to be so mediocre on a regular basis for the ground attack. The Golden Flashes have to start controlling more MAC battles with the running game.
Outlook: The line paved the way for one of the MAC's best ground games a few years ago and struggled in pass protection, and then things switched around in 2009 and stayed that was in 2010. There are a few fringe all-stars and plenty of experienced talents, but now it all has to come together to be a strength.
Unit Rating: 5
- 2011 Kent State Preview |
Kent State Offense
2011 Kent State Defense |
Kent State Depth Chart