2007 Kent State Preview

Posted Jun 18, 2007

Preview 2007 Kent State Golden Flashes

Kent State Golden Flashes

Preview 2007 - Preview

By Pete Fiutak   

- 2007 KSU Offense Preview | 2007 KSU Defense Preview
2007 KSU Depth Chart | 2006 CFN Kent State Preview 

The glass is half full: Kent State followed up a disastrous 2-10 season, and an 0-2 start, with a five-game winning streak with the MAC East in the palm of its hand.

The glass is half-empty: Kent State completely fell apart losing four of the final five (with the only win coming over lowly Eastern Michigan) as the offense completely fell apart scoring 41 points during the stretch bottoming out with a 41-14 loss to Buffalo to give the division title away.

Head coach: Doug Martin
4th year: 12-22
Returning Lettermen: 40
Lettermen Lost: 19
Ten Best KSU Players
1. CB Jack Williams, Sr.
2. QB Julian Edelman, Jr.
3. NT Colin Ferrell, Sr.
4. SS Fritz Jacques, Sr.
5. RB Eugene Jarvis, Soph.
6. DE/LB Kevin Hogan, Soph.
7. OT Augustus Parrish, Jr.
8. LB Stevon Moss, Jr.
9. TE Tom Sitko, Sr.
10. WR Shawn Bayes, Jr.

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:

Aug. 30

at Iowa State

Sept. 8

at Kentucky

Sept. 15

Delaware State

Sept. 22

at Akron

Sept. 29

at Ohio

Oct. 6

Miami University

Oct. 13

at Ohio State

Oct. 20

Bowling Green

Oct. 27

Central Michigan

Nov. 10

at Northern Illinois

Nov. 17

at Temple

Nov. 24


2006 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2006 Record: 6-6

Preview 2006 predicted wins

8/31 Minnesota L 44-0
9/9 at Army L 17-14 OT
9/16 at Miami Univ. W 16-14
9/23 at Bo. Green W 38-3
9/30 Akron W 37-15
10/7 at Temple W 28-17
10/14 Toledo W 40-14
10/28 Ohio L 17-7
11/4 at Buffalo L 41-14
11/11 at Virginia Tech L 23-0
11/18 Eastern Mich W 14-6
11/24 at Ball State L 30-6

Which team will show up this year? While it’s never good to get worse as a season goes on, this was a young team that underwent a major face-lift and changed its identity from a pure passing team, with the nation’s worst ground game, to a more exciting running offense thanks to the emergence of QB Julian Edelman and RB Eugene Jarvis. Now they have to figure out how to put points on the board again.
Basically, defenses started loading everyone up against the run over the second half of the year, Edelman couldn’t make teams pay with his arm (even though he put up some nice numbers), and the offense went into the tank. Now the goal is to balance things out a little bit and hope the defense can continue to be among the MAC’s best.

Eight starters return to a D that finished second in the league behind Western Michigan, tenth in the nation in pass defense and fourth in tackles for loss. Take away the debacle in Buffalo, and the opening day 44-0 loss at Minnesota, and the Golden Flashes gave up just 15.6 points per game. There’s no reason they can’t be even stingier this season.

Fortunately for KSU, the East is the far easier of the two divisions, so if the team can play fully focused and consistent for an entire year, and if the defense plays like it did in 2006, this could be the program’s second winning season since 1987 with a shot at the first bowl game since losing to Tampa in the 1972 Tangerine Bowl.

What to watch for on offense: A better overall mix. Eugene Jarvis, along with the mobile Julian Edelman, will keep the running game going. The passing game needs to be more efficient, and it should be, now that Edelman knows what he’s doing and has developed more of a rapport with his young targets. Unfortunately, field-stretcher and top receiver Najah Pruden is gone meaning Phil Garner and Shawn Bayes have to become playmakers.

What to watch for on defense: More of a movement between the 4-3 and the 3-4. The coaching staff did what it could to make sure Daniel Muir could always be in the best place possible. Now that he’s gone, the Buck position will truly be a hybrid of outside linebacker and defensive end. However the alignment, KSU will have few problems getting into the backfield thanks to Kevin Hogan, and if decent replacements can be found for Usama Young and Andre Kirkland in the secondary, this should be the MAC’s best defense.

The team will be far better if … everything about the special teams. The Golden Flashes finished next-to-last in the nation in net punting averaging just 29.96 yards per kick and was 93rd in the nation in punt returns averaging 7.1 yards per return. That was nothing compared to the horrific placekicking with the kickers hitting two of ten field goals.

The Schedule: The Golden Flashes have to take advantage of their five home games against Delaware State, Miami University, Bowling Green, Central Michigan and Buffalo to make up for a tough road slate. Playing at Iowa State, Kentucky, Akron and Ohio in September might make for a rough start, and going to Ohio State in mid-October isn’t a plus. Fortunately, there’s an off week before road games at Northern Illinois and Temple.

Best Offensive Player: Junior QB Julian Edelman. He was the X factor in the offense going into last year, and then he took over and gave the attack a rushing element it hadn't seen since Joshua Cribbs was ripping defenses apart. He's not all that big, but he's a gamer who should make the offense more consistent this year.

Best Defensive Player: Senior QB Jack Williams. One of the MAC's best defenders, the veteran isn't just a great shut-down corner, he's also a tremendous tackler who's great in the open field. He's one of the team's key players needing to play even bigger and even better with a young secondary around him.

Key player to a successful season: Junior WR Shawn Bayes. The running game will be solid, but there's a ceiling on how high Kent State can go without a more consistent passing game and more overall explosion. Najah Pruden averaged 20.7 yards per catch as the main, and at times, only receiving weapon, and while Bayes won't be him, he needs to provide Edelman with a number one target.

The season will be a success if ... Kent State wins the East. It’s a bold dream for a team that needs to change up several things after collapsing over the second half of last year, but with the experience returning on defense, Edelman leading what should be an improved offense, and likely wins against Temple and Buffalo to close out, getting the first winning season since 2001 is a must, and If everything falls into place, a division title is possible.

Key game: Sept. 22 at Akron. KSU appeared to set the tone for last season with a  37-15 win over the defending MAC champions, but it didn’t turn out to matter much in the East race. This year, any hope of a division title might rest on the MAC opener wit a road trip to Ohio coming up the following week.

2006 Fun Stats: 
- Field goals: Opponents 15 of 18 – Kent State 2 of 10
- Fumbles: Kent State 40 (lost 13) – Opponents 26 (lost 12)
- Passing touchdowns: Kent State 10 – Opponents 8


Related Stories
2007 Kent State Preview - Offense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jun 18, 2007
2007 Kent State Preview - Defense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jun 18, 2007
2007 Kent State Preview - Depth Chart
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jun 18, 2007

Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Football > Kent State
[View My HotList]