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2008 CFN Kent State Preview
Kent State RB Eugene Jarvis
Kent State RB Eugene Jarvis
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 28, 2008


CollegeFootballNews.com 2008 Preview - Kent State Golden Flashes

Kent State Golden Flashes

Preview 2008 - Preview

By Pete Fiutak   

- 2008 Kent State Preview | 2008 Kent State Offense
- 2008 Kent State Defense | 2008 Kent State Depth Chart
- 2007 Kent State Preview | 2006 CFN Kent State Preview 

For good and bad, mostly bad, there have been few streakier teams in college football over the past four seasons. In 2004, the Golden Flashes had a losing streak of five games followed up by a four-game winning streak. There was an 11-game losing streak from 2005 to 2006 with a five-game winning streak to follow. Last year, everything appeared to be rolling along with a 3-2 start led by a strong running game, and then came an seven game losing streak that closed out the year. Now the team needs to get the ball rolling the other way.

It hasn't been a smooth four years in the Doug Martin era, but for a program with just one winning season since 1987, and no bowl appearances since the 1972 Tangerine Bowl loss to Tampa, any positive steps, and any flirtation with a plus-.500 campaign would be generate some excitement.

Head coach: Doug Martin
5th year: 15-31
Returning Lettermen
Off. 20, Def. 21, ST 2
Lettermen Lost: 18
Ten Best KSU Players
1. RB Eugene Jarvis, Jr.
2. QB Julian Edelman, Sr.
3. LB Derek Burrell, Sr.
4. CB Rico Murray, Sr.
5. DE Kevin Hogan, Jr.
6. LB Cedrick Maxwell, Sr.
7. QB Giorgio Morgan, Soph.
8. PK Nick Reed, Jr.
9. OT Augustus Parrish, Sr.
10. RB Andre Flowers, Sop.

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
4-8
2008 Record: 0-0

Aug. 30 Boston College
Sept. 6 at Iowa State
Sept. 13 Delaware State
Sept. 20 at UL Lafayette
Sept. 27 at Ball State
Oct. 4 Akron
Oct. 11 Ohio
Oct. 18 OPEN DATE
Oct. 25 at Miami Univ.
Nov. 1 at Bowling Green
Nov. 8 OPEN DATE
Nov. 12 Temple
Nov. 18 Northern Illinois
Nov. 28 at Buffalo

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
4-8
2007 Record: 3-9

Aug. 30 at Iowa State W 23-14
Sept. 8 at Kentucky L 56-20
Sept. 15
Delaware St W 38-7
Sept. 22 at Akron L 27-20
Sept. 29 at Ohio W 33-25
Oct. 6
Miami Univ. W 20-13
Oct. 13 at Ohio State L 48-3
Oct. 20
B. Green L 31-20
Oct. 27 Central Mich L 41-32
Nov. 10 at No Illinois L 27-20
Nov. 17 at Temple L 24-14
Nov. 24
Buffalo L 30-23 OT

Part of the problem last season was in the backfield where it was a revolving door of quarterbacks late in the year thanks to injuries. There wasn't any offensive consistency over the second half of the year, but it's not like the team rolled over and gave up. Give the coaching staff some credit; the team was competitive even when the world was falling down around it.
 
Eight starters are back for the second straight year on a good defense that did all it could do when the offense started to struggle, and it has the potential to be among the three best in the MAC for a third straight season led by a good linebacking corps and an aggressive front.

With QB Julian Edelman back and healthy, backup Giorgio Morgan returning from a knee injury, and Anthony Morgan an interesting option, the offense should be more stable. And then there's Eugene Jarvis, the 5-5, 170-pound mighty-mite who has been one of the nation's most productive runners you've never seen. The ground game will be among the MAC's best, the passing game should be better, the defense will be among the top three, and PK Nate Reed has All-America potential. So what's missing?

Luck.

The Golden Flashes are way overdue for some positive fortune when it comes to injuries, balls bouncing the right way, turnovers, timely plays, and anything else it can get. Even with all the issues, they weren't blown out by anyone in the MAC and they should be far more competitive this year. While there isn't enough in the bag to win the league title, they'll almost certainly screw up some teams along the way.

What to watch for on offense: More comfort with the backups in the backfield. The team didn't go into the tank when Edelman got hurt, but it didn't exactly flourish. While the senior will be the starter again this fall, Giorgio Morgan proved that he's more then capable of being the main man if needed, and Anthony Magazu turned into a player all of sudden. Jarvis is a freak of nature who doesn't get banged up, but if he does, Andre Flowers, who had a fantastic off-season, will be ready.

What to watch for on defense: The secondary. One of the bright spots on the team last season with speedster Jack Williams, a top lock-down corner, and safety Fritz Jacques, now there's some work to be done to help top corner Rico Murray. Junior Kirk Belgrave is a decent option at one corner, and he'll get picked on with everyone staying away from Murray. The safety tandem of Dan Hartman and Will Johnson will be the focus of the D early on.

The team will be far better if … the passing game is more efficient. And here's the problem. Kent State will never be Texas Tech throwing the ball, but it needs to take advantage of everyone and the waterboy cheating up to stop the run. The receiving corps has promise, but it's hardly going to scare anyone. The quarterbacks have to make the receivers better and there has to be more production on deep balls.

The Schedule:
Forget about the first two weeks of the season against Boston College and at Iowa State. It's all about a key five-week stretch starting with Delaware State and ending with Ohio that will set the tone for the year before what should be a desperately needed week off. And then comes the defining point of the season with back-to-back road games against Miami University and Bowling Green before another off week. In past years getting Temple and Buffalo in November would be a plus, but that might not be the case this season wrapped around a date with Northern Illinois.

Best Offensive Player: Junior RB Eugene Jarvis. He's the new Garrett Wolfe. The speedy quick star didn't slow down even when the quarterback problems were dragging the team down. He ran for 1,669 yards with ten touchdowns and caught 23 passes for 306 yards and three scores. Every time he ran the ball 20 times or more (eight times), he went over 100 yards. In the four games he was under 20 carries, he ran for 100 yards just once.

Best Defensive Player: Senior LB Derek Burrell. The big 6-2, 240-pound senior is a big run stopper on the weakside making 112 tackles last season. With great range, he's fantastic in space and good at getting in on every play. He needs to do a bit more against the pass and he hasn't been asked to be much of a pass rusher, but he's a good leader and a rock against the power ground attacks.

Key player to a successful season: Senior WR Shawn Bayes. The coaching staff is making a concerted effort to generate more deep plays for the passing game. That means Bayes, a decent veteran who's coming off a knee injury, has to star scaring some secondaries. He has the deep speed and he has a good history of making a big play here and there, and now he has to do it on a consistent basis.

The season will be a success if ... Kent State comes up with a winning season. It'll take a few upsets and no mistakes at home against teams like Akron, Temple, and Northern Illinois, but the veteran Golden Flashes will have the defense and running game to get to seven wins.

Key game: Oct. 4 vs. Akron. After what should be a tough September, KSU has to establish itself at home with a win over the Zips headed into a game against Ohio and an off-week. To come up with a winning season, this could be a must-win, and if there's any dreams of being a contender in the East, this has to be the beginning of a good run.

2007 Fun Stats: 
- Attendance vs. Buffalo: 2,687 – Attendance at Ohio State 105,051
- Fourth quarter scoring: Opponents 101 – Kent State 49
- Sacks: Opponents 39 for 239 yards – Kent State 23 of 155 yards