2010 Kent State Preview – Offense

Posted Aug 6, 2010

CollegeFootballNews.com 2010 Preview - Kent State Golden Flash Offense

Kent State Golden Flashes

Preview 2010 - Offense

- 2010 Kent State Preview | 2010 Kent State Offense
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What You Need To Know: The running game was 98th in the nation, the offense finished 96th in the country, and the team only averaged 19.25 points per game and got more than 39 just once (and that was a loss). So why is there reason for so much excitement? Nine starters are back and that doesn't include the team's best player, RB Eugene Jarvis, who missed most of last year with a kidney problem. The change to Nevada's Pistol attack should be perfect for a team that's overloaded with quickness. QB Spencer Keith is a decent runner and he should grow into the role of a dual-threat playmaker, while Jarvis, Jacquise Terry, and Dri Archer should go ballistic for the ground attack. Tyshon Goode leads a nice receiving corps that won't play as prominent a role, but won't be forgotten about, while the line returns three starters and should be quick enough to shine in the new attack.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Spencer Keith
168-294, 2,147 yds, 14 TD, 11 INT
Rushing: Eugene Jarvis
165 carries, 801 yds, 9 TD
Receiving: Tyshon Goode
53 catches, 755 yds, 5 TD

Star of the offense: Senior RB Eugene Jarvis
Player who has to step up and be a star: Sophomore OT Kent Cleveland
Unsung star on the rise: Freshman OG Tom Pizzurro
Best pro prospect: Jarvis
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Jarvis, 2) WR Tyshon Goode, 3) QB Spencer Keith
Strength of the offense: Quick Backs, Experience
Weakness of the offense: Proven Power Running Game, Scoring


Projected Starter: Sophomore Spencer Keith took over the starting job early on in his true freshman season and made a slew of mistakes. However, he showed tremendous upside completing 57% of his throws for 2,147 yards and 14 touchdowns with 11 interceptions, and he can run a little bit gaining 84 yards and a score. At 6-3 and 215 pounds, he's tall, he got bigger to withstand more of a pounding, and he's healthy after suffering a separated shoulder last year.

Projected Top Reserves: Last year was supposed to be when junior Giorgio Morgan was going to take over the quarterback job with a great arm and decent mobility, but he lost out to Spencer Keith and ended up seeing a little bit of time with no touchdown passes and five interceptions. The 6-4, 207-pounder has the raw skills, but he can't stay healthy suffering a knee injury a few years ago and getting hit with a bad ankle injury last year. When he's healthy, he dangerous.

5-11, 218-pound sophomore Sal Battles redshirted last year and will be the No. 3 option this season, but he's a great option for the new offense. The former wide receiver is very quick and has a nice arm, and he could be used in a variety of ways just to get his athleticism on the field.

True freshman Cedric McCloud will almost certainly redshirt, but he has the size and the arm to potentially be the team's best passer. The 6-2, 234-pounder from Florida isn't afraid to push the ball all over the field, but he doesn't have the running skills of the other options.

Watch Out For … Keith as a runner. He's not necessarily a big-time ball carrier, but he's good enough to make more things happen on the move and he'll get about ten carries per game.
Strength: Quick options. Morgan might have had problems with the passing attack last year, and he can't stay healthy, but he has a little bit of experience and he can step in if Keith gets bounced around. Battles has been on the team for a few years and is a dangerous No. 2 option.
Weakness: Passing efficiency. The Golden Flashes put up decent passing yards last year, but there were too many interceptions (16), not enough clutch plays, and, and not enough completions on third downs.
Outlook: The new offense will put more of an emphasis on the running game, but Keith is a passer who can get the yards down the field when he needs to. He's an emerging talent who should come up with a big statistical season, but Morgan has to be at the ready considering the shots the starter will end up taking.
Unit Rating: 5.5

Running Backs

Projected Starter: Back for his sixth year with the team is Eugene Jarvis , a 5-6, 170-pound speedster who gained 1,669 yards and ten scores in 2007, 801 yards and nine touchdowns in 2008, and was primed and ready for a huge senior year before suffering a lacerated kidney and missing most of the year. An unstoppably quick speedster who can catch, be a workhorse, and can hit the home run from anywhere on the field, he's healthy again and should be a lock for 1,000 yards once he gets his groove back. He's a special talent and a true leader; he was named captain for the fourth straight time this year.

Projected Top Reserves: When Eugene Jarvis went down, 6-0, 183-pound junior Jacquise Terry took over and let the team with 649 yards and four touchdowns with 17 catches for 205 yards. He ran for 100 yards three times and was a workhorse with 31 carries against Ohio and 23 against Western Michigan, but he wore down and got 21 carries over the final three games. Extremely smart, he's an Academic All-American off the field, and a lightning fast speedster on it.

5-7, 162-pound true sophomore Dri Archer is like another Eugene Jarvis with tremendous quickness and great ability as a kickoff returner averaging 24.2 yards per pop. He finished second on the team with 246 yards and a score and caught 19 passes for 231 yards and three scores. Even though Jarvis is back, Archer will get an increased role in the new offense and he should up his yards per carry to well above the 4.2 of last year.

Out of the picture a bit is senior Andre Flowers , a 5-11, 220-pound hammer who was the team's third leading rusher with 180 yards and a score and eight catches for 28 yards. He'll have a hard time finding carries, but he's the team's most powerful back and provides a big option to throw a change of pace into the ground attack.

Watch Out For … a huge change in production. The nation's 98th best running game last year should see a night-and-day improvement with the return of Jarvis and the change in offense. The ground game should be dynamic.
Strength: Extreme quickness. Jarvis, Terry, and Archer might be form one of the nation's quickest trios and they should be able to fly around with just a little bit of room to move.
Weakness: The line. The production last year went into the tank after Jarvis got hurt, and while he's a star talent who's proven, the team only gained 1,375 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 3.5 yards per carry. The line didn't do its job, but it should be better.
Outlook: Look out. Nevada's Pistol offense set records with three 1,000-yard rushers last year, and while Kent State won't have that, if things work as expected there's a shot that Jarvis and Terry could combine for 2,000 yards. That's the goal, and even though the team couldn't run last year, leading the MAC in rushing is a possibility.
Unit Rating: 8


Projected Starters: As a true freshman, Tyshon Goode was the answer for the team's receiving issues. The 6-1, 182-pound split end led the team with 53 catches for 755 yards and five touchdowns highlighted by a three-game late season stretch against Ohio, Western Michigan and Akron catching 28 passes for 435 yards and four scores. The two-time New York all-state running back was a great recruit, and he'll continue to show why as the No. 1 target at split end.

Former defensive back Sam Kirkland had a decent season on the offensive side catching 18 passes for 154 yards, and took a carry 86 yards for a score against Bowling Green. At 6-1 and 191 pounds, the junior has good size and excellent quickness, and now he looks like a real live receiver after coming up with a great offseason. He'll start at the flanker.

5-7, 178-pound senior Leneric Muldrow overcame a knee injury to make four catches for 62 yards. Used in the H-Back role this year, he'll be a runner, a mid-range receiver, and he'll be used in several ways to get the ball in his hands so he can use his quickness in space. He's too athletic to do far more.

6-5, 237-pound senior Jonathan Simpson grew into the starting tight end job finishing with seven catches for 66 yards and two touchdowns. He has decent size, nice receiving skills, and he's a decent blocker. He'll be a part of a rotation and he could grow into a field stretcher.

Projected Top Reserves: Kendrick Pressley started out his career as a Virginia Tech Hokie, and he's just now starting to make a big splash after suffering a broken ankle two years ago. The 5-11, 187-pound junior finished third on the team with 21 catches for 301 yards and three scores. He saw starting time and showed good explosion, but he'll be a backup at flanker even though he has the talent to do more.

Senior Pat Reedy started every game but one last year at left tackle and now will work at tight end. The 6-4, 240-pounder is an athletic blocker when he's healthy, and he has the quickness to see a few passes thrown his way. In the new offense, he'll be great getting on the move for the ground game.

6-3, 185-pound sophomore Matthew Hurdle has good size at split end and great upside once he figures out how to handle the position. The former quarterback made five catches for 19 yards last year, but it's all there to do far more and become a big part of the passing game as the year goes on.

Watch Out For … the passing game to dip a bit. While the offense might be more balanced with a bigger emphasis on the ground attack, the receivers won't be ignored. However, the bread will be buttered with the run this year.
Strength: Experience and talent. A big time problem two years ago, Kent State has actual talent at receiver with Goode and Kirkland good enough to form a deadly 1-2 combination. Throw in the upside of Simpson at tight end and the Golden Flashes have the receivers.
Weakness: Deep plays. The Kent State passing game cranked out over 2,500 yards, but it was inefficient. The yards after the catch were lacking even though three of the top four targets averaged more than 14 yards per grab. More home runs would be nice.
Outlook: The receiving corps came up with a nice year after there was more emphasis placed on the passing attack, and while the production might not be there compared to last season this should still be an effective group. Goode has all-star skilled and Kirkland had a great offseason and should become a dangerous No. 2.
Unit Rating: 5

Offensive Line

Projected Starters: With Pat Reedy moving from left tackle to tight end, 6-5, 305-pound sophomore Brian Winters will step in add more size to the spot after starting every game at right tackle. After a terrific true freshman season, the pounding run blocker should grow into the anchor up front with good quickness and the potential to be a star over the next three years.

Stepping in to Winters' spot at right tackle will be Kent Cleveland, a 6-4, 294-pound sophomore who saw a little bit of time in almost every game last year. He started the season opener against Coastal Carolina at left tackle and started at left guard against Miami, and now he'll stay at the spot on the right side where he should be able to use his power run blocking ability to be a solid player for the ground game.

The Golden Flashes will be relying on a true freshman, Tom Pizzurro, to start at right guard after Dante Campbell held down the job for most of last season. At 6-4 and 285 pounds he has good size and has the experience from playing for the famed Hargrave Military Academy to be fine right away. He won't play like a freshman.

Returning to his starting spot in the middle is Chris Anzevino, a 6-2, 305-pound junior who started every game at center over the last two seasons and has grown into one of the team's most reliable players. Terrific for the ground game, he's strong, gets a great shove, and is solid at the line calls.

6-4, 294-pound junior Michael Fay started every game at left guard in 2008 and was in and out of the lineup last year hurt. Steady and great on the move, he's a veteran, athletic blocker who should be terrific in the new offense. He'll do well for the ground game and should get down the field and spring some big runs.

Projected Top Reserves: Sophomore Josh Kline is one of the team's most versatile backup linemen. The 6-3, 304-pounder got a start at right guard against Bowling Green and at left guard against Akron, but he could play at left tackle if needed. He'll start out the year as the backup center, but he could play anywhere.

The 6-8, 316-pound Max Plunkett is built like a tackle but he'll start out working at left guard. Athletic for his size, but more of a pass protector than a thumping blocker, he'll move around where needed with a tough, long frame to get around.

Watch Out For … More run blocking. Last year's line struggled to come up with much of a push, but now it'll get to use its all-around athleticism more to open up holes by getting on the move.
Strength: Athleticism. This is a good-sized line with quick enough blockers to be strong in pass protection. The Golden Flashes allowed just 19 sacks on the year and that total should go down this year.
Weakness: Power blocking. This isn't a small line by any stretch, but it's not full of bulldozers. Can the line get the hard yard against the better lines? It couldn't last year, and now it's relying on several young players including a true freshman to do more.
Outlook: The line paved the way for the MAC's best running game two years ago and struggled in pass protection. Last year it did nothing for the run and was great for the passing game. This year's line should be terrific if the Pistol offense does what it's supposed to, and it should be excellent in pass protection, too. However, the talent isn't special and the scheme will have to make everyone better.
Unit Rating: 5

- 2010 Kent State Preview | 2010 Kent State Offense
- 2010 Kent State Defense | 2010 Kent State Depth Chart
- Kent State Previews  2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006