Note: I apologize for not getting this up sooner. it has been a busy week. I'll have a preview for Delaware State up tomorrow. -- Jonas
Welcome back Kent State! To ESPN'S bottom 10 that is. The Flashes checked in at No. 10 this week. David Duffey had to this to say about the Flashes…
“‘Something About You’: Maybe it's extending the nation's longest losing streak to nine games? Yup, that's it.”
Ouch. No wonder Kent State football coach Doug Martin was mad as hell Monday at his weekly press conference. Although, I have a hunch it had more to do with his team’s fumbilitis.
Yes, that same bug-a-boo that wreaked havoc on the Flashes’ offense last year for most of the season is back.
“The turnover deal has been going on for two years now,” Martin said. “That’s enough.”
It was a different Martin then anyone has seen as of late. He put the blame squarely on the players shoulders for the first time ever at KSU and rightfully so. Martin can’t hold onto a football himself. Martin can’t protect the punter from the sidelines.
The saddest part about the two punt blocks Saturday was that Iowa State was in its basic punt return formations for both of them. It wasn’t even the punt block formation according to Martin.
That is inexcusable. The player simply ran down field instead of blocking, Martin said.
But let’s get back to the fumbles….
They lost four fumbles Saturday!! That is now five for the season. They lost 11 all of last year.
Now it is football and defensive players can make plays. Whether it is putting a helmet on the ball or just making a big time hit; players will fumble throughout the season. That is a given in, but five already is a bit much.
The most alarming part is where the fumbles were. The Flashes gave the two easy scores when fumbles placed the Cyclones on the KSU 20 and KSU 5. They also may have cost themselves the game when they lost the ball on the ISU 6 early in the fourth quarter. The other fumble was on the Iowa 43.
It is not exactly a formula for winning.
No players’ job is now safe including senior starting quarterback Julian Edelman, Martin said Monday.
Perhaps the most interesting thing to me is the way Martin finally showed cracks in his protection of Edelman, who had two fumbles Saturday.
He did say that Edelman played one of his best games at Kent State (10-22 for 171 yards and three touchdowns), but said he cannot afford to fumble the ball anymore. If he can’t hold onto the ball he cannot stay on the field.
When asked if about Edelman’s “reckless” style of football being both a positive and a negative martin quickly responded.
“There is a difference between reckless and stupid,” he said.
Martin also discussed sophomore quarterback Giorgio Morgan for one of the first times this season. It has appeared – and this is speculation on my part – that Morgan may have been in the coach’s doghouse.
Anthony Magazu jumped ahead of Morgan on the depth chart at the beginning of the season. He has also played in the one series every half in both games (He did not play in the second half Saturday though) that Martin said would be won each week.
In Monday’s press conference Martin talked about how this is a big week for Giorgio Morgan and he is hoping that “Giorgio comes on.” He hadn’t spoken of Morgan like that in a while.
It is pretty Obvious that Morgan, with his big-time arm and deceptive legs, is the heir apparent. It is up to he and Edelman how soon though. If Morgan does not play within the next two weeks there is a good chance he will be red-shirted this season.
Martin also said that plenty of positions will be one this week in 50/50 battles.
-- Tight end is up for grabs between the injured Jameson Konz (high ankle sprain) and Jonathan Simpson, who played well last week at Iowa State.
-- Safety is another rare that is up for grabs. Adam Richey has been playing really well, but Will Johnson brings more overall talent to the position. Martin said he with Richey he knows what he has week in and week out as Richey possesses great football instincts. He also likes Richey’s love for the game. Yet he also said Richey isn’t the fastest player at the position.
-- Martin said the jury is still out about his wide receivers. Leneric Muldrow had a costly fumble last week and Aaron Robinson hasn’t been playing up to par. He has liked what he has seen out of junior Phil Garner though.
One aspect of the team Martin was proud of was the offensive line. He challenged the big guys up front to beat Iowa State off the ball and he said they did all game.
Martin did make one thing for sure about his football team leading up to this week’s home opener against Delaware State. The players “are going to thank God when Saturday comes," he said