Now that I've had a few days to cool down from Kent State's devastating loss on Saturday, here are some observations...
1. The defense was bad. OK, you knew that. Missed tackles, too much cushion in the secondary and not coming up big in the fourth quarter were the main problems. Scoring 35 points should be enough to get a victory at home, but not on Saturday.
2. Freddie Barnes can catch the ball a little bit. I won't pretend to know what the exact plan was on defense, because I am not in the huddle or in the locker room. Both coaches said adjustments were being made with different coverages. All I know is that the results were not adjusted at all. Barnes had 11 catches at halftime and 22 for the game for 278 yards and three touchdowns. Kent State defensive backs were sometimes giving 11 or 12 yard cushions to Barnes. It was pitch and catch for Tyler Sheehan and Barnes just like they were in the backyard. You would have thought after about the 15th pass Barnes caught, some scheme with man coverage on the line with a safety helping over the top solely on Barnes would be implemented. Make anyone else beat you, but Barnes was the guy all day who did.
3. Doug Martin is and will probably continue to be criticized for his play calling on the last drive that saw the Flashes gain three yards on first down then throw two incomplete passes. If Martin runs it three times, he is labeled as "playing not to lose." If he calls for pass plays and they are incomplete, he gets criticized. The second down slant pattern to Tyshon Goode was open, the ball was just slightly behind him and he couldn't come up with the catch. In a game like that, where defense was optional on the part of Kent State, maybe trying to throw it would be best. Are you supposed to run it there, give the ball back to BG and "put the game in the hands of your defense?" On a day like that? With how that defense played?
4. Kent State is thinking about moving WR Sam Kirkland back to DB. They should do that. They are a little thin in the secondary and need some more options back there.
5. I am not going to be like so many other people and say "same old Kent State" about Saturday's loss. It will be same old Kent State if this loss leads to another loss Saturday at woeful Eastern Michigan, and that leads to another season spiraling downhill. It was a beautiful homecoming day, good crowd, entertaining game. Kent State lost the game and I am going to leave it at that.
Now Kent State needs to find a way to forget about the devastating loss and go win a football game at Eastern Michigan. Stephanie Storm from the ABJ has the story.
Kent State will do some 'soul searching' writes David Carducci from the Record Courier.
Elton Alexander from The Plain Dealer checks in with his MAC Insider.
Reality check: It was just a few weeks ago after Kent State lost starting tailback Eugene Jarvis that head coach Doug Martin promised a winning season and a post-season bowl appearance. KSU now stands at 2-4, 1-1 and has let three winning opportunities escape vs. Iowa State, Baylor and Bowling Green. A defense that looked rock-solid in its opening game shutout over Coastal Carolina has given up 31 or more points in four of five games since, including 36 vs. the Falcons with two TDs coming inside the final five minutes. KSU was never able to cover -- or tackle -- BG receiver Freddie Barnes, who hauled in 22 passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns. That's more catches and yards in one game than any KSU receiver has hauled in for the season. A winning season now means a 5-1 stretch run including games vs. both of the East front-runners, plus rival Akron and West power Western Michigan.
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