Before a second even ticked off the clock in Saturday night's game against Iowa State, KSU had made a mistake. An off sides penalty coupled with a late hit out of bounds on the opening kickoff set Iowa State up at the KSU 38 yard line. The opening kickoff set the tone for the entire game. Austen Arnaud ran, threw, and conducted the Cyclones' offense flawlessly in a 34-14 victory at Dix Stadium. The victory snaps a 17 game road losing streak for Iowa State. With four lost fumbles, an interception and eight penalties for 69 yards, Kent State was more than happy to lend a helping hand to Iowa State. True freshman Spencer Keith looked impressive in his first collegiate start. The Arkansas native was 21-32 for 255 yards and two touchdowns. Head coach Doug Martin said Keith was the only player on offense who "didn't play like a freshman."
KEITH IMPRESSIVE IN FIRST COLLEGIATE START
Spencer Keith looked impressive in his first college start on Saturday night. Keith was 21-32 for 255 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Offensive coordinator A.J. Pratt and his offensive staff helped Keith out by calling plays to help the Arkansas native get in an early rhythm. Short wide receiver screens and swing passes to the backs helped Keith get his feet wet. Keith’s first touchdown pass to freshman Dri Archer was a good play call and the Flashes executed it. Archer started in the backfield then ran a wheel route out to the left sideline where he was matched up on a linebacker. Archer caught the ball for a 44 yard touchdown pass. “You can’t really be happy with the loss all the time, but I was pretty pleased,” Keith said. “It was my first start, and I was pleased with it. I missed a couple passes that I should have had, but I made some good passes and big plays. We just have to pick it up the next couple of weeks.” I have a feeling that Keith and Archer are going to be a nice combination for the next four years.
JARVIS VISITS FLASHES, WATCHES GAME
Kent State’s Eugene Jarvis talked to the team before the game on Saturday and then watched from up in the press box. “It was hard to see him after the game with the way we played,” Brian Lainhart said. On Monday it was announced that Jarvis will miss the season with a lacerated kidney.
SLOPPY PLAY DOOMS FLASHES
Kent State did not put themselves in the best position to win on Saturday night due to their own mistakes. Kent State fumbled five times and lost four of them combined with an interception that contributed to KSU’s five turnovers. Eight penalties for 69 yards also didn’t help. On the opening kickoff Lainhart was off-sides and kicker Freddy Cortez got called for a late hit out of bounds and that set the tone for the entire night. Back to back turnovers on punt returns in the second quarter were especially painful to watch for any Kent State fan. First Chris Gilbert was clueless and too close to the ball as it landed on the turf while punt returner Alan Vanderink was backing away from the ball. The ball touched Gilbert’s foot, the Cyclones promptly fell on it and it led to an ISU field goal. On the next punt after Kent State’s defense made a stop, it was Vanderink’s turn to fumble a punt in which Iowa State recovered. Kent State’s program is not at the point where it can overcome five fumbles and other silly mental mistakes and overcome them to win a football game, few programs are. “Our third downs on offense (1 for 12) were absolutely deplorable, as were the penalties and turnovers,” Doug Martin said.
FLASHES NEED TO PLAY HOW THEY PRACTICE
Doug Martin said his team needs to come out and perform on game days the way they practice during the week. He said Alan Vanderink looked great in practice all week, caught all punts and looked comfortable doing so then comes out and drops his first attempt in the game. Lainhart backed up his coach on his point. “It’s like coach said if you would’ve watched us in practice, you would think no doubt we’re going to win the MAC. Then we come out in the game and act like we didn’t practice all week. It’s on us as players.”
LAINHART LEADS AND PERFORMS CONSISTENLY
Lainhart continues to be the ultimate leader, and maybe more importantly, the ultimate performer for the Golden Flashes. Week after week, no matter what the time and score is, Lainhart is out there battling. Saturday night was no different as he forced two fumbles and intercepted another pass. He has forced 12 turnovers in his last 10 games. On Saturday he finished with 11 tackles and nine solos, which are a career high.
IOWA STATE ADJUSTS TO ITS SURROUNDINGS
I get the feeling that the Iowa State fans and officials who made the trip to Dix Stadium on Saturday night were in awe of the lack of fans and atmosphere at the game. I overheard at least two Iowa State people making comments that they couldn’t believe the surroundings and the lack of a big time atmosphere. One writer even designated an entire blog post with pictures to prove to everyone on what he thought about the stadium and the lack of fans. Apparently Iowa State was expecting 100 thousand screaming fans with students bouncing on every play and deafening noise? Sorry, that scene doesn’t happen at Kent State. Kudos to the Kent State fans on Saturday night and the one’s that consistently come out to support their football program. Considering Kent State ranked last in the country in attendance last season at over 10,000 a game, 15,808 is a decent crowd for them.
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