Life doesn’t get much easier for the Kent State football team this week as the Ohio Bobcats come to town for homecoming week. Like the Flashes, the Bobcats are a deceptive 1-5. Both of their conference losses have come against Western Division teams.
Strangely enough, this game could theoretically push the winner into contention in the always-interesting MAC East title chase. Anyone could win it really. The East is that bad this year.
Ohio is currently on a five game road-losing streak that didn’t get any easier last week against Western Michigan. The Broncos averaged 7.6 yards a play against the Bobcats on their way to a 41-20 win for WMU.
The Bobcats are yet to excel in most facets of the game this season, but are passing fairly well. They are currently on pace to set school records for passing yards, passing yards per game, completions and passing touchdowns. It is still only good enough to be ranked in the middle of the conference.
Quarterback Boo Jackson is athletic in the pocket, but will rely on his arm more. This season he has completed 85-147 passes for an average of 189 yards a game. He has thrown nine touchdowns and seven interceptions.
As far as running, the Bobcats currently rank eight I nthe MAC in rushing offense with 122.5 yards a game. Red shirt freshman Donte Harden is leading the way with a team-high 339 yards on 64 carries. He is averaging 5.3 yards a carry.
Meanwhile Kent State star running back Eugene Jarvis could see the field for the first time in four weeks Saturday, although he is still questionable.
The running game has been in good hands with Jarvis out. True freshman Jacquise Terry is proving to be the heir apparent. Sophomore Andre Flowers also seems to be running fairly well.
Senior quarterback Julian Edelman is running the best out of any of them. He is currently the fifth best rusher in the MAC this season. On a side note, his fourth and nine run against Akron still amazes me. Is there anyone with more heart than Julian Edelman?
The return of Jarvis, and the talent of Terry, Flowers and Edelman; I couldn’t help but joke with Kent State coach Doug Martin about running a triple option or wing-T offense. Although he laughed, I wouldn’t expect it.
True Freshman Kendrick Pressley, coupled with the outstanding play of senior Shawn Bayes, finally gives the Flashes a viable one-two punch at the receiving position, although the rest of the group still leaves a lot to be desired.
Defensively this game could be a huge boon to Kent State. The Bobcats are averaging 2.8 turnovers a game this season. There – 4 turnover margin is second worse in the conference to Kent State’s –7.
With safety Brian Lainhart intercepting three passes last week, it would be nice if that trend continued into this week. The opportunity seems to be there.
The opportunity to get sacks could also help jumpstart players like Monte Simmons who have all but disappeared. The Bobcats have given up 15 sacks this season, worst in the Conference.