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Kent State Flashes

Wagon Wheel Thoughts

By admin Published: October 12, 2010

I'm going to pull a Terry Pluto and number some thoughts from the game.

1. All fall we (the media) listened to Doug Martin and his coaching staff rave about how freshman defensive back Luke Wollet progressed and came into this own--now we know why. Wollet picked off Patrick Nicely deep in Akron territory and returned it for Kent State's first touchdown of the day. His freshman label was evident on that play, however, as he admitted he lined up on the wrong side of the field. It was Brian Lainhart who should have been covering that zone. Speaking of Lainhart, Martin has uttered the words "young Lainhart" when describing Wollet.

2. The offense just lacks pop without Jarvis on the field. That's not to say Martin's offense isn't ran efficiently, but the big play potential seeps away without #6 in the backfield. It's almost as if the offense still flows, but is bottled up without their All-MAC running back.

3. That was a fun game to watch, thanks to the creative play-calling by both sides. Akron Head Coach Rob Ianello called for a fake field-goal 10 yards out that worked beautifully for a touchdown, and later attempted a double-reverse flea-flicker. The ball slipped out of Nicely's hands and Kent had the play covered pretty well downfield, but it was still refreshing to see the playbook swung wide-open. Doug Martin tried to catch Ianello off balance following a 40 yard pass play to Kirkland later in the game. The Flashes tried for a fumbly-roosky type misdirection play that lost a yard, but again, isn't it nice to see MAC football when all the tricks and gimmicks have a green light?

4. Doug Martin twice went for it on fourth and one in Akron territory, and twice made the right decision even though it only worked once. Don't be a Monday-Morning Quarterback, don't second guess using only hindsight. The unsuccessful attempt saw the ball on the 29, which would have equated to a 46 yard field goal. That's not out of Cortez's range, but the offense had a nice flow and Cortez has missed 40+ yard field goals in consecutive weeks.

5. Midway through the third quarter, Monte Simmons nearly gave Akron all the momentum as they clawed their way back into the game. Up 21-10, Kent forced Akron into a third and 27. Simmons hit Nicely on the play, grabbing his face mask in the process and garnering a personal foul penalty and automatic first down. Akron later cut the deficit to four, in what could have been the turning point of the game. With the defensive backs KSU possesses, that's being way too aggressive on third and 27.

6. It was nice to see some real Kent State University pride out there with the showing of "Beat Akron" t-shirts by Jarvis before the game and Lainhart, Wollet, Nix and Kirkland after the game. Let's be honest, this program hasn't had a lot to garner pride in a long, long time. Sometimes the football program is cast aside, so it was nice to see a statement made by the players on Saturday.

7. It'd be very hard for anyone to have a better day punting than Rinehart had on Saturday. Nine punts, six inside the 20 (three inside the 10, two inside the five) while averaging 41.2 yards per punt. You just don't get much better than that. Many people want to overlook how important punting is, but one of the reasons Akron was unable to come back was because it's impossible to open up the playbook when you're backed up inside the five.

8. Temple losing really does open up a door that looked to be closing (even after just one week) on Kent State and the Eastern division. The Owls are still by far and away the favorite to win the East, so Kent will most likely need to win out until Temple comes to Dix Stadium on Nov. 6.

9. The Wagon Wheel Rivalry now stands at 20-19 in favor of Kent State.

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