The Golden Flashes finished last season 11th in the nation in rushing and 36th in total offense. They hope to build upon their success this season, and end a 37-year drought without making a bowl appearance. Although, Kent State finished with a 4-8 record last year, they did show glimpses of promise that were washed away by turnovers and lack of execution.
Anthony Magazu and Giorgio Morgan will be in competition for the starting job at quarterback. Magazu brings intelligence and knows how to protect the ball. Morgan some action as a true freshman and has great arm strength.
The strength of the offense is the running game, where Eugene Jarvis will be the featured back. Jarvis averaged 4.8 yards per carry last season and finished with 594 yards on the ground. Coach Martin hopes to get Jarvis more involved in the passing game this season too. With the experienced four linemen who return, Jarvis should be able to put up even better numbers in 2009.
The receiving core doesn’t have too much legitimacy yet, but they have some players who have the ability to make an impact for the Golden Flashes. Derek McBryde is considered the fastest receiver on the team, but the coaches are looking for him to be a more consistent threat. The coaching staff are also counting on Jameson Konz and Tyshon Goode to have productive seasons.
The defensive line might be the best part of the defense. It is very experienced and will be looking to Sam Frist and Aaron Hull to put pressure on the quarterback, stop the run and making sure the offensive line stays off of the linebackers.
The linebacking core is losing three starters entering the 2009 season. Cobrani Mixon will be the leader who recorded 33 total tackles and one sack last season. Anthony Mirando and Dorian Wood will accompany him. Mirando had two fumbles recovered last season and Wood is coming off a knee injury, but provides speed, depth and intelligence at the position.
Brian Lainhart will be the leader in the secondary where he made 106 tackles and had six interceptions last season. The coaches expect him to be a leader on and off the field. Dan Hartman will be back at strong safety and Danny Sadler and Josh Pleasant will be at the corners. Pleasant is coming off a solid true freshman season where he saw some playing time and impressed the coaches.
Although, there might be some question marks at the quarterback position, I think coach Martin and the Golden Flashes make improvements and become bowl eligible this season.Prediction: 6-6